MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens great Jean Beliveau, who suffered a stroke just under a month ago, has been released from hospital and appears to be on the mend.
Donald Beauchamp, a spokesman for the NHL team, said Beliveau was released from Montreal General Hospital on Friday. He was transferred to a rehabilitation centre.
“His condition is improving, it’s good news,” Beauchamp said Saturday.
The legendary centre suffered the stroke on the evening of Feb. 27.
Beliveau has had health problems before but has always bounced back. He had a mild stroke in January 2010 and was also treated for cardiac problems in 1996. A cancerous tumour was removed from his neck in 2000, and last year he underwent surgery to treat abdominal aneurysms.
The longtime fan favourite, who won 10 Stanley Cups as a player with the Habs, received an outpouring of support after news of the stroke surfaced.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper even sent him his best wishes.
On Saturday, fans rejoiced after it was revealed their hockey hero was recovering.
“Very happy to see that Jean Beliveau was released from hospital,” said one Twitter user who identified himself as Paul Balfour. “No player will ever win 10 Stanley Cups again.”
Another user, identified as Wayne Caissie, wrote: “Best wishes Jean. Still my hero.”
Beliveau’s career began with brief stints with the Habs over two seasons before he joined the team for good in 1953-54.
He had been such a coveted prospect that the Canadiens bought an entire league to gain his contractual rights. Even then, he managed to exceed expectations.
Beliveau retired in 1971 after playing his entire NHL career in Montreal.
He recorded 507 goals and 712 assists in 1,125 career games. He had 176 points (79-97) in the playoffs.
Beliveau also won the Cup seven more times as an executive with Montreal. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.