The wife of Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame center Jean Beliveau told the Montreal Gazette on Thursday that her husband is making great progress after suffering a stroke on Monday night.
Elise Beliveau said her 80-year-old husband was in great spirits Thursday while in recovery at Montreal General Hospital. She said he was speaking, laughing and regaining some strength, but is being monitored closely by specialists.
The Montreal Canadiens announced Tuesday that Beliveau, who won 10 Stanley Cups with the team as a player and seven more as a team executive and ambassador, suffered a stroke Monday and was admitted to the hospital, where Beliveau was a patient last June for endovascular surgery to repair abdominal aneurysms.
Beliveau, who twice won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player, previously suffered a stroke in January 2010. He also has dealt with cardiac problems for decades and underwent 35 chemotherapy treatments for a malignant throat tumor in 2000. His cancer has been in remission for years.
Beliveau played 20 seasons in the NHL (1950-71), all with the Canadiens. He's second on the franchise's all-time list in assists (712) and points (1,219), and third in goals (507).
Elise Beliveau told the Gazette that her family has been overwhelmed with the outpouring of concern and affection being expressed from around the world.