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Lafleur has heart surgery, expected to make full recovery

Hockey Hall of Fame forward won Stanley Cup five times with Canadiens

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / Columnist

MONTREAL -- Guy Lafleur had quadruple-bypass surgery Thursday and the Hockey Hall of Fame forward is expected to make a full recovery, the Montreal Canadiens said. 

Lafleur, who turned 68 on Sept. 20, had medical tests this week for the renewal of his helicopter pilot's license. His doctor referred him to a cardiologist, who the Canadiens icon saw Wednesday. The five-time Stanley Cup champion was immediately admitted to the Centre hospitalier de l'Universite de Montréal (CHUM).

Video: Guy Lafleur won Cup five times in Montreal

The native of Thurso, Quebec became the first player in NHL history to score at least 50 goals and 100 points in six consecutive seasons and was also the fastest player, at the time, to reach 1,000 points in the NHL, doing so in 720 games. The record was broken by Wayne Gretzky (424 games) in 1984. 

Lafleur, who won the Stanley Cup in four straight seasons (1975-79) was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988, having retired 19 games into the 1984-85 season, his 14th with Montreal.

Winners of a combined 36 Stanley Cup championships, Canadiens legends (from left) Henri Richard, Guy Lafleur, Jean Beliveau and Yvan Cournoyer in the dressing room at Bell Centre during the team's 2009-10 Centennial season.

He stunned the hockey world Sept. 26, 1988, returning to the NHL after nearly four years away when he signed a one-year contract with the New York Rangers. He would also play two seasons with the Canadiens' archrival, the Quebec Nordiques, before retiring for good after the 1990-91 season with 1,353 points (560 goals, 793 assists).

In addition to five Stanley Cup championships and winning the Art Ross Trophy three straight seasons (1975-78), Lafleur twice won the Hart Trophy voted as the most valuable player in the NHL (1976-77 and 1977-78). He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1977 as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For three consecutive years (1975-78), Lafleur was honored with the Lester B. Pearson Award (now called the Ted Lindsay Award), voted by the players as NHL MVP.

In 2017, the League's centennial year, Lafleur was voted as one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players.'

Thirty-four years after his last game in a Canadiens jersey, Lafleur is still atop at least seven of Montreal's offensive categories. For the past two decades, he has been a hugely popular ambassador, making dozens of official appearances annually, near and far, on behalf of the Canadiens.

He was scheduled to be a featured guest at Bell Centre on Oct. 2 for a Montreal General Hospital Foundation benefit called Hockey 911, a public panel discussion about the longstanding relationship between the Canadiens organization and the hospital.

Photos: Getty Images; Hockey Hall of Fame Images; Montreal Canadiens

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