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"Rarely has the career of an athlete been so exemplary. By his courage, his sense of discipline and honour, his lively intelligence and finesse, his magnificent team spirit, Beliveau has given new prestige to hockey."

-- P.E. Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, at Jean Beliveau Night, March 24, 1971, in the Montreal Forum.

Born August 31, 1931, at Trois Rivieres, Quebec, Jean Beliveau was to become a living legend, epitomizing all the qualities that every parent hopes to see in their offspring -- whether hockey player or not. "Le Gros Bil," as he became known because of his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame, scored 507 goals during his 18 full seasons in the NHL. But he was of a character that would have made him great and won him respect anywhere, even if he had scored half that many goals.

When he retired, Beliveau was named to an executive position with his Montreal Canadiens and was designated official spokesman for the organization. This was an acknowledgement of a capacity he had been filling for a number of years, if not by words, then by actions. He joined the Canadiens as a pro in the 1953-54 season -- he played five NHL games as an amateur up from the Quebec Aces in two previous seasons -- and from the outset was a team leader, although he did not officially become team captain until 1961. During his 18 years playing for Montreal, the Canadiens made the playoffs 17 times, 16 of those consecutively.

Beliveau's highest single goalscoring season was 1955-56 when he not only won the Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion with 47 goals and 41 assists but also won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player. Three seasons later he had a 45 goal effort. In 1963-64 Beliveau was again voted winner of the Hart Trophy, and the following season he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In his final season, 1970-71, Jean collected 16 playoff assists.

When Beliveau signed with the Canadiens he received a five-year, $105,000 contract, plus bonuses -- a fantastic figure for that era, and it made him the game's most publicized rookie of that time. (His notoriety was enhanced by the fact that Montreal had purchased the entire Quebec Senior League in order to make Beliveau a member of their team). When Beliveau retired, the normally sport-hardened media gave him a sustained standing ovation.

Statistically, in addition to his 507 regular season goals, Beliveau added 712 assists and had 79 goals and 97 assists in 162 playoff games, and played on 10 Stanley Cup championship teams. Including playoffs, Beliveau appeared in a total of 1,287 NHL games. He was named six times to the NHL's first All-Star team and four times to the second. He also scored 25 or more goals in 12 seasons, had 80 game-winning goals, three four-goal games and 18 three-goal games during his brilliant career.

JEAN BÉLIVEAU

Né à Trois-Rivières le 31 août 1931, Jean Béliveau fit ses débuts dans le hockey organisé en 1948 à Victoriaville. En 1949 et 1950, il s'aligne avec les Citadelles de Québec de la Ligue Junior du Québec. Il évolue ensuite comme Senior avec les As de Québec en 1951 et 1952 et il fait le saut à la Ligue nationale quand il signe son premier contrat avec le Canadien le 3 octobre 1953.

Il fut en vedette avec le Tricolore et chez les professionnels majeurs (LNH) durant dix-huit saisons dont dix comme capitaine. Il a été membre d'un club d'Étoiles de la Nationale à dix reprises: deuxième meilleur pointeur de l'histoire du Canadien (507 buts et 712 assistances pour 1219 points); deuxième meilleur compteur des Séries de la coupe Stanley (79 buts et 97 assistances pour 176 points); a remporté le trophée Hart (joueur le plus utile à son équipe) en 1955-56 et 1963-64; le trophée Art Ross (meilleur compteur) en 1955-56 et fut le premier joueur à remporter le trophée Conn Smythe (joueur par excellence dans les Séries en 1964-65); a conduit le Canadien à dix conquêtes de la coupe Stanley et à dix championnats de Ligue; a pris sa retraite le 9 juin 1971 après dix-huit saisons glorieuses avec le Bleu Blanc Rouge où il a réussi une multitude d'exploits.

Il a toujours été un modèle et une inspiration constante pour les jeunes désirant se tailler une carrière dans les sports. Lors d'une grande fête au Forum de Montréal le 24 mars 1971, il a créé le Fonds Jean Béliveau qui servira uniquement, et de façon tangible, à venir en aide aux organismes ou associations qui se consacrent au bien-être des jeunes déshérités du Québec et du Canada entier.

Vice-président senior (affaires sociales) du Club de Hockey Canadien Inc. et président de Jean Béliveau Inc., Monsieur Béliveau est aussi membre du conseil d'administration de Acier Leroux lnc., Carena Bancorp Inc., Dominion Textile Limited, International Group, les Compagnies Molson, la Compagnie Trust Royal, Canadian Reassurance et Royal LePage.

Parmi les distinctions honorifiques qu'il a reçues, mentionnons qu'il est Officier de l'Ordre du Canada, qu'il détient un doctorat honorifique en éducation physique de l'Université de Moncton, N.B. Il a été nommé au Temple de la Renommée du Hockey en 1972 et «Grand Montréalais» en 1986.

Regular Season
Postseason
Year
Team
League
Games
Goals
Assists
Points
PIMs
+/-
Games
Goals
Assists
Points
PIMs
1946-47
Victoriaville Panthers
Inter-Sr.
---
47
21
68
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
1947-48
Victoriaville Tigers
QJHL
42
46
21
67
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
1948-49
Victoriaville Tigers
QJHL
42
48
27
75
54
---
4
4
2
6
2
1949-50
Quebec Citadelle
QJHL
35
36
44
80
47
---
14
22
9
31
15
1950-51
Quebec Citadelle
QJHL
46
61
63
124
120
---
22
23
31
54
76
1950-51
Quebec Aces
QSHL
1
2
1
3
0
---
---
---
---
---
---
1950-51
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
2
1
1
2
0
---
---
---
---
---
---
1951-52
Quebec Aces
QSHL
59
45
38
83
88
---
15
14
10
24
14
1952-53
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
3
5
0
5
0
---
---
---
---
---
---
1952-53
Quebec Aces
QSHL
57
50
39
89
59
---
19
14
15
29
25
1953-54
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
44
13
21
34
22
---
10
2
8
10
4
1954-55
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
70
37
36
73
58
---
12
6
7
13
18
1955-56
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
70
47
41
88
143
---
10
12
7
19
22
1956-57
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
69
33
51
84
105
---
10
6
6
12
15
1957-58
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
55
27
32
59
93
---
10
4
8
12
10
1958-59
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
64
45
46
91
67
---
3
1
4
5
4
1959-60
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
60
34
40
74
57
---
8
5
2
7
6
1960-61
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
69
32
58
90
57
---
6
0
5
5
0
1961-62
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
43
18
23
41
36
---
6
2
1
3
4
1962-63
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
69
18
49
67
68
---
5
2
1
3
2
1963-64
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
68
28
50
78
42
---
5
2
0
2
18
1964-65
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
58
20
23
43
76
---
13
8
8
16
34
1965-66
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
67
29
48
77
50
---
10
5
5
10
6
1966-67
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
53
12
26
38
22
---
10
6
5
11
26
1967-68
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
59
31
37
68
28
+27
10
7
4
11
6
1968-69
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
69
33
49
82
55
+15
14
5
10
15
8
1969-70
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
63
19
30
49
10
+1
---
---
---
---
---
1970-71
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
70
25
51
76
40
+24
20
6
16
22
28
NHL TOTALS
1125
507
712
1219
1029
---
162
79
97
176
211

http://www.joyofhockey.com/xRet1JeanBeliveau.html http://www.tv.cbc.ca/lifeandtimes/bio2000/beliveau.htm http://www.hockeysandwich.com/beliveau.html http://www.cyberpresse.ca/reseau/actualites/0110/act_101100023939.html http://www.canadaswalkoffame.com/inductees/01_jean_beliveau.html

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