Former teammates remember Habs great Lafleur for on-ice skill, off-ice personality

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MONTREAL — Thirty-seven years after Guy Lafleur last played for the Montreal Canadiens, his name was once again chanted by fans before the team took to the ice tonight.

The team played tribute to the great, who died Friday at 70, with a ceremony before a game against Boston.

A video of Lafleur's goals and of him lifting the Stanley Cup, which he won five times with the Habs, played at the Bell Centre before fans gave him a standing ovation that lasted more than 10 minutes.

On the boards, the usual ads were replaced by a simple tribute to Lafleur: his name, his number, his signature and the years of life -- 1951 to 2022.

Before the game, Yvan Cournoyer, who played with Lafleur between 1971 and 1979, told reporters Lafleur was easy to play with and that while anyone could see how many goals Lafleur scored, it was his friend he would remember.

Chris Nilan, who played with Montreal between 1980 and 1988, says Lafleur helped him feel like he belonged on the team when he first joined.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 24, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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