Guy Lapointe, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame who won the Stanley Cup six times with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1970s, has been diagnosed with oral cancer.
"Dr. Keith Richardson, the treating physician from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), indicated that the cancer is located at the base of the tongue," the Canadiens said Wednesday at the request of Lapointe's family. "Lapointe will begin his treatments in the coming weeks. This form of cancer has a high cure rate.
"The family wishes to thank the personnel at the MUHC as well as all hockey fans and asks for respect of their privacy as they face this challenge."
Lapointe and fellow defensemen Larry Robinson and Serge Savard formed the "Big Three" who helped the Canadiens win the Cup in 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979. He finished his career with 622 points (171 goals, 451 assists) in 884 NHL games for the Canadiens, St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.
He still holds Canadians records for most goals by a defenseman in one season (28 in 1974-75) and goals by a rookie defenseman (15 in 1970-71). His No. 5 was retired by the Canadiens on Nov. 8, 2014, an honor he shares with Bernie Geoffrion.
Lapointe, 71, has been an amateur scout for the Minnesota Wild since 1999.