The Lou Marsh Legacy - Honouring Canada's Top Athletes

Guy Lafleur

Hockey

1977


Action photo of hockey athlete Guy Lafleur

Action photo of hockey athlete Guy Lafleur

Date
1984
Collection
Paul Bereswill/HHOF Images

Those are some pyjamas!

The term “dynasty” emerges once again on May 14, 1977 as the Montreal Canadiens complete the finest season of any club in NHL history. They sweep the Boston Bruins in four straight and collect their second consecutive Stanley Cup punctuating the year with a remarkable 73-10-11 won-lost-tied record in 80 regular season games and 14 playoff games.

Leading the offensive attack the whole way is Guy Lafleur. He takes home a complete set of hardware to prove it, winning the Hart Trophy as league MVP, the Art Ross Trophy as NHL scoring champ and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the top man in the playoffs. Of course the ever humble “flower” as most of the hockey world refer to him, is quick to point out these are team awards. Yes, with Larry Robinson, Serge Savard and Guy Lapointe defending, Steve Shutt and Jacques Lemaire helping on the attack and Ken Dryden in the net, to name just a few, he is indeed surrounded by a formidable group, and yet his brilliant playmaking still stands out. His wild and explosive rushes pull fans out of their seats like no other, maybe with the exception of Rocket Richard! With seemingly clairvoyant on-ice peripheral vision and skating mastery he is every opposition’s nightmare.

For Lafleur it is a dream come true. From a very early age he lived and breathed hockey, envisioning one day playing for the Canadiens and only the Canadiens! Jean Beliveau ruled in young Guy’s books and when he scored a hat-trick at the renowned Quebec Peewee Tournament as a ten year-old, Mr. Beliveau presented him with a hat. That encounter left Guy with an indelible imprint of a classy gentleman and a standard to shoot for.

Young Lafleur played hockey every single moment that he could. In his hometown of Thurso, Quebec, he would sneak into the local arena early in the morning to get skating time in. From the age of seven he began to sleep in his hockey gear so that he was ready to go that much sooner. Eventually he negotiated to exchange chores for ice time with the arena manager. He started cleaning pig stalls and herding cows at a friend’s farm at age nine to get in shape. He would run miles after working in the fields and other kids thought he was nuts. One of Guy’s teachers often stated that you must make sacrifices to make it big. He took that message to heart.

Teammate Steve Shutt once described the strange behaviour of Guy Lafleur, who could be found sitting in the locker room with his full uniform on, skates tied tight and stick at the ready at 4 o’clock for an 8 o’clock game! It might have been a carryover from his sleeping in gear era, but much more likely an expression of his uncontainable desire to play hockey.

Lafleur honoured with Marsh Trophy Adobe PDF Transcript


Highlights

1971
Selected 1st overall by Montreal in Amateur Draft
1972 – 1973, 1976 – 1979
Five Stanley Cups—Montreal Canadiens
1974 - 1980
Six straight years of 50 goals and 100 points
1977
Lou Marsh Memorial Award
1988 - 1991
Played three years after being inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame