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Excerpts from eulogies at Jean Beliveau's funeral @NHLdotcom

Excerpts from eulogies delivered at Wednesday's funeral for Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau, who died last week at the age of 83.

Dickie Moore, former Canadiens teammate

"It is a tremendous honour to stand here for my teammate and my friend Jean Beliveau. What more can I say about Jean? Everyone has said so many wonderful words about him. Words like strength, dedication, devotion and elegance.

"Elise, Jean was so lucky to have you on his team beside him and supporting him through all the years.

"Me I was lucky. Lucky to have been with Jean for many glorious years with the Canadiens. Lucky to share many amazing moments together. Lucky to have him as a friend."

"What would you rather be, good or lucky? I was lucky. He was good. I will miss you Jean, a man I always looked up to. I'm only five-foot-10."

"God bless you Jean, your teammate and friend forever."


Yvan Cournoyer, former Canadiens teammate

"Today, I would like to speak to you about Jean, my captain. I had the fortune to play with Jean my first eight years and to win my first Stanley Cup with him. Four more followed.

"In the dressing room I had the privilege to sit next to him. Here's a little anecdote. The first time I sat next to him, I realized his pads were a lot longer than mine. I quickly found out why when he got up.

"On the road, I roomed with him a lot and that allowed me to get to know him better and develop a very good friendship. Given the age difference between us, we developed almost a father-son relationship...."

"Oh captain, my captain, bon voyage."


Serge Savard, former Canadiens teammate

"In 1952, the Canadiens called up Jean and he played in three games. In the first game, he stole the show and scored three goals. That's when the new No. 4 became my idol along with the Rocket and Doug Harvey.

"I would never have thought at the time that Jean Beliveau would become my teammate and that we would win three Stanley Cups together....

"Jean was a great leader. We would look toward him when times were difficult. After just a few seasons, his peers named him captain. Surprised and shaken up, he went to see Mr. Selke to turn down the captaincy. Mr. Selke told him he was the choice of the players and to return to the dressing room to fulfil his role as leader.

"And he did that throughout his career, winning 10 Stanley Cups and helping us be better players and better people, on and off the ice. You couldn't disappoint such a role model.

"A reporter asked him one day how he'd like to be remembered and his answer was spontaneous. 'I want to be remembered as a good team player.'''


Ken Dryden, former Canadiens teammate

"Everybody everywhere in the country talked about him the same way. Jean Beliveau has class."

"Strange though it seems, it's easy now to understate his playing career. It's easy to forget that the Canadiens weren't always legendary. ... But in 1956, the Canadiens would win the first of five straight championships, and in the 19 years that followed, nine more, leaving every other team in our dust. In our ice chips."

"Yet it wasn't really until he retired in 1971 that he became truly special. He became an ambassador for the team, but one like no other.

"He was proud of being a Montreal Canadien, and proud of his sport. He was proud of being a Victoriavilleois and a Montrealer, proud of being a Quebecer, proud of being a Canadian. He believed in all of them, and he represented all of them wherever he went."

"He had other skills, he might have done other things. But he understood probably by very early in his life that his greatest impact wouldn't be as a corporate or political leader, but as Jean Beliveau. In doing what he did, in being who he was."


Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner

"All of us here today share something in common. Our admiration and our love for Jean Beliveau in so many ways."

"He was the first hockey player on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. And after he scored three goals in 44 seconds in a single power play, the National Hockey League changed its power-play rules."

"But he was more than a record breaker. He was the man whose footsteps our parents wanted us to follow. As little boys, we grew up wanting to be like him."

"He carried the torch high for six decades, and now it's our turn, all of us, to hold it high in his memory."

"Perhaps the best way to do our friend Jean justice, and begin explaining his legacy to future generations, is quite simple. It is to say he was in a class of his own. He was Jean Beliveau."

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