MONTREAL -- In honor of Jean Béliveau's 81st birthday, we present a tribute in numbers of some highlights from the legend's career and life.
15 – Age at which Béliveau’s talent caught Canadiens general manager Frank Selke’s eye, causing him to persuade the young forward to sign a contract with the team. Selke would eventually convince him to sign a B-form contract, meaning that should Béliveau turn pro, it would be as a member of the Canadiens.
117 – Number of games that Jean Béliveau played as a member of the Quebec Aces, before the Canadiens organization decided to buy the entire Quebec Senior Hockey League, turn it into a minor pro league, and thereby force the young forward to join the Habs in 1953.
44 – Number of seconds needed by Béliveau to score one of the greatest hat-tricks in NHL history, when on November 5, 1955 he found the back of the net three times on the same powerplay, forcing the league to reevaluate their rulebook.
16 – Number of points recorded by Béliveau in the 1965 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The eight goals and eight assists he netted over 13 playoff games not only helped lift the Canadiens over the Blackhawks to win yet another Stanley Cup, but also helped Béliveau become the inaugural winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
56 – Percentage of full seasons, out of the 18 he played as a member of the Canadiens, that Béliveau won a Stanley Cup. The Hall of Famer won 10 Cups with Montreal, meaning that he got to hoist hockey’s greatest prize more times than not during his tenure with the Canadiens.
14 – Number of times Jean Béliveau suited up for an NHL All-Star Game.
1,125 – Number of games played by Béliveau for the Canadiens, the third most of any Hab behind only Henri Richard’s 1,256 and Larry Robinson’s 1,202.
1 – Number of years following his retirement from hockey that Jean Béliveau had to wait before being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame – two less than the traditional waiting period of three years.
100 – Numbers of days Canadian Space Agency astronaut, Robert Thirsk spent in space before getting the chance to enjoy a conversation via videoconference with his earthbound, boyhood idol, Jean Béliveau, on September 14, 2009.
0 – Number of NHLers who have captained their team to more Stanley Cups than Jean Béliveau in the history of the league. “Le Gros Bill” wore the C on his jersey for five Stanley Cup Championships with the Canadiens, the only team he ever played for.
Top 10: Prized pieces of history
Beliveau arrives in Montreal