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The Classiest Canadien

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Old
10-06-2003, 06:31 AM
  #1
Joe Malone
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The Classiest Canadien

http://www.canada.com/montreal/sport...4-FBAA1BD2C6A4

Article on Beliveau by Red Fisher. For you "oldtimers" I guess.

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10-06-2003, 06:37 AM
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Gros Bill
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I thought you were asking for opinions on the Habs' classiest player. I was going to respond, of course, Jean Béliveau. Very classy. Back in '67, my brothers and I passed in front of The Forum and saw Gros Bill inside. After obtaining parental permission, we went in. Jean signed an autograph for us, and took the time to chat with 3 brats. He was very nice then told us the team was getting on a bus out back. We got everyone's autograph.

Jean Béliveau, turely a classy dude. (and the best player I've ever seen in a Canadiens uniform)

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10-06-2003, 06:41 AM
  #3
mcphee
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My father told me how the players would get off the train on a Monday from a road trip and make their way home as quickly as possible, except for Beliveau who would hang around, sign autographs and chat with the people in the station.

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10-06-2003, 06:49 AM
  #4
Joe Malone
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When Beliveau retired, I fought back the tears. I was 12, and realized I would never see my favorite player grace the ice again. My mother, who knew nothing about hockey, approved of Beliveau as a role model simply by the way he presented himself during interviews. He just oozed class. One Christmas, my mother bought me Strength Down Center, the Beliveau story. I slept with it under my pillow.

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10-06-2003, 07:03 AM
  #5
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what's the one job that no Canadian would turn down ? You got it, the Senate. Beliveau actually turned down a seat in the Senate because he felt that his family needed him. He thanked them for the offer and said that he couldn't accept a position that he couldn't give 100% to.

Joe, thanks for posting this, I read it in the Gazette, but I tend to forget that the board isn't reading the same paper I am. Also, Red Fisher can't analyze the current game the way a McKenzie can, and he isn't plugged in like a John Davidson, but he sure can tell a nice story, can't he ? I miss his writing when he's not around.

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10-06-2003, 07:42 AM
  #6
Joe Malone
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Beliveau finished his career with 507 goals. Had he signed earlier with the Habs, and not remained in Quebec City, he would easily have finished with more goals than the Rocket's 544. Also his final year, (age 39), he amassed 72 points in 70 games, and 22 points in 20 playoff games (going on 40). He went out a winner, not hanging on. Granted, having Cournoyer and Mahovlich as linemates didn't hurt, but Le Gros Bill was not out of step.

Ah, reminiscing......

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p...?pid%5B%5D=297

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10-06-2003, 07:46 AM
  #7
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I think Strummerman was making the case for Beliveau as best player ever here awhile ago. I just bought the NHL Official Guide & Record Book and it looks like he was right. Beliveau definitely deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Orr, Gretz, Mario, Rocket, and Howe.

Gretzky scored 1.921 points per game, Howe had 1.047, Lemieux is at 1.925(!), Orr (1.393-!), Rocket .987, Beliveau 1.084.

Of course, stats aren't everything, but he definitely ranks even though he played through injury for much of the 60s.

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10-06-2003, 07:57 AM
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Joe Cole
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He is a man (like my dad) from another era. When men acted like men. Every interview he does still oozes class. Pride, civility, humility and loyalty. I guess it is to much to ask of anyone, with the dollars that are being thrown around in pro sprts and entertainment, to act with such selflessness.

Those where the days.

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10-06-2003, 08:51 AM
  #9
mcphee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Malone
Beliveau finished his career with 507 goals. Had he signed earlier with the Habs, and not remained in Quebec City, he would easily have finished with more goals than the Rocket's 544. Also his final year, (age 39), he amassed 72 points in 70 games, and 22 points in 20 playoff games (going on 40). He went out a winner, not hanging on. Granted, having Cournoyer and Mahovlich as linemates didn't hurt, but Le Gros Bill was not out of step.

Ah, reminiscing......

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p...?pid%5B%5D=297
I was surprised to see his numbers from his last year, I guess I had forgotten. 72 points and he had slowed down. He would show flashes, like his 500th goal, a nifty passing play with The Big M and Phil Roberto, but I remember thinking that he was nearing the end. 72 points, I guess I just held him to a different yardstick. I remember him in the playoff series that year against Boston in that famous comeback game. Richard started the comeback, but I remember Beliveau intercepting a pass at the Boston blue line and breaking in and beating Johnston. It might've been the tying goal, but I can't remember. Richard,Beliveau,Ferguson,Lemaire and Mahovlich keyed the comeback. Imagine those guys on your team and being considered a heavy underdog.

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10-06-2003, 09:09 AM
  #10
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No Question ... LE GROS BILL !!!

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10-06-2003, 09:10 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
... I remember Beliveau intercepting a pass at the Boston blue line and breaking in and beating Johnston. It might've been the tying goal, but I can't remember. Richard,Beliveau,Ferguson,Lemaire and Mahovlich keyed the comeback. Imagine those guys on your team and being considered a heavy underdog.
Didn't he steal the puck from the great Bobby Orr on that play? My oh my, what a game

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10-06-2003, 10:26 AM
  #12
mcphee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gros Bill
Didn't he steal the puck from the great Bobby Orr on that play? My oh my, what a game
I thought it was Orr but I wasn't sure. If there ever was a game that defined being a Habs fan for me it was that game. That and game 7 of the finals that year. Obviously the younger guys have similar thougts of 93 or even the Boston series of 02, but those are the 2 games that always stand out for me. The great team of the late 70's never seemed as dramatic, at least to me, probably because we expected the results we got. There were lots of great games and great stories but 71 was easily my favorite.

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10-06-2003, 10:37 AM
  #13
Gros Bill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
I thought it was Orr but I wasn't sure. If there ever was a game that defined being a Habs fan for me it was that game. That and game 7 of the finals that year. Obviously the younger guys have similar thougts of 93 or even the Boston series of 02, but those are the 2 games that always stand out for me. The great team of the late 70's never seemed as dramatic, at least to me, probably because we expected the results we got. There were lots of great games and great stories but 71 was easily my favorite.
I also have very fond memories of that year's Cup. I saw a game in the finals (VS Chicago), standing room tickets at the old Forum - that was something. Dryden got a standing O for an assist on a goal by Idunno Hoo.

Yeeeeehaaaaaw

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10-06-2003, 11:08 AM
  #14
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You know, I remember it happening, and Dryden standing there in his classic pose, more embarassed than anything else. no idea who scored or which game though. i remember thinking in game 7 that it was over when we were down 2-0. Figured it was a good run, but we were 1 game short. Then Tony Esposito blows one from center ice and Henri Richard takes over the third period. I have highlights of that game somewhere on some historical tape my brother gave me. I was surprised that Reggie Houle actually sent Richard in on one of the goals.I didn't really remember him from that team.

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10-06-2003, 08:17 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
... like his 500th goal, a nifty passing play with The Big M and Phil Roberto, ...
I do remember that 500 goal, I was watching it on tv, I was about 10 years old. I remember they did a special effect on tv: 500 was in big white letters, letters made of stars. It was a special effect at that time, maybe the first one I saw. And I was impressed !!!

Specials effect on TV today are quite different, a huge evolution but there is no more Béliveau today, well ...not at Montreal ...

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10-06-2003, 10:39 PM
  #16
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You're forgetting the Pocket Rocket. He was on both dynasty teams as well.

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10-06-2003, 11:14 PM
  #17
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I too am a Die Hard Habs Fan living in Western Canada even when Mr. Beliveau played hockey.

He was my Hockey Hero as a youngster and I remember crying when he was not playing due to injuries.

We would get games here on Wednesdays & Saturday.

Jean Beliveau is "CLASS ALL THE WAY".

I have met him twice in my life time and have his autograph twice.

He is the only autograph I have ever seek or will get.

Jean Beliveau to me was a "LEGEND" and my boyhood hero bar none.

Wishing the Habs could get another player that could even be 50% of BIG Jean.

Cheers,

 
Old
10-07-2003, 03:59 AM
  #18
mcphee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strummerman
You know there may have been one player who lived thru 2 dynasties and was another classy guy- Red Kelly who played on the Detroit dynasty and the Toronto dynasty, but I dont think he was as dominating as Big John
Coincidentally, Imlach acquired Kelly so that he could match a big center against Beliveau. Kelly was an all star defenseman with Detroit in the 50's and Imlach had the idea of converting him. He realized that he couldn't win without a big center to matchup against Montreal. Sounds like something we've discussed all summer. When Kelly turned into a strong offensive center that was gravy for Toronto.

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10-07-2003, 05:58 AM
  #19
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Beliveau is the classiest person I've ever seen. Helluva hockey player also....

He always had time for us. I can remember meeting him and shaking like a Leaf. He was definitely..."the Man".


He is the exact player that we need on todays team. Great big, huge dominating C.

I can't think of it right now but wasn't his 500th goal vs Cesare Maniago and the Minnesota North Stars?





BTW Red Kelly was a 4 time All-Star on D and a 4 time All-Star at C.

We could use him on todays team also!!!

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10-07-2003, 06:08 AM
  #20
mcphee
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I think that he scored on a young Gilles Gilbert. BTW, I got the capital L, good line.

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10-07-2003, 11:15 AM
  #21
mcphee
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I hadn't really thought of it in those terms but it makes sense. Detroit dominated as the Habs big line of Richard/Lach/Blake was 2 thirds ready to retire. The emergence of Beliveau,Geoffrion,Moore,Henri along with the Rocket's continued heroics dominated the last half of the 50's. The legendary performances are the Rocket's but the balance of 2 great scoring lines is what got them there. Imagine trying to match a center against Beliveau on one line and having the Rocket to worry about on the other. the Oilers only started to win Cups when they balanced out their second line.

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