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Canadiens legend Lafleur signs long-term deal to stay as team ambassador

MONTREAL - Guy Lafleur is staying on as an ''ambassador'' for the Montreal Canadiens.

A team spokesman said Thursday that the club's all-time scoring leader has inked a new long-term deal to remain one of the Canadiens' five public relations ''ambassadors,'' along with Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Yvan Cournoyer and Rejean Houle, who all renewed their contracts earlier this year.

Of the five, Lafleur has always been the most outspoken, sometimes criticizing the team for poor play or bad decisions. A few years ago when the Canadiens were struggling to score goals, Lafleur caused a stir when he said that instead of having first and second lines they had ''four fourth lines.''

He was especially controversial when he had a weekly newspaper column which he has since dropped.

A more recent controversy had Lafleur charged last year for obstruction of justice for helping his son Mark, charged with sexual assault, to break a court-imposed curfew. Lafleur was given a one-year suspended sentence and a fine, but the sentence was overturned in an appeals court on Aug. 17.

The 59-year-old is to kick off a seven-city farewell tour of Quebec on Oct. 29 that he says will be his last old-timers games.

Lafleur put up 518 goals and 728 assists and won five Stanley Cup in 14 seasons with the Canadiens, who drafted him first overall in 1971. He later played for the New York Rangers and Quebec Nordiques.

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