Legendary Montreal Canadiens hockey player Jean Beliveau holds up his jersey after being named honourary captain of the 2010 Canadian Olympic team at a news conference in Montreal, Monday, June 29, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
MONTREAL - Former Montreal Canadiens great Jean Beliveau has been named honorary captain of Canada's 2010 Olympic hockey team.
Beliveau, 77, was presented with a Team Canada jersey with the No. 4 on the back that he made famous in 20 seasons with the Canadiens.
The Hall of Fame centre never had a chance to represent Canada in international hockey. He retired in 1971, a year before the ground-breaking Summit Series against the former Soviet Union. And the IIHF world championship did not allow professionals to play until 1977.
"It's unbelievable to think of some of the players who never had the chance to represent Canada in international play," said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. "It's about time we see the great Jean Beliveau in a Team Canada sweater."
Beliveau won 10 Stanley Cups with the Canadiens and served as team captain for 10 seasons. He had 1,219 points in 1,125 career games.
His former teammates Serge Savard and Yvan Cournoyer presented the jersey at a news conference for the Hockey Canada Foundation gala and celebrity golf tournament.
Hockey Canada also presented championship rings to members of the Canadian team that won gold at the 2009 World Junior Championship.