“We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Guy Lafleur. All members of the Canadiens organization are devastated by his passing,” said Geoff Molson, President of the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club.
In September 2019, Lafleur underwent emergency bypass surgery after a routine checkup revealed he had four nearly fully blocked coronary arteries, according to NHL.com. While undergoing the emergency bypass, surgeons detected lung cancer and he would have one-third of his right lung removed two months later. The cancer reappeared in October 2021.
Lafleur, nicknamed “The Flower,” was a five-time Stanley Cup champion with the Canadiens. The Habs selected Lafleur with the No. 1 pick in the 1971 Amateur Draft as the top junior player in Canada with the Quebec Remparts.
Lafleur scored 1,353 points (560 goals, 793 assists) in 1,126 career NHL games with the Canadiens, Rangers and Quebec Nordiques. Between 1974-75 and 1979-80, the Canadian scored at least 50 goals in six straight seasons and won the Stanley Cup four consecutive times with the Canadiens from 1976-79 after having won it 1973.
“You didn’t need to see Guy Lafleur’s name and number on his sweater when ‘The Flower’ had the puck on his stick. As distinctively stylish as he was remarkably talented, Lafleur cut a dashing and unmistakable figure whenever he blazed down the ice of the Montreal Forum, his long blond locks flowing in his wake as he prepared to rifle another puck past a helpless goaltender — or set up a linemate for a goal,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement on Friday.
In his career, Lafleur won the Art Ross Trophy as the leading scorer in the NHL and the Ted Lindsay Award — voted as the most outstanding player by the NHL Players Association — in 1976, 1977 and 1978. He was also awarded the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP twice and was enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.