As Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau lay in wake at the Bell Centre in Montreal – with thousands lining up for the opportunity to say goodbye to the team’s captain and a man whose ceaseless class and grace resonated across Canada and the community of the sport he loved – tributes from inside and outside the hockey world poured in.
The hockey world lost a great this week when Jean Beliveau passed away at age 83. His first appearance in The Hockey News was as a 19-year-old junior sensation for the Quebec Citadels, when he went by the name Jean Marc Beliveau. The roar back then was Jean Marc was better than half the centers in the NHL.
Here’s a re-print of that story from Vol. 4, No. 25 of The Hockey News, March 24, 1951.
Beliveau Most Fabulous Junior in Ice History
Better Than Half NHL Centers, Some say
Detroit Scribe rates Him as Popular in Quebec City as Richard in Montreal; He’ll play for Habs
By Marshall Dann
Quebec City, Que. – Jean Marc Beliveau may be the greatest junior in hockey history and the finest prospect ever to loom for pro hockey. Or, he may not.
George Parros retired from the NHL on Friday after nine seasons as one of the league’s most feared brawlers.
A giant of a man who was loved just as much for his work off the ice as he was for his play on it, Parros’ fight log at hockeyfights.com reads like a novel. Seriously. Over the course of his career, Parros chucked knuckles more than 150 times, including 11 fights against Darcy Hordichuk, 8 battles with Jody Shelley, and 7 tilts with Colton Orr.
Here are Parros’ five greatest fights: Read more
The Los Angeles Kings recent re-signing of defenseman Alec Martinez to a six-year, $24-million contract extension leaves them with over $60 million invested in 14 players for 2015-16. There’s growing speculation over what GM Dean Lombardi will do to address this situation.
If the salary cap stagnates for next season they won’t have much room to re-sign such notables as Justin Williams, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson and Jarret Stoll. Looming on the horizon is a new contract for top center Anze Kopitar. He’s signed through 2015-16 and become eligible for unrestricted free agency in July 2016. Read more
By Ryan Cooke
Sports editor, Truro Daily News
Special To THN
MONTREAL – Stuart Guttman sat up in bed, his newlywed wife lying fast asleep next to him as his eyes fixated on the screen in front of him.
His panicked instinct was to wake her up, but he thought better of it moments later. He reached to his other side, picked up his phone and immediately sent an email to his father-in-law.
For Guttman and his wife, Amanda, Jean Beliveau will always be a major part of their relationship. Montreal natives and hockey fans, but both a little too young to remember the days of No. 4, they grew up on stories of his excellence. They heard all about his 17 Stanley Cups, his 500 career goals and all his triumphs wearing the bleu, blanc et rouge.
But to Stuart and Amanda, Jean Beliveau wasn’t just a hockey player. He was a Cupid. Read more
Jean Beliveau was a household hockey name before he ever reached the NHL, much like Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby and Eric Lindros have been more recently.
That fame multiplied when he finally broke into the league full-time with the Montreal Canadiens in 1953-54 and subsequently lived up to expectations. And then some.
The following is a portrait of the young NHLer, as published by The Hockey News in our Feb. 5, 1955 edition.
WILL THIS GREAT AMATEUR BE A GREAT PRO?
By Vince Lunny
Montreal, Que. – The road to hockey’s graveyard, otherwise known as the bushes, is paved with the bones of maverick recruits who came into the National Hockey League as sure-fire prospects and wore out their welcomes almost before they soiled their uniforms.
In the light of this great truth, Jean Beliveau of the Canadiens is unique. Now in his second season, Beliveau has more than justified the unprecedented ballyhoo that heralded his debut as a full-fledged professional.
When Rejean Houle walked into the Montreal Canadiens dressing room for the first time for training camp in 1969, he didn’t do so as just another long shot prospect. After all, he was the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and a 50-goal scorer who had just come off leading the Montreal Jr. Canadiens to the Memorial Cup. He had every right to have a little swagger in his step.
But he was scared to death. And one of the reasons was the focal point of the room, the Canadiens captain Jean Beliveau. Houle had grown up worshipping Beliveau as most young Quebec players did and wondered how he would ever be able to share a dressing room with such a giant of the game. Read more
The hockey world is mourning the loss of hockey great Jean Beliveau today. He died Dec. 2 at age 83 after a lengthy illness. He are some of our favorite Beliveau images from The Hockey News archives.