Monday, August 31, 2009

Le Gros Bill

Today's hero is not the "world leader" or "great writer" type. He is the fellow above, one Jean Beliveau born this day in Trois-Riviers, Quebec. He played parts of 20 seasons,and 18 full seasons with my favourite hockey team the Montreal Canadiens. During that time he won TEN Stanley Cups. TEN! Not a bad record in any business, 10 for 18 would get you in the Hall of Fame in pretty much anything in the world. For his last 10 seasons, he was the team captain. He was nicknamed "Le Gros Bill" after a mighty character from Québécois folklore. He won the first ever Conn Smythe Trophy in 1965, and for those non-hockey fans that is the NHL'S version of an MVP award. To put his success into perspective, he won 10 Stanley Cups as an individual player. The next highest TEAM total is the Toronto Maple Leafs with 13, and they have not lifted the Cup since 1967. Béliveau retired at the end of the 1970-71 season as his team's all-time leader in points, second all-time in goals and the NHL's all-time leading playoff scorer. He scored 507 goals and had 712 assists for 1,219 points in 1,125 NHL regular-season games plus 79 goals and 97 assists for 176 points in 162 playoff games. His jersey number (#4) was retired on October 9, 1971. He is now the second all-time leading scorer in Canadiens history. Granted I was born when he was doing all of these glorious things for my team, but a true fan embraces their team's history when they embrace the team. Good, bad, or ugly, everything thing the Habs have done, or will do is something I that I signed up for when I became a fan. So for all those times he "lit the lamp" even if I was not alive to see it, Jean Beliveau (August 31st 1931-present), you are my hero of the day.

1 comment:

chall said...

I guess it was expected.... the francophones and ice.

It's a great acheivement. I wonder what he felt/feels like looking back at those times?!