2015 Mock Draft 1.0

This is the first version of the 2015 NHL Mock Draft. There’s obviously some picks you disagree with me and that’s perfectly understandable. However, I want to know your point of view so make sure to let me know by commenting, telling us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog or tweet me @hkyblogger!

1. Buffalo Sabres – Connor McDavid
– Don’t think there’s any arguments on this one.

2. Edmonton Oilers – Jack Eichel
– Like I mentioned before,

Don’t think anyone would complain though if Jack Eichel turned out to be like Patrick Kane.

3. Arizona Coyotes -Noah Hanifin
– Cornerstone defenseman. Not much argument here. Could make an amazing pair with Ekman-Larsson

4. Carolina Hurricanes – Mitchell Marner
– Very quick hands. Needs to work a bit on his defense

5. Toronto Maple Leafs – Dylan Strome
– I’m more interested on which Strome will have a better career.

6. Columbus Blue Jackets – Lawson Crouse
– Nice power forward. Uses frame well. Columbus should not be disappointed to get a player like Crouse.

7. New Jersey Devils – Kyle Connor
– The top 6 were easy IMO. Now this is where it gets a bit harder. I know this is a major reach, but New Jersey loves it’s possession and Connor has top notch possession skills.

8. Philadelphia Flyers – Zach Werenski
– Will make a formidable pair with 2014 pick Sam Morin.

9. Dallas Stars – Matthew Barzal
10.Colorado Avalanche – Mikko Rantanen
11. Ottawa Senators – Ivan Provorov
12. Florida Panthers – Pavel Zacha
13. Winnipeg Jets – Thomas Chabot
– Great two player. Love his shot.

14. San Jose Sharks – Travis Konecky
15. Carolina Hurricanes – Timo Meier
16. Boston Bruins – Paul Bittner
– Love Paul Bittner’s game and size. Could be the steal of the draft

17. Vancouver Canucks – Brandon Carlo
18. Minnesota Wild – Oliver Kylington
– Really depends who you ask. Some people will tell you he’s a top 10 pick, but others will tell you he’s more top 20.

19. Calgary Flames – Jordan Greenway
20. Washington Capitals – Nick Merkley
21. Detroit Red Wings –  Daniel Sprong
22. Arizona Coyotes – Jansen Harkins
23. Edmonton Oilers – Jakub Zboril
24. Buffalo Sabres – Colin White
– Some fall here, but Sabres fans will be happy to pick up Colin White.

25. Philadelphia Flyers –  Evgeny Svechnikov
26. Toronto Maple Leafs – Jeremy Bracco
27. Montreal Canadiens – Jeremy Roy
28. Buffalo Sabres – Jacob Larsson
– After focusing on forwards, it’s a nice pick up and a nice focus on D.

29. Tampa Bay Lightning – Brock Boeser
30. Anaheim Ducks – Jake DeBrusk

Players to watch for:

– Denis Godla (G), highly doubt he gets drafted in the earlier rounds, but he was the U-20 best goalie. Fun player to watch.

– Ryan Pilon (D), he’ll get drafted in the 2nd round. Something about his all around game just makes me interested in him.


Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

Since the deadline is basically over when I’m writing this (2:58PM EST), I might as well start writing the Trade Deadline Winners and Losers. Most people write about which team won and what not, here’s my alternative view on who won and lost this trade deadline. Tell us how you think! Tell us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/notyouraveragehockeyblog on Twitter @hkyblogger or simply comment below!

Jeff Petry

Man oh man. Lucky Jeff Petry. He gets traded from the worst team in the league to one of the best. You really can’t complain here if you’re Jeff Petry.

Jordan Leopold’s family
Just read the letter.

TSN Twitter Box

Well uh… Not exactly what I’d call great for the network? Some poor intern is getting fired. It did bring everyone some giggles and laughs but probably not the smartest move and Lupul is definitely not happy.

Ouch. TMZ is bad enough already… Maybe just screen all the tweets next time?

Llamas in the TSN studio
Well what the f*ck was this.

It was during the empty period near lunch time and I guess TSN just had nothing to do. TSN’s not really having the greatest TradeCenter right now… A little bit of context. CNN had spent several hours the other day tracking some escaped Llamas. TSN tried to do the same thing and I have no words to explain what happened… All I know is that if this was in the States, PETA would lose their minds…

Fans everywhere
This deadline day was rather boring. No big trades. The only big trades happened at the wee hours of the night. All of the fans at who spent the entire days glued to the TV were surely disappointed. Cause I surely am.

Trade Deadline Live Post!

So with the deadline creeping Not Your Average Hockey Blog has its own live deadline show going on. Keep refreshing for real time updates!

1:30AM TBL trades Brett CONNOLLY to BOS for 2 2nd Rounders
Thoughts: Effectively takes them out of the Chris Stewart sweepstakes. Good trade for BOS. Gives them a young strong player for the future.

1:30AM PHI trades Braydon COBURN to TBL for 2015 1st Rounder, 3rd Rounder and Radko GUDAS.
Thoughts: PHI just robbed TBL. A deep draft, and an intimidating player? Shocking.

9:15AM Jeff PETRY traded from EDM to MTL for 2015 2nd Rounder and Conditional 3rd or 5th.
Thoughts: Wow. Rentals are pricey this year.

9:45AM FLA GM Dale Tallon doesn’t expect to make many trades today. Jimmy Hayes FLA WILL NOT be traded.

9:55AM Contrary to rumours. LAK Slava VOYNOV has not been traded PHI. Cannot be traded right now as he is suspended.

9:56AM Renaud of TVA reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to trade both Dion PHANEUF and Phil KESSEL.
Quick Thoughts: It’s going to be hard for Phaneuf if no money is retained. Kessel it will be hard to get fair value.
Update: John Shannon doesn’t believe that Phaneuf will be traded today.

10:04AM Marc Antoine Godin reports that MTL wants to trade PA PARENTEAU.
Quick Thoughts: It’s going to be hard. He’s been relegated to 4th line or healthy scratch status. Coming back from an injury it will be tough. But hey, Clarkson got traded so anyone can be traded.

10:17AM Petry was offered 4M for 4 years by EDM. He said no.
Quick Thoughts: Petry really wants to get out of there..

10:22AM Jim Nill has said that there’s a lot of hockey moves out there.

10:27AM Zbynek Michalek may have been traded to STL.

10:28AM Brian Lawton reports that BUF will trade Chris Stewart for a 4th and a conditional.
Quick Thoughts: No one wants him? Surprising. He does a bit of everything…

10:46AM MTL acquires Brian FLYNN from BUF for a 2016 5th Rounder.
Quick Thoughts: Not a big trade. BUF continues their stockpile, MTL gets a 4th liner.

10:55AM Michalek has been traded to STL like it was posted at 10:27AM.

11:47AM We’re still here. Nothing to report…

11:49AM Maxim LETUNOV is the prospect back to AZ for Michalek and conditional 3rd round pick.

12:30PM Something with WIDEMAN could possibly be going on…

12:56PM SJS trade Andrew DESJARDINS to CHI for Ben SMITH.
Quick Thoughts: FINALLY A TRADE. Not much to report here. Small move. Gives SJS a bit more grit.

1:06PM NJD acquires a conditional 2016 3rd Rd Pick from DET for Marek Zidlicky.
Quick Thoughts: Oh the dominos are falling. Condition is reported that if DET makes the Cup Finals it becomes a 2nd. Does this close the door on Phaneuf to DET?

1:19PM SJS trades Tyler KENNEDY to NYI for a conditional pick.

1:31PM COL acquires Freddie Hamilton from SJS for Karl STOLLERY

1:32PM PIT acquires Ian COLE from STL for Robert BORTUZZO.
Quick Thoughts: I love Bortuzzo. Good move for the future. PIT gets a good player right now. Some insurance for the future.

1:38PM DET is all done according to the Detroit Free Press. So Phaneuf to DET is a dead deal.

1:43PM NEUVRITH to NYI for JOHNSON and a conditional 3rd.
Quick Thoughts: Can we just give BUF all 211 picks?

2:07PM VAN acquires Corey CONACHER from NYI for Dustin JEFFREYS.
Quick Thoughts: Move along.

2:14PM NYI trade David LEGGIO to AZ.
Quick Thoughts: This is only important if Leggio tips the net in Arizona.

2:15PM CBJ trades Jordan LEOPOLD to MIN for Justin FALK and a 5th.
Quick Thoughts: Not worth much. MIN gets a nice 5 or 6D. Falk on a 1 year 2 way deal. Not bad.
UPDATE: Michael Russo says that Falk asked for a trade.

2:26PM TOR trades Olli Jokinen to STL for a late round pick
Quick Thoughts: Expected. Leafs had no use for Jokinen. It’s good to know the Leafs got something for him. STL get a nice piece for the long run. We had reported that the Leafs wanted a fifth for him. Price may have dropped due to the time.
UPDATE: Yup. Conditional 6th. The Leafs were hoping for a fifth as we reported, but a conditional 6th isn’t a bad return.
UPDATE 2: If Jokinen plays a role and the Blues made finals, it turns into a 4th.
Update 3: Leafs get Joakim Lidstrom as well.
Quick Thought #2: How do you define “plays a role”?

2:57PM MTL acquires Torrey MITCHELL from BUF.
Quick Thought: I bet it’s picks.

2:58PM BOS trades Jordan CARON.

3:00PM TRADE DEADLINE IS UP. But there are some trades waiting at NHL HQ.

3:00PM Chris STEWART has been traded.
Update 1: Pittsburgh has been floating around.
Update 2: It’s not Stewart.
Update 3: STEWART to MIN. I know it’s for picks.

3:02PM PIT has a trade for a D man.
Update 1: PIT re-acquires Ben LOVEJOY from ANA.
Update 2: PIT gives up DEPRES for LOVEJOY
Quick Thoughts: Uhm. Why. Just why did PIT do that?

3:12PM CAL may have traded Sven BAERTSCHI?
Update 1: Traded to Canucks.
Update 2: Traded for a 2nd Round pick?
Update 3: Apparently 2015 2nd Rounder.
Quick Thoughts: That’s a steal for the Canucks.

3:29PM Putting two and two together and starting to feel it’s COL giving up Max TALBOT to BOS for Jordan CARON.

3:36PM CBJ trades James WISNIEWSKI and a 3rd Rounder to ANA for a 2nd Rounder, William KARLSSON and Rene BOURQUE
Quick thoughts: BOOM BIG TRADE THERE.

4:02PM ANA trades Michael SGARBOSSA to COL for Mat CLARK

4:13PM Leafs may not be done.

4:21PM TOR trades Korbinian HOLZER to ANA for 5th Rounder and Eric BREWER.

4:59PM BOS trades friend of the site Jared KNIGHT to MIN for Zach PHILLIPS.

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Interview With Brett MacLean!

We recently caught up with Brett MacLean. He’s a former NHLer, AHLer, OHL leading scorer who was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2nd Round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. So you might ask, “Where is Brett now?”. Don’t you worry. We have you covered. However, we’re not going to tell you right now. Make sure to listen to our interview to find out what he’s been up to!

You can learn more about him on Twitter @mackattack_39. You can also find us on Twitter @hkyblogger and on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/notyouraveragehockeyblog. Make sure to share it with your friends if you liked it!

Who’s Going to Replace Carlyle? The Best Options Out There for The Maple Leafs

Better late than never, am I right? The Toronto Maple Leafs have finally fired Randy Carlyle; honestly a move that should’ve happened during this past summer. Now I have nothing against Carlyle himself, in the interviews I’ve seen, he genuinely seems like a nice guy. But the problem wasn’t Carlyle’s personality it was the lack of actions he took to make the team better. The reason that the firing came now is that management had finally found a trend with the Leafs under the control of Carlyle. The fact was that Carlyle’s leafs were a terrible defensive team, giving up 40+ shots a night and really using luck to get wins rather than just using skill. But this isn’t an article shaming Carlyle’s old teaching methods and how he didn’t react to huge defensive problems that were right in front of him. The rest of this article is going to be much more positive! I’ll try my best to analyze the top five picks of people to take the helm of the Toronto Maple Leafs (and all the pressure and controversy with it!)

  1. Dallas Eakins

The reason that Eakins is in the last spot is because right now he has little amount of credibility. Just being the most recent coach fired from the Oilers, not many teams are eager to pick him up. But the Leafs have a nice history with him and I think management can look past that one bad year. The problem in Edmonton wasn’t him. He just happened to be the easiest person to turn into the management’s scapegoat. The biggest factor is that Eakins already has experience with a lot of players on the Leafs’ bench. He coached Kadri, Gardiner, Reimer and less notably players like Matt Frattin and Korbinian Holzer in his days as the Marlies head coach. He can help develop these players even more and he does know how much leash he can give to each of these players. The only reason I have him on the last pick of this list is the blemish on his resume that is the Edmonton Oilers’ coaching gig. But for this reason I think he can come onto the team’s assistant coaching staff and work his way up the ladder that way. In fact I rather have him do it that way so he receives less heat. But onto the fourth and third pick.

4.) Paul MacLean and 3.)Peter DeBoer

The reason I grouped Peter DeBoer and Paul MacLean together is that they’re both coming from similar places. The only difference is that people remember MacLean’s firing better than they remember DeBoer. They both got fired because their eastern conference teams weren’t doing good enough and there had to be some kind of change. Of course, the coach is the easiest position to get rid of. I’m doing this list out of likeliness of the coach being hired. If I was doing this list by coaches that I think will do a good job with the Leafs these two would be behind Eakins. But in all likelihood either one of DeBoer or MacLean get the job because of their ‘playoff experience.’ DeBoer did make the Stanley Cup Finals recently and MacLean did help Ottawa string a few playoff wins. This playoff experience is pretty much what got Randy his job and look how his tenure went. In my eyes these two are going to have to prove a lot to keep the job for long. Most people would argue that the only reason that MacLean got his Jack Adams Award (for best coach in the NHL) is because of the extremely good play of goalie Craig Anderson that year. Now fast forward to now, Anderson has a couple of streaky seasons and MacLean doesn’t look like the genius he once was. DeBoer had an pretty good team when he and the Devils went to the finals. He also has taken a few terrible Devils teams and surprised me many times (take last year for example.) DeBoer has proven himself a few times as being able to make the most of the players he has (last season with the Devils for example.) That’s why I have him ahead of MacLean. Now onto my favorite coach out of all of them.

  1. Dale Hunter

Does this name sound familiar? Well it should if you’ve been watching the NHL for the past couple of season. Dale Hunter is the former head coach of the Washington Capitals. I was originally going to put him in the 4th or 3rd spot but I couldn’t find any reason why the others should be ahead of him other than lack of experience. That’s really the only problem, Hunter only coached in the NHL for a season. But his situation is unique, unlike everyone else on this list he left on his own terms after he made such a big impact to the Washington Capitals. Before Hunter took over the Capitals were just an offensive power house with a pitiful defense. The defense was so bad that when it came to playoff time they would get knocked out by either a goalie that went on a hot streak (Jaroslav Halak) or just a really good defensive team.

Now let me think, which team in the Atlantic division relies on their streak offense but has a laughable defensive structure. Well if you guessed the Toronto Maple Leafs then you would be right! I feel he would be able to develop the Leafs’ defensive game to make it better than in past years. The only problem is getting him here. Would Hunter give up the good life of coaching the OHL dynasty that is the London Knights to coach in Toronto? To go from a calm and winning environment to the hell that Toronto media would force upon him? Everything he does will be poked and picked a part to the very bone. We’ll see, maybe Hunter likes a challenge. Hunter is the type of coach that takes risks and action for the better of the team (like benching Ovechkin in the third period of a Game Four against the Boston Bruins and winning.) Hunter is my dream pick, the likelihood of him being the head coach are slim but I’m stating my case of why I want him to be the next head coach. Now on to our number one pick, not my favorite out of all of them but the most likely if the Leafs don’t wait for Mike Babcock.

  1. Dan Bylsma

Yes Bylsma is my number one pick, he has the most ‘playoff experience’ out of all the candidates I’ve mentioned (expect for Babcock of course.) He’s won a cup with the Penguins (which means nothing because Carlyle has also won a cup) and has made deep runs in the playoffs multiple times. He’s coached some of the best players in the world (Crosby, Malkin, Letang just to name a few) he has almost always finished at the top of the league standings. Now if he earned those stats or was it just the amount of sheer talent on those teams is up to debate. I’m pretty sure that having a team with Crosby and Malkin can coach itself but we’ll never really know the skill that Bylsma has until he takes on another team. Why is he a good fit for the Leafs? He’s not the perfect fit, he is the best option out there. Can he take an offensive reliant team like the Leafs and make their defensive game more reliable? Or can he at least develop the team to a point where they can hold a multi-goal lead and not going to a defensive shell. Bylsma is the safe pick and the most obvious one, he can bring the experience of coaching superstars and help develop younger players like Kadri and Gardiner.


Honorable Mentions

Those are all my likely picks but I want to have some fun now and entertain the thoughts of other coaches for the Leafs.

John Tortorella

I just smirk whenever I think of Tortz being the coach of the Maple Leafs. Him just cussing out the Toronto media because they let up a three goal lead. Just visualize it! I really hope that it doesn’t happen.

Mike Babcock

This could happen, I just don’t see it happening. Why would Babcock give up his legendary tenure with the Red Wings and tarnish it by coaching the Maple Leafs. Only way I see him ending up in Toronto is that he wants to end his career by conquering the biggest challenge of all. Ending the Leafs cup drought. It might happen at the end of the season when his contract runs out with the Red Wings.

Ron Wilson

I don’t know why, but I just think it would be fun to see this after what he said about Phil Kessel being ‘uncoachable’.

Anyways that’s all the coaches I can think of, the rest of the Leafs options rely on if said coaches’ teams release them (Adam Oates.) Or in my mind might not be able to handle the spot light and pressure that comes to coaching a hockey city. (Guy Boucher.) Hey maybe Toronto hires someone that I didn’t even think of, or maybe they hire someone that I didn’t take as a serious candidate (Jaques Martin or Brent Sutter.) But we’ll see, whoever they decide to go with I’m sure it’s going to be fun to watch. Thank you all for reading!

Why Was Benjamin Conz Never Signed?

It’s that time of the year folks. Yes it’s holiday season, and no matter what holiday you choose to celebrate, the entire team and Not Your Average Hockey Blog would like to wish you happy holidays. However, it’s also World Junior time! Before you ask, yes I’m doing my patriotic duty and cheering for Canada.

This time of the year is also the only time of the year where the name Benjamin Conz gets floated around. As a Canada fan, it’s hard to forget the 48 save game versus the Canadians. Don’t remember? Here are some highlights:

However, his game versus the Russians was the one the stuck out to me. Prior to the game, the Swiss were rightfully considered heavy underdogs, but Benjamin Conz stood on his head, stopping 50 of 52 shots for the win. Highlights from that game:

Honestly, that is where I thought he earned his IIHF Best Player Award for the tournament. However, I’m sidetracking. This post is where I question why he hasn’t been signed, and not where I reminisce about his prior play.

Why hasn’t he signed an NHL contract? Heck for that matter why hasn’t he signed a KHL contract? There are plenty of theories and I’m going to go on a disclaimer right here and start off by saying maybe he has been offered a contract but chose not to sign it? I have no clue, nor am I going to pretend to know. I’ve heard a few arguments over the years, and I am here to debunk as many of them as possible.

“The IIHF Best Player Award for goaltenders is meaningless.”
Since 1990, there have been only two goalies who have won the award that didn’t end up being drafted by an NHL team. The two players? Benjamin Conz in 2010 and Yevgeni Tarasov in 1995. Players such as Tukka Rask (2006), Carey Price (2007), Petr Mrazek (2012) have all won the award and are now either top goalies in the league or developing very good goalies. The IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships have always been a showcase of the best players from all over the world and to be crowned the best of the best, has always meant something and always will mean something.

“The NHL doesn’t scout the Swiss Leagues.”
It would be irresponsible for NHL scouts to not scout a certain area. Just because many draft picks don’t come from that area, it doesn’t mean NHL teams don’t scout that area. Also, does the name Roman Josi ring a bell? Guess where he was drafted from? The NLA; the same league Benjamin Conz currently plays in. I’m sure a team or two sent scouts to do due diligence, maybe they saw something they didn’t like?

“He wasn’t a good enough player back then, and isn’t a good enough player now either.”
In the NHL Central Scouting Bureau Final Rankings of 2009, he was ranked 8th. Who was near him? Anders Nilsson (5th), Joni Ortio (7th), Igor Bobkov (10th), Antti Raanta (11th). All these players have played in the NHL, so clearly he was a good enough player back then. He’s currently going through a bad season, but his last two seasons have been outstanding; having a sv% of .929 and .916. Now you might say those numbers are pedestrian-like, but he also has a GAA of 2.24 and 2.61 during that time, which looks much better in my opinion. Clearly he’s been a good goalie before, and has continued to be a strong performer. So what’s the issue?

“He’s too small to be a goalie in the NHL”
That’s the most common argument. “You have to be huge to play goalie in the NHL.” It’s true. The average goalie in the NHL is 6’2, and Benjamin Conz is 5’11 (everywhere but the Fribourg-Gottéron website)/6’1 (the Fribourg-Gottéron website). There are four goalies in the NHL who aren’t 6 feet are taller. So yes size does matter. However, unorthodox playing style and his deep position in net help compensate for his height issues.

So what does it all mean? Is he never going to be in an NHL uniform? Not necessarily. He’s only 23 years old. Goaltender Jonas Hiller was signed out of the NLA at age 25. However, Hiller had an opportunity to showcase his abilities playing in the Spengler Cup with HC Davos, while Conz won’t have that chance playing for Fribourg-Gottéron. He will need seasoning at the AHL level before he can debut in the NHL, so his window is still open at age 23, but it’s closing fast. If he cannot get a contract by age 25 or 26, I do not believe he will ever be able to get a contract in the NHL.

Disagree? Found this interesting? Make sure to comment below and share with your friends! Make sure to like us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog or follow me on Twitter @hkyblogger.

Things I found out about my hometown hero Jean Béliveau

I was 6 years-old the only time I saw Jean Béliveau in person. He had just retired from the game in 1971 and he was sitting comfortably in that blue convertible car, waving and saluting the legion of fans on Notre-Dame Street in Victoriaville, Quebec. That’s the name of the town where the man himself developed as a hockey player at the family house backyard ice surface. It’s also the town where I lived from the time I was 3 years-old until I turned 17. My dad, a huge Bruins fan all his life, had mentioned Bobby Orr a few times but I can honesty say that Jean Béliveau is the first French-Canadian hockey player I had ever heard of by the time I started Grade 2. Actually I didn’t even know there was a NHL. The city of Victoriaville’s only arena back then was bearing the name Jean Béliveau. That was the place where I learned how to skate at 4 and play in organized leagues at 6. On the weekends many friends, my brother and I would head to the Aréna Jean Béliveau to play and watch hockey games. Any game. Gilbert Perreault was also a hometown boy so hockey was very popular there. With time, way after I left, the city acquired a QMJHL team, demolished the old arena and rebuilt the Colisée Jean Béliveau known today as the Colisée Desjardins. There is a section in the Colisée named after him which is red, white and blue. Of course he was present at the official opening of the section.

Fans attending a junior game in Victoriaville last Saturday showed their appreciation for the local legend.

I never saw Jean Béliveau play from my own eyes. Not even on TV. I was too young when he retired. I had the chance at some point to catch up with his hockey career and what he accomplished. Since he passed away on December 2 I found out or was reminded of his greatness as a hockey player and as a man.  I gathered a few facts, stats, anecdotes and stories about the legendary #4 I meant to share with you:

  • He did not always wear the jersey #4 with the Canadiens. He wore the #17 and #20 for the only 2 games he played during the 1950-51 season. He also wore the #12 for 3 games played in 1952-53. He wore the #17 again for the first game of the season in 1953-54. The second game against Chicago on October 8, 1953, he wore the number 4 for the first time.
  • He never scored 50 goals in one single season.
  • After he scored 3 goals in 44 seconds during a power play on November 5, 1955, the NHL rule was changed the next season to allow the penalized player to return to play if a goal was scored against his team during the penalty.
  • Béliveau’s name appears on the Stanley Cup a record 17 times, 10 as a player and the other 7 as an executive. Only Henri Richard has won more Stanley Cup as a player with 11.
  • He still holds the record for the fastest Cup-winning goal from the start of the game in League history scoring 14 seconds into game 7 vs Chicago. A game that would end 4-0.
  • In 1961, he was elected captain by his peers. He wore the “C” for the next 10 years, which remains the longest tenure of any captain in club history.
  • He was the first player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for his performance in the 1965 Stanley Cup playoffs.
  • He is the first and only captain to win the Conn Smythe and score the game-winning goal in the same night.
  • After winning the Stanley Cup for a last NHL game in 1971, the Hockey Hall of Fame waived the usual 3-year waiting period and immediately inducted Béliveau in 1972.
  • He was known to sign autographs for as long as it took especially after games. His signature is classic and a recognizable one for any collector of hockey cards or memorabilias. When teammates would ask him why he cared so much his answer was that it was his duty.
  • When the Canadiens celebrated his 500th goal he refused a car or a cheque from the club. Instead the ”Jean Béliveau Foundation” was established and he was able to donate $155,855.00 to the start-up fund that night. The foundation is meant to help children in need. Its administration was assumed by him until a decade ago. He left clear instructions on how the funds should be used.


During the days that followed his death many stories were heard including some special and personal anecdotes from callers on radio shows:

  • One man from Kapuskasing, Ont. said that as kids him and his friend were in Montreal and decided to climb the fence to see if Jean Béliveau was at his house. They located him next to his pool wearing a swim trunk. Béliveau spotted them, offered them to come over and eventually signed a picture his wife took of the boys next to her husband.
  • A caller said he was shoveling snow as a boy in 1961 to bring extra money home for his family when he knocked at Jean Béliveau’s door and offered to shovel at his place for 2$. The hockey player agreed and ended up giving a 5$ bill. That same night, the man said his parents told him who was that tall man living in that house. He had not recognized the #4.
  • Another caller said that he fell off his bike about 20 years ago and as he tried to get back up he saw a hand. As he looked up to see who it was he saw Jean Béliveau standing. Béliveau offered to bring him at the hospital but the man said he would be fine. He brought him home and told the injured man he would send him a puck with his autograph as requested. Weeks later, the man received a thicker package than usual with the Montreal Canadiens logo on it.
  • Many people told stories about him visiting sick children unannounced during and after his career as player. He would show up at arenas to watch kids play and enter dressing rooms with the permission of coaches.
  • He was extremely popular with women of all ages who started to follow hockey because of him.
  • When the fans at Bell Centre started to show disrespect toward the American anthem years ago, the Canadiens had a tape played before the anthems one night. It was Jean Béliveau’s voice reminding all those attending to stand up, remove hats and caps and remain respectful throughout the singing of both anthems. That was the end of it.
  • He said prior to retirement that he would never play for another team.
  • Habs co-owner and CEO Geoff Molson – his two brothers Andrew and Justin are co-owners – said he was 4 when his father Eric introduced him to Jean Béliveau. Some thirty-five years later, Geoff asked Béliveau to be his special advisor when he took over the destiny of the Molson family who owns the team.
  • I could go on and on…

He was the greatest ambassador of the Montreal Canadiens throughout 7 decades. Especially the ones that followed his playing career. He is the one who came up with the idea to have a room where former players could go and meet before, during and after games. Former Habs Vincent Damphousse said that whenever Béliveau would enter the room it would become silent. as if royalty was walking in. He has his chair of course. Damphousse added that those who were present when Béliveau was there had to behave as gentlemen in the room. On Monday, Guy Lafleur addressed the media and was particularly touched by the death of his idol he met when he was 10. Lafleur said that he wore number 4 from the time he started to play in organized leagues until he was drafted by the Canadiens. The ”Flower” added that he tried to be as good an ambassador and model as Béliveau was but it was a tough act to follow. Lafleur, along with Serge Savard, will probably be the next French-Canadians and former Habs to receive a somewhat similar honor one day. Ken Dryden is another one that brings a lot of great memories here in Quebec. But Jean Béliveau is from another era. One that is definitely closing in with another legend Gordie Howe who will soon pass away. About Béliveau, a newspaper headline was titled ”Pope of Hockey Died” last week. Or the ”Gentle Giant”. The man who would make you feel like you are special according to many who met them. A modest man living in a simple house on the south shore of Montreal with a great view of the city he spent his whole career and most of his life. From the day of his death to the day of his funeral, the national tribute lasted 9 days. Fans of all ages were able to walk by his casket for two days at Bell Centre. It was the first time I ever listened to a funeral on radio. Repeats of his funeral are still on TV as I write this. I admit I shed a few tears when Ken Dryden spoke at the cathedral on Wednesday. I felt proud the legendary #4 was French-Canadian like me and that he lived during my time and sad that he will no longer be around.

Au revoir et merci Monsieur Béliveau!