Habs icon Jean Béliveau hospitalized

Jean Beliveau

Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau was hospitalized Monday after having suffered a stroke.

The brief Canadiens’ release:

MONTREAL (February 28, 2012) – The Montreal Canadiens announced today that Jean Béliveau suffered a stroke on Monday evening and was admitted to the hospital.

Now 80 years old, Mr. Béliveau is currently undergoing active investigation and treatments. As of today and for the duration of his convalescence Mr. Béliveau humbly asks everyone to respect his privacy and that of his family.

We’ll keep readers posted, and we’ll ask that you all keep Le Gros Bill in your thoughts and prayers.


  1. 24moreCups says:

    My heart goes out Mr. Béliveau, the definition of class. Hope he gets well soon.

  2. daveho29 says:

    I was only 6 his last year playing for the Habs, vaguely remember him playing.
    Get well soon Mr Béliveau.

  3. GrimJim says:

    Beliveau understood the fans’ passion but he also understood that there should be a limit to that fanaticism and that respect should be uppermost. He was usually the first person who would remind the fans of this when they were crossing a line, like boo-ing the American anthem. At this time and in this situation and thread, respect for the man should be paramount, not using this one thread for criticism of the team.
    Get well soon, Jean.

  4. Wayne says:

    Days like today, when hearing news like this lends real meaning and feeling of a heavy heart. I saw him play when I was young, played as him when I was at the “rink” at the park or schoolyard. It’s 2012 now and my young heart is sinking. Some of us ride the wave of time longer than others. I wish Jean’s was a frozen wave so he can skate it forever. Get well Mr. Béliveau…

  5. Habfan4lfe says:


    • Mattyleg says:

      (uh, just a note that perhaps a thread dedicated to the illness and hospitalization of a Habs legend and gentleman is not the place for trading insults…?)

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • kholdstare says:

        I pleaded to peoples better judgements and was told that this isnt a church. You are wasting your breath Matt, guys like this couldnt spell class let alone demonstrate it.

        • You got through to a lot of people. Be happy you did that. There will always be posters like the one above, but even someone like that can see the rest of us just don’t care about THIS team right now. It’s the TEAM that made us all Hab fans for life that we are thinking about now. And Jean Beliveau will always be the captain of THAT team.

    • Mr.Bell says:

      Choose a different thread to write down the same complaints that has been the trademark for this site over the past few seasons. We should be all wishing Mr. Beliveau a speedy recovery. Whether or not we have a solid management in place should be furthest from our minds.

      Once a Habs fan Always a Habs fan! GO HABS GO!

    • sprague cleghorn says:

      ‘the internet made hab fans dumber over 20 years”

      How true. Dumber and insensitive. So much so that they post the usual boring natterings on a thread about the illness of one of the very greatest Habs ever.

  6. TommyB says:

    Truly one of the all-time best players, and the ultimate gentleman, to ever lace up a pair of skates. When I was a kid of seven years old, and playing hockey on the ponds, and minor hockey every Saturday morning at the rink, I had two favorite players. One wore number 5 and the other wore number 4. I always tried to grab one of those numbers at the beginning of each year when I started to play, and on my own Canadiens sweater, purchased through Eaton’s catologue, my mom sewed on a number 5 for me. I used to carve the name “Boom Boom” on my sticks. I cannot think of one, without the other, when I remember those childhood days of mine. Boomer and Big Jean were my heroes. When they did a tribute to Boom Boom on the Bell Centre screen after his passing, I couldn’t control my tears. Get well, Jean. I don’t want to go through that again any time soon.

  7. 44har48 says:

    I’ve seen him many times at the rink, watched how all fans adore him, and how he carries himself with such class. I’ve read stories, but I’m too young and never got to see him play.

    To the older generation on here sharing stories, “thank you”, I appreciate you sharing and helping me to gain a better understanding of one of Hockey’s best ever.

  8. Ian Cobb says:

    I was washing players towels in the old ringer washing machine at the Forum when I first met him. He could not speak English and I could not speak French. But we read each others eyes, he was as kind a man then as today! They don’t make them like that, anymore!

  9. Bob_Sacamano says:

    I´m too young to have seen him live but watching him in his seat in the Bell Centre during games and reading stories about him always gives me a warm feeling. I hope he´ll be back in his seat next season and I wish him nothing but the best.

    • Without any exaggeration, the man you saw seated behind the bench was exactly the kind of player he was on the ice. Distinguished, almost cut from a different cloth. You never ever heard of a player on another team taking a run at him or giving him a cheap shot.

  10. anotherhab says:

    Such a class act. Get well Jean!
    Can’t help but think how hard this dreadful season has been on him and a lot of other Hab fans. Hopefully we can build through the draft starting in June.

  11. Psycho29 says:


    Sorry….but this really doesn’t belong here…..

    No class at all SD

    • kholdstare says:

      I agree this shouldnt be about today, this should be about a persons lifetime and joining in, in wishing him well.

    • kholdstare says:

      I took a rant down that was laced with profanity, and went against everything I asked for because it is the right thing to do, I am sorry SD, and Im sorry to saying it on Mr. Beliveau’s thread. It may not be a church but we can still have some dignity SD

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Wow, you really are dense!

      Wrong place, dude. Wrong place!

      Turn on the tank, the party’s over…

  12. kempie says:

    This man is, to me, my single most respected and loved hockey player that ever played. We need more like him. Get well soon Mr. Beliveau. See you at the game.

  13. kholdstare says:

    I am asking that this comment section be joke/idiot comment free. This could potientially be the worst thing to happen to the Habs, Montreal, Hockey and Canada in a very long time. The Habs could probably finish in last place and that wouldnt equal a fraction to what humanity could lose. I am praying that this is a minor setback to a man that has accomplished so much. We live in a time when few heroes exist, and to see one fall is disheartening to say the least. Professional athletes/role models like Mr. Beliveau are once in a lifetime privilege, so just send well wishes, and prayers and leave current silliness out of it please.

    • Psycho29 says:

      Agreed 100%……

    • To the people who weren’t around, or old enough, to remember what it was like to feel the deepst pride imaginable read some of these posts. He played at a time when few games were on TV, only a hadfull of journalists travelled with the team, and players were deeply ingrained in the community. My Father, God love him, always asks me if hockey was better when there were 6 teams. Not having been alive when the NHL was 6 teams, I really don’t know, but I always tell him the same thing. There may be better players today, but back then they were better men. It is so disheartening to be a Habs fan right now. But I will always be one.

    • sprague cleghorn says:

      Totally agree. It’s really disheartening to see the usual posturing and petty bickering, not to mention alleged jokes, filling up a thread that should be about one of the greatest Habs of all time, the living personification of all that was great about the team. Our thoughts and prayers are with Big Jean.

    • Ronin says:

      Hear hear! Get well soon. We shan’t see his like again…mores the pity.

  14. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Jean Beliveau. Nothing but class! I wish him all the best and a quick recovery.

  15. Danno says:

    Words cannot express what you mean to us.

    Our hearts are with you and your family as we pray for a full and speedy recovery.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  16. kholdstare says:

    I agree some of them should be deleted. It is inappropriate.

  17. mb says:

    Very sad news.

    I never had the chance to see him play, but every single story I’ve ever heard about him just shows how much of a great man he was, on and off the ice. I remember seeing him talking to Metropolit during the 2010 playoffs, such a treat.

    Get well soon, M. Béliveau.

  18. FlyingFrenchie says:

    Get Well very soon JEAN! We are all pulling for you!

  19. mount royal says:

    As a kid I used to go to the Sunday afternoon QSHL games at the Forum. Already Beliveau was a star with the Quebec Aces. I remember the antiicpation when he was to play his first game here. I watched in awe as, at one point, he stickhandled the puck back and forth in about a ten metre stretch in the corner, with three guys trying to take the puck off him It must have lasted 30 seconds, back and forth and then he broke free. The crowd roared in amazement.

    Gentleman Jean was no angel in his first 2-3 years with the Habs. . There were no protective goons in those days and every newcomer had to prove his mettle. He was heavily penalized for the first couple of years and more than held his own. So much so, that after that, he was left alone. Not a guy to mess with.

  20. montrealtilldeath says:

    Spoke to a friend who got an autograph from Beliveau recently. He thanked him and Beliveau said no “I Thank you”. He went on to say something to the effect that he had been given such a great privilege as a hockey player and a man and is so grateful to be a recipient of such adulation from the fans. He hung around talking and signing until every one there got something. What humility! What class!

  21. LA Loyalist says:

    Thank you Monsieur Beliveau! Get better soon!

    This is a misfortune, but to bear this worthily is good fortune. –
    Marcus Aurelius

  22. Sal says:

    I’m 58 years old. As a kid, whenever my buddies and I went outside to play pick up hockey, either road or pond, I always yelled out that I was Jean Beliveau! If someone beat me to it, I would go home. He IS the Habs to me.

    When I finnaly made a trip to Montreal and went for a tour of the Bell Center, when we entered the players lounge, where Mr. Beliveau’s couch sits, I was in awe. That couch is ONLY for Jean Beliveau….beautiful!!

    Get well soon, Jean, your couch awaits.

    Sal from the Hammer

  23. RGM says:

    Very sad news. I read it about this pretty much right when it was posted on the Habs website and it’s just totally taken the wind out of my sails. I’ve only ever met him once but he is everything they say he is.

    And what’s not to love about this: http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg16/RGM81/Signed%20Photos/IMG_3284.jpg

    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
    “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  24. TheDagger says:

    Says something about his character when the comments on this story on TSN are all unanimously in the +… even from the cretins. Get well soon Captain!

  25. Bripro says:

    Poor timing there dude!

  26. 44har48 says:

    This sobered me up in a hurry. All our issues with the current team (and a useless GM), mean nothing after hearing about this. My thoughts and prayers are with Jean and his entire family.

  27. Rainrocket16 says:

    You are in my family’s thoughts and Prayers! Get well soon Le Gros Bill!!

  28. Bill says:

    You should delete this; pretty cold to joke about it.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    I don’t think hockey has ever had a man more adorned, respected and loved by all than Jean Beliveau. I met some friends at lunch, all Leaf fans, they immediately asked if I had an update on how Mr. Beliveau was doing. This man transcended all that was and is great about hockey, and why still to this day children and adults yearn for hockey superstars to be their heroes.

    Prayers with Jean and the family. The example of Hockey Royalty.

    • Psycho29 says:

      I think going to lunch with Leaf fans could get you banned from this site. Unless you trick them into picking up the tab. 😉

      I would tell young fans who don’t understand how classy Big Jean is, to think of Brad Marchand……and go to the complete other end of the spectrum.

  30. L Elle says:

    They don’t make ’em like they used to. 🙁

  31. habs17 says:

    Never got to see him play, but heard great things about him, the ppl who got to see him play are very lucky

    President of the Scott Gomez Fan Club

    (I support Scott Gomez)

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Grace on the ice. Grace off the ice.

    • RonC says:

      I’ve been a Hab fan since 1957, while watching them in 1957 playoffs..when every one in the TV lounge I was in, was knocking them…& almost from that time on I was a Beliveau fan …& to this day, he’s been my favourite player. A stroke at 80 sounds serious…hope not. Never can duplicate that cast.

      Winnipeg Habsfan

  32. Chuck says:

    Number 4 on his back, number 1 in our hearts. Get well, Jean!

  33. Bripro says:

    Whenever they talk of Gros Bill, I remember his hoisting the cup with (so called small player) Cournoyer standing next to him, both with smiles from ear to ear.
    He has never said a bad word about anybody….ever.
    I said it before, and I’ll say it again. The greatest ambassador the NHL has ever had.
    Get well soon, Jean. Your seat in the third row is getting cold.

  34. habfan53 says:

    My only regret with M.Beliveau was when he turned down being Govenor General of Canada saying that “his family needed him more at this time”. Of course he was right his Family did need him more especially his 2 grandaughters but just think Canada
    could have been that much better too.
    Get well soon Gros Bill

    to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

  35. Lix says:

    The commiserating over this less than stellar season for our team means nothing in comparison to the concern for the health of one of the Canadien’s and hockey’s greatest gentlemen. Best of luck and wishes for a quick return to health to you Mr. Beliveau.

  36. Habfan10912 says:

    Thoughts and prayers go out to Mr.Beliveau for a quick recovery.

  37. aj says:

    An ambassador to the Team and the Organization next to the late Maurice Richard. Wish him well soon.

    • habfan53 says:

      I would not say next but maybe a step ahead. I never heard M.Beliveau criticize the organization like the Rocket or the Flower

      to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

  38. kholdstare says:

    yup, thats terrible.

  39. piter says:

    Really, really terrible news. With a man so loved by his friends, family, the City of Montreal, and the best fans in the world, I’m sure his health woes won’t keep him down for long. All the best in a speedy recovery.

  40. sprague cleghorn says:

    The thoughts and prayers of all Habs fans, all hockey fans, are with Big Jean.

    He is the living personification of this team and everything that is great about it.

  41. punkster says:

    You’ve been a fighter and a leader all your life. This is just another battle for you to win. Hang in there Mr. Beliveau.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  42. arcosenate says:

    That sucks, I think he’s a pretty strong guy though, I hope he regains his health. He was pretty damn good to me when I was a kid, brought my autograph book into the dressing room and made them all sign it. He’ll always be the Man to me.

  43. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …that’s ALL I need to put Me in a deeper Habcentric funk …get better Jean, We need You to hang around with Us at this time …God bless

    HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song: Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjObvIQtsLk&feature=related

    …the Montreal Canadiens organization and Our Fans, as a whole need to feel this current cold frigid splash of reality, …this process will, hopefully, give Us a long needed sense of humility, not humiliation …and help to revive and renew Our tattered culture of high hockey ideals, and ultimate success in the near future
    …ride the wave, is all We can do as Fans: …Ownership must make the right choices, persevere, and act not talk

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  44. habs17 says:

    really too bad, is health as been declining for a few years now, that’s part of getting old i guess, sad to see if this is it for a habs legend. Get well Jean we need to see you back at the rink

    President of the Scott Gomez Fan Club

    (I support Scott Gomez)

  45. joshua94k says:

    I will always remember the visual of Jean Beliveau speaking encouraging words to Glen Metropolit outside the Habs dressing room during the 2nd intermission of the 2010 play-offs in Game 4 against the penguins…

    His presence gave us additional support.

    Get well soon Mr. Beliveau

  46. RetroMikey says:

    Get well Mr. Beliveau!
    Our prayers are with you and your family and loved ones!

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  47. ogilthorpe says:

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery Mr. Beliveau…. When watching Habs games on TV it’s ALWAYS a highlight to see you in your seat at every game and walking through the Habs hallway, lending your encouragement and support to the current team…. Thank you for being the consummate gentleman that you are:):):)

  48. ZepFan2 says:

    Get well, Mr. Beliveau

    Turn on the tank, the party’s over…

  49. SmartDog says:

    I hope Big Jean recovers… a great man and one of the few symbols of class the Habs still have.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  50. MasterHab says:

    Just when you thought the news this season couldn’t get any worse, it gets worse.

  51. Never seen Jean play live and yet he’s my favourite Canadiens.

    There is no one in hockey like Jean Beliveau, he does it all!

    They Call Me Shane
    “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures

  52. 1973Habs says:

    Get well, Mr Beliveau!
    When I started really watching Hockey, he was the best player on the team. Still have his 1969 hockey card.

    The classiest man to ever play pro sports!.

  53. Cal says:

    Get well soon, Le Gros.

  54. Best wishes to probably the classiest Hab of all time. You made us, and make us, all proud.

  55. habsfaninboston says:

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Mr. Beliveau.

  56. montreal ace says:

    A real gentleman who holds a special place in my heart, get well soon Mr Beliveau

  57. Very saddened to hear about Jean.

    Younger Habs’ fans may not know, but Jean has had problems with his heart all his life. In 1953, at his first Canadiens training camp, an issue with an abnormality to his heart was first discovered and there was some concerns that a hockey career was not advisable. I wish I could state this with more authority and precision, but I think it had something to do with the size of his heart being on the small side for such a large man.

    We all know his story and legacy. In figurative terms, Jean had a huge heart. His hockey career was simply Act I of great life. Act II, as a humanitarian, may have surpassed the first act.

  58. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Get well soon Mr Beliveau.

  59. Propwash says:

    Get well soon Mr. Beliveau!!!

    Don’t let the wultures getcha.

  60. harpman says:

    Good luck Mr Beliveau and a speedy healthy recovery. You are the reason I have been a Habs fan since I was a kid. All the best!!

  61. Darksyde says:

    All the best to Mr. Beliveau and his family, you’re in my thoughts and prayers. Get well soon!

  62. kengib says:

    My first Habs Hero I have been a fan for almost 50 yrs,
    Get Well Jean!!

  63. AllHailTheFlower says:

    Terrible news indeed – my thoughts and prayers are with Monsieur Beliveau and his family.

  64. bel33 says:

    Only time I ever got to “meet” him… a game at the old Forum, my friend had scored corporate tickets that had us in Mr. Béliveau’s row. I was star struck to say the least.
    We were coming back from the 2nd intermission and we were late because my buddy needed to hit the washroom for the 3rd time, so when we went back to our seats the 3rd period had started.
    As we got to our row I said “I’m sorry to bother you Mr. Béliveau… may we get past?”. He just smiled and said “But of course… it happens a lot when you sit on the end of the row”. I smiled back, thanked him.. and we made our way down the row. As we sat down.. I promptly tore a strip off my buddy telling him we could never do that again and bother Mr. Béliveau like that! Ha!

    All the best and a quick recovery Mr. Béliveau!

  65. habfan53 says:

    My thoughts are with you M. Beliveau.
    I have been lucky enough to meet you several times from the time I was a youth in Rosemere to a golf tournament a few years ago outside Toronto. I told you that my favorite player was Henri Richard and you said that he was a good choice but why him and I answered that “you were my DADS” You started laughing and said you understood.
    Get well soon

    to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

    • Psycho29 says:

      I don’t know if I’ve known there to be a classier person than Jean Beliveau. As mentioned in my profile, my Dad worked closely with Jean at Molson’s, and after my Dad retired, he didn’t see Jean very often. My Dad passed away in 1995, and Mr.Beliveau showed up at the funeral.
      In 1970 Jean came to my sister’s wedding in Ste. Rose….I still have a picture of me staring in awe at him….

      • habfan53 says:

        I know what you are saying. When I saw him a few years ago I asked if he would mind signing a picture of him and the “Rocket” who was also there, he signed it in a second . I also had Dennis Hulls book as he was there with Bobby when I asked Bobby to sign the book he refused.
        Two superstars only one with class

        to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

        • Psycho29 says:

          My Dad retired in 1973!
          And Jean shows up 22 years later at his funeral….we were amazed….

          There’s a book out called “The Devil and Bobby Hull”….I’ve glanced through it, and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

  66. Psycho29 says:

    My boyhood hero…..Now I’m 53, and he’s still my hero.
    Get well soon Big Jean…….

  67. Newf_Habster says:

    I pray for your recovery, Jean!

  68. SkyKing says:

    My late father and mother both idolized Le Gros Bill… how could he not be my favourite Hab of all time? I have had the pleasure of meeting Msr. Beliveau several times and he always has and always will be the classiest of the classy… Get well soon Msr. Beliveau you are loved by many

  69. RedLight says:

    The man who defines Les Glorieux, his picture stands beside ‘gentleman’ in the dictionary. I’ll be doing a lot of page refreshing here today, thoughts are with him and his family.

    • kholdstare says:

      Im not sure anyone is bigger than the team, definitely no one is bigger than the game but if someone ever came close he did. I just wanted to add that his picture is also beside the word “class” in the dicitionary.

  70. DorvalTony says:

    God bless Le Gros Bill!

    “Okay everybody take a Valium.” – Rene Levesque

  71. javaman says:

    My immediate reaction was ahhhhh, so sad. Get well Gros Bill.

  72. Sami says:

    Sad news, hoping for the best.

  73. mchenske4 says:

    Hoping for the best for Mr Beliveau… my favorite Hab of all time

    • mchenske4 says:

      I brought my son (who was around 4 yrs) to meet him when he came to town. He signed, chatted and was very friendly
      Has there ever been another NHL player who personified “class” the way he does?

  74. kholdstare says:

    Failed season pales in comparison to this great man fighting for his life. The worst news I have heard this season by far. Thoughts, prayers and love to you and your family, speedy recovery Mr. Beliveau.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.