Béliveau to have surgery


The Canadiens announced Friday that one of the team’s greatest players, Hall of Famer and team ambassador Jean Béliveau, will have a surgical procedure next week to repair abdominal aneurysms. The 79-year old former Canadiens captain, who successfully battled cancer in 2000 and has dealt with heart ailments in the past, is expected to need a few months to fully recover.

Here is the release from the team:

The Montreal Canadiens announced Friday that longtime Canadiens legend and current Team Ambassador Jean Béliveau is scheduled to undergo a preventive surgical procedure next week to repair abdominal aneurysms. The procedure known as endovascular surgery will be performed using the most recent techniques which are minimally invasive.

Mr. Béliveau, whose general state of health is very good, will need a few months to fully recover from the surgical intervention. As of today and for the duration of his convalescence Mr. Béliveau humbly asks for everyone to respect his privacy and that of his family.

“We are pleased that Mr. Béliveau is under the good care of Head Team Physician David Mulder. On behalf of all of our fans, players and the entire Montreal Canadiens family, I would like to wish Mr. Béliveau a prompt and complete recovery”, stated Canadiens team owner and CEO Geoff Molson.

Béliveau played on 10 Stanley Cup champions with the Habs. As an executive with the Canadiens, his name appears on the Stanley Cup 7 more times, and the 17 times his name has been engraved on the Cup is more than any other individual.

In 1965, he was the first player awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as Stanley Cup playoff’s most valuable player and here’s video of the Canadiens winning the Cup that year and the presentation of the Cup and the trophy to Béliveau.

Béliveau retired in 1971 as the Canadiens all-time scoring leader with 507 goals and 712 assists for 1,219 points.  He was second all-time in goals after Maurice Richard’s 544 and was the NHL’s all-time leading playoff scorer with 79 goals and 97 assists for 176 points in 162 playoff games.

His jersey number Number 4  was retired on October 9, 1971. In 1972, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He is now the second all-time leading scorer in Canadiens history, behind Guy Lafleur. Only Henri Richard (1256 games) and Larry Robinson (1202 games) played more regular season games for the Habs than Beliveau’s 1,125.

He has also been active throughout his life doing charitable work through the Jean Béliveau Foundation, established in 1971. In 1993, he transferred the foundation to the Society for Disabled Children.

In addition to his magnificent hockey career, Béliveau has received numerous honours and awards including several honourary doctorates from Canadian universities, plus the Loyola Medal in 1995. He was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec in 1988 and promoted to Officer in 2006. He was appointed as a Grand Officer in 2010.

On May 6, 1998 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian award. In 2001, his name was added to Canada’s Walk of Fame, the same year he was honoured with his portrait on a Canadian postage stamp. In August 2008, the Canadian Pacific Railway named a station in his honour. McGill University gave Béliveau an honourary Doctor of Laws degree in 2006.

On June 29, 2009, he was named an honourary Team Canada member and honourary captain of Canada’s 2010 Men’s Olympic Hockey Team, which won the gold medal in Vancouver.

Here’s the segment on Béliveau from the TV series “Greatest Hockey Legends.”


  1. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …there is a Habs’ Fan out here in Lotusland to whom You have provided many indelible memories …Your continuing presence around My Team is essential Jean …My respect and and sincere best wishes

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  2. Tony McLean says:

    Sorry to hear of another challenge for Mr. Beliveau but I know Le Gros Bill is up to it! One captain, forever THE captain.

    “Little Myth Koivu.”

  3. RabidHabsFan says:

    Le Gros Bill the classiest player to ever play the game, I see him every once in a while on the street near the Bell Center and he always has time to stop and talk. Get well soon we are all hoping for a speedy recovery, we expect to see you opening night in your usual seat behind the bench. =D

    “It was impressive. I know Canadiens fans are diehard, but to show up in the numbers that they did and how much noise they made, it was weird. – Martin Brodeur

  4. issie74 says:


    Best Wishes for a speedy recovery Jean Beliveau!!!

  5. nek25plus says:

    Be well Mr. Beliveau…our wishes for a speedy recovery!

    We need you in the stands for the celebration of our next Stanley Cup!

  6. issie74 says:


    You … are still the one,Captain Jean Beliveau.

    Best Wishes for a speedy recovery.

  7. habstrinifan says:

    Best wishes to Monsieur Beliveau.

  8. HabinBurlington says:

    Best wishes to the man who is the gold standard of being a “PRO”.

    Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  9. G-Man says:

    Best wishes to the greatest Canadien ever.

  10. habfab14120 says:

    Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery to the classiest man in (or out of) hockey.

  11. A. Berke says:

    My Best wishes and a speedy recovery to Mr. Beliveau.

    Ali B.

  12. Peter Young says:

    All the best to Jean Beliveau for a successful operation and a speedy and painless recovery.

    Does anyone know why there are quotation marks around “Canadiens” in the inscription on the Conn Smythe Trophy? Are there quotation marks around the names of other teams whose players won the award, like, for example, Boston “Bruins” and Toronto “Maple Leafs”?

    • D Mex says:

      Interesting find …

      I haven’t seen the inscription you refer to, but am guessing that, because the team name is also the proper noun which applies to citizens of Canada, this might be the reason (?)

      In other words, not simply (a group of) Canadians from Montréal, but les Canadiens de Montréal, or, the Montreal “Canadiens” …

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  13. SeriousFan09 says:

    Best wishes to Mr. Beliveau.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  14. Neutral says:

    All the best for the best Mr. Beliveau.

  15. JohnBellyful says:

    Best regards and a speedy recovery, Mr. Beliveau. Your play and deportment made me a lifetime fan of the Canadiens and of you, in particular.

  16. Mike D says:

    Best wishes to you, Mr. Beliveau, and here’s hoping for a successful surgery and speedy recovery.

    True leader, class act, and one of the greatest legends to ever grace the ice and wear the CH. I hope to see you in your usual seats at the Centre Bell this October.

    – Honestly yours

  17. Dave Stubbs says:

    Great post by my colleague, Stu Hackel. The video is wonderful. The engraved plaque, by the way, is from the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to Le Gros Bill the first time the prize was presented.

    Dave Stubbs

    Hockey Inside/Out
    Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
    • On Twitter: twitter.com/habsinsideout1
    • Email: dstubbs@montrealgazette.com

  18. mike3131 says:

    Get well soon M. Beliveau!

  19. 24moreCups says:

    I Wish him all the best, hope he has a great recovery. He’s a idol of mine, nothing but class!

  20. GrimJim says:

    Good luck Jean. I hope surgery goes well. You are still my mother’s favourite player.

    Off topic but Winnipeg No-Names season ticket drive reaches half-way to their target. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2011/06/03/sp-winnipeg-ticket.html

  21. Keith says:

    My mother-in-law had the same surgery in January. Very routine, but there are always risks with any kind of surgery, but I’m positive that Mr. Beliveau will pull through it just fine. Best of luck and a speedy recovery Le Gros Bill!!!

  22. Lix says:

    The best of wishes to a legendary leader of men. Class personified.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.