There never was and never will be another hockey player like Jean Beliveau. He played on 10 Montreal Canadiens' Stanley-Cup winning teams and captained five of them. He was the greatest captain of the most successful sports franchise in history. At the time of his retirement after the 1970-71 season, Beliveau was the Canadiens' all-time leading scorer and the NHL's all-time leading playoff scorer.
He was the winner of the first Conn Smythe Trophy in 1965 and concluded his career with a Stanley Cup in 1971 when he had 22 points in 20 playoff games at age 40. He was twice named the winner of the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player. He led the League in scoring in 1955-56 and was runner-up three times, including once to his linemate, Bernie Geoffrion. He led the NHL in goals twice and assists twice.
Beliveau was a strong and nimble skater, able to make remarkable changes of direction at top speed. Despite his size (6'3", 215 pounds), he had quick feet in tight places. On the rush, he had long, graceful strides that gobbled up ice. He had a powerful shot, but was equally adept at going top-shelf or five-hole. He scored many times with opponents draped over him.
Beliveau scored 507 goals and added 712 assists for 1,219 points in 1,125 NHL regular-season games, a 1.08 points-per-game average. He was just as good in the playoffs, scoring 70 goals and adding 97 assists for 176 points in 162 games, again a 1.08 points-per game average.
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- My Life in Hockey Book by Jean Béliveau
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