A tragic loss for the hockey world.
On Friday morning, the Montreal Canadiens shared the horrible news that franchise legend and Hockey Hall of Fame member Guy Lafleur has passed away at age 70.
Lafleur was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2019.
Lafleur was one of the first true superstars to emerge in the sport of hockey. His trademark flash, both on the ice and off of it, became appointment viewing for a legion of young fans, with Lafleur establishing himself as one of the most beloved players in both Canadiens and NHL history.
The Quebec native suited up in 1,126 games over his 17-year NHL career, including 14 spent with the Canadiens, winning five Stanley Cups and racking up a remarkable 560 goals and 793 assists for 1,353 points.
Lafleur also won two Hart Trophies as one of the league's best players, along with three Art Ross Trophies, three Lester Pearson Awards, one Conne Smythe, and was selected as a first-team All-Star on six occasions.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Guy Lafleur," said Geoff Molson, president of the Montreal Canadiens, in a statement on Friday morning.
"All members of the Canadiens organization are devastated by his passing. Guy Lafleur had an exceptional career and always remained simple, accessible, and close to the Habs and hockey fans in Quebec, Canada, and around the world."
Lafleur was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988, but became one of just two players at the time, Gordie Howe being the other, to resume his playing career following his induction. He signed with the New York Rangers that off=season and proceeded to finish with 18 goals and 45 points in 67 games at the age of 37.
The Canadiens memorialized Lafleur in 2008 by erecting a bronze statue of the man dubbed "The Flower" outside of the Bell Centre. That statue now holds even more significance after today's tragic news.