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Jean Beliveau's star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto cracked

NHL.com @NHL

TORONTO - Cold Canadian winters and wear and tear have taken a toll on the star of the late hockey legend Jean Beliveau.

A large, jagged crack has separated the bottom left corner of Beliveau's star on Canada's Walk of Fame from the rest of the red granite stone plaque in Toronto's theatre district.

His former NHL club, the Montreal Canadiens, is hoping the marker honouring "Le Gros Bill," will be fixed.

"We would certainly hope the Jean Beliveau's star would be repaired," said Canadiens spokeman Donald Beauchamp in an interview with The Canadian Press. Canadiens Alumni Association President Rejean Houle feels the same way, he said. Houle won a Stanley Cup playing with Beliveau in 1971.

The star is set to be replaced, but that could take a few more months.

When asked if the star takes on a special significance given Beliveau's death in December, Beauchamp said it has always been important.

"It goes way beyond that," he said. "It would just be nice if it would get repaired."

Beliveau was inducted into the Walk of Fame in 2001 for his contributions to sport.

He spent 18 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens between 1953 and 1971, winning 10 Stanley Cup championships with the team. He won the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player in 1956 and 1964 and the Art Ross Trophy as the league's scoring leader in 1956.

His family could not be reached for comment.

Beliveau's star isn't the only one requiring some attention. Markers for Canada's "man in motion," Rick Hansen, and rock band the Guess Who have similar diagonal cracks. Hansen's star has one along the bottom right corner and the Guess Who's star has a smaller one along the bottom left corner.

"I have the utmost respect for the organization and am confident (Canada's Walk of Fame) will address the issue of the damaged stars," Hansen said in an email.

Canada's Walk of Fame CEO Melanie Hurley said the damage to the three stars has been identified and new stars are being made.

"It takes a few months for the new stars to be produced. Once we receive them, we notify the city and they then add the request to their overall sidewalk maintenance schedule," Hurley said in a statement. "The replacement usually takes place in the fall."

While the Walk of Fame is responsible for providing replacement stars, it is the city of Toronto that is responsible for installing new ones and maintaining the surrounding sidewalk. The city is aware of the damage and will be taking steps to ensure repairs begin as soon as possible, said transportation service director Kypros Perikleous.

The unique nature of the Walk of Fame as a monument to significant Canadians like Beliveau makes it different than other sidewalks in Toronto and Perikleous says it requires some special attention.

"Those stars are there for a reason and just for that very reason alone extra care should be given to that area."

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