Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Guy Lafleur Board Certified Card

Guy Lafleur is a very opinionated man - always was, always will be, but that's exactly why journalists and members of the public keep asking him questions; we know he'll provide a quip that will reflect exactly how he feels at that moment, the truth as he sees it, with no sugarcoating. He was at it again, calling the San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton's and Brent Burns' playoff beards "a disgrace to hockey", saying P.K. Subban should be on Ritalin (and adding Yvan Cournoyer said back in their day, he'd have gotten smacked with a stick), reiterating that Brendan Gallagher is the heart of the Montréal Canadiens but changing his stance on captain Max Pacioretty from a couple of seasons ago, saying he can be the best player on the ice "when he feels like it", as opposed to when he called him a choker in the past.

Of course, the main reason why he gets away with it is because he was arguably the best forward of the 1970s - the Habs' career leader for assists (728) and points (1246, one of just three to reach the millennial mark with the team with Jean Béliveau and Henri Richard), and the second in goals with 518, behind only Maurice "The Rocket" Richard. Oh, and he has five Stanley Cups with the team he grew up dreaming of playing for, so he knows a thing or two about the team's legacy and fans' expectations.

His six 50-goal seasons are also a team record; Stéphane Richer holds second place with two, and four others have had one such season: The Rocket being the first NHLer to do so, Bernard "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, Steve Shutt and Pierre Larouche being the others.

He shares the team record of most goals in a single season with Shutt (60), and holds the single-season team points record (136, in 1976-77). It was also that season that he set the team consecutive point streak record by having his name on the score sheet for 28 straight games.

So, yeah, Lafleur could hockey pretty well.

Because of that, many sets still include him in the modern era even though he retired following the 1990-91 season - often with special edition cards.

Here's one from Fleer/Skybox's 2001-02 Greats Of The Game set and Board Certified sub-set:
With the Joe Louis Arena closing in a couple of years, this piece of memorabilia will be even more rare. And Lafleur looks so natural in the Habs' classic red uniform.

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