Canadiens great Jean Béliveau in his Forum dressing-room following a 1960s hat trick. He’s borrowed Toe Blake’s fedora for the photo.
David Bier Studios, Gazette files
Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau continues to make encouraging progress at Montreal General Hospital following a stroke he suffered at home last Monday evening.
Élise Béliveau, the wife of the 80-year-old Hall of Famer, said Monday morning that “we’re keeping our fingers crossed” as doctors express happiness with the recovery of the former Canadiens captain.
“He slept like a log all day (Sunday),” said Élise Béliveau, whose husband is expected to begin speech and physical therapy as early as Monday. “He’s getting some of the rest he didn’t get the past week.”
She added that Canadiens chief surgeon David Mulder was very pleased with Béliveau’s condition during a weekend visit.
And if there were any doubts as to the sharpness of Béliveau’s mind, those were erased Sunday when his daughter, Hélène, asked her father about the whereabouts of a file at home and he immediately directed her to it on a shelf in his home office.
For now, Béliveau is seeing just family. But Habs Hall of Famer and former teammate Dickie Moore, a dear friend, has dropped in a couple times.
“Compared to the first time I saw Jean (last week), my visit Sunday was like night and day,” said Moore, who’s as much a brother to Béliveau as he is a friend.
“He looks very, very good. It’s unbelievable.”
Cards and letters wishing Béliveau well continue to arrive at the couple’s home and at Canadiens offices. Many more are being sent online, those to be forwarded to the Habs great in due course.
While the family profoundly appreciates the outpouring of concern and affection being expressed from literally around the world, they ask that their privacy be respected as Béliveau continues on the road to recovery.
• Go here to send your get-well wishes to Jean Béliveau online.