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Hockey Legend Jean Béliveau Dies At 83

VIDEO: Hockey world mourns a legend Jean Beliveau, one of the greatest players to ever skate for the Montreal Canadiens, has died at the age of 83.

MONTREAL - Joseph Jean Arthur Béliveau was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who played parts of 20 seasons with the National Hockey League's Montreal Canadiens.

Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau passed away at the age of 83 on Tuesday night, the team announced. He earned the nickname Le Gros Bill​.

But both on and off the ice, Béliveau was better known for his skill, sportsmanship and a gentlemanly air that very nearly made him Canada's Governor General in 1994.

At the time, his recurring heart problems and concern for his recently widowed daughter and her small children kept him from accepting the offer.

"Like millions of hockey fans who followed the life and the career of Jean Beliveau, the Canadiens today mourn the passing of a man whose contribution to the development of our sport and our society was unmeasurable," team owner Geoff Molson said in a statement posted on the Canadiens' website.

"Jean Beliveau was a great leader, a gentleman and arguably the greatest ambassador our game has ever known," Molson added.

One of the finest centres who ever played, Béliveau helped lead the Montreal Canadiens to an unprecedented five straight Stanley Cups during the 1950s and 1960s - 10 in all over a nearly 20-year career.

"I always enjoyed the playoffs," Béliveau said. "I enjoyed playing in it. Everybody, not only the players, but management, the fans, maybe the press, everybody is so much more nervous. So I enjoyed every game."​

When he retired in 1971, he joined the Canadiens' front office as an executive and goodwill ambassador. As a result, his name appears on the Stanley Cup a record 17 times, a feat unlikely to be duplicated. ... Read more at CBC Sport News

Biography of Jean Béliveau - Wikipedia
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