One of the greatest NHL players of the 1970s and early '80s has died at the age of 70.
Guy Lafleur, nicknamed the Flower, scored 560 goals and recorded 793 assists in his illustrious career, mostly with the Montreal Canadiens.
He was on five Stanley Cup–winning teams and was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player in 1977 and 1978.
His electrifying style on the ice, including his speedy rushes up the right wing and powerful slapshot, that made him such a fan favourite across the country.
Lafleur won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in points in 1976, 1977, and 1978. Those same years, he won the Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player as voted by members of the NHL Players' Association.
The cause of death has not been announced. Lafleur was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2019, which was operated on, and it returned in 2020. He also had quadruple bypass surgery in 2019.
He quit in 1985 after a dispute with former linemate Jacques Lemaire, who had become the Canadiens coach. In 1988, Lafleur was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
After entering the Hall, he staged a comeback that year with the New York Rangers. He played his final two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques.
Lafleur was born in the small Quebec town of Thurso. His death came a week after another former star from Quebec, Mike Bossy, passed away.
The Montreal-born Bossy scored 573 goals and posted 553 assists in his 10-year career with the New York Islanders, which ended after the 1986-87 season.
He set an NHL record with nine straight 50-goal seasons.
Like Lafleur, Bossy was also diagnosed with lung cancer prior to his death at the age of 65. Both players smoked during their heyday as NHL stars.