Guy Lafleur Had Excellent Sideburns

From Canadian Magazine, Sept. 11, 1971. Guy Lafleur talks about how he doesn’t have time for a relationship because of hockey, and how he idolizes Jean Beliveau. Lafleur had been an unequalled star since a young boy and the hockey world was eagerly awaiting his NHL debut. He was Wayne Gretzky before Wayne Gretzky.

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19 thoughts on “Guy Lafleur Had Excellent Sideburns”

  1. I might get flak for this, but I think the Habs would have been even better off drafting Dionne instead of Lafleur with that dearly acquired first overall pick…

  2. James, I’m curious why you say this. Lafleur’s career in Montreal was sensational. I don’t know how Dionne could’ve improved on that.

  3. Agreed that his career was sensational, and maybe that rather dominant ‘stat geek’ part of my persona surfaces here.

    But Dionne played 1348 NHL games, scoring 731 goals (!!!), 1040 assists for 1771 points, at a clip of 1.31 points-per-game.
    Lafleur played 1127 games, with 560 goals and 793 assists for a total of 1353 points, a 1.20 ppg pace. No small feat and a majestic career, no doubt.

    I just can’t help but wonder what could have been if Dionne, who played on some average teams at best (late 70’s and early 80’s Kings…?), had played for the powerhouse Canadiens instead of Lafleur.
    Is it reasonable to assume he could’ve put up an average of 7 more points per season? That would put his career total at 1897, good for second overall in NHL history, behind Gretz. As it is now, he’s 5th overall in NHL scoring leaders, all time. Lafleur is 20th.

    This is by no means intended to be a knock on Lafleur, far from it. It’s just my little mind wandering and wondering what if…?

  4. James,

    good call, no knock on lafleur what so ever but Dionne was simply a better hockey player, his individual stats speak for itself. Lafleur’s team accomplishments and all the stanley cups add to his legend. Dionnes the most underrated player in the history of the game followed up by Gilbert Perreault.

  5. Lafleur was so much more dynamic. He fit in with those Habs teams so much more than Dionne would have. Lafleur was more explosive. There’s no way you can say Dionne was a better player. Different teams, different circumstances. All I know is, I’d take Lafleur any day over Dionne. It’s silly to say Dionne was better.

  6. nope not a chance dennis, the stats say it all and dionnes stats unlike lafleurs were all put up with sub par teams. Lafleur may have been more dynamic but he wasnt a better hockey player, Dionne sitting in 5th place all time scoring and lafleur being in 20th pretty much sums it up. Definitely not trying to slander the flower he just simply wasnt as good.

  7. I have to side in with Jordy there (all allegiances are off when discussing legends!). If Dionne was able to score 731 while often being a one-man show (at least until Robitaille came along, and that was at the end of his career), it’s scary to imagine what he would have done surrounded by a talented team!

    I’m too young to have seen either of them play live. But from a pure stats perspective, I also think Dionne was a better hockey player.

  8. Aside from the fact that Lafleur was twice as exciting to watch –
    The Hockey News rated him as 11th greatest player and Dionne at 38th.
    How can you argue with Sam Pollock?
    Is there that much of a difference with the numbers, considering Dionne probably logged way more ice time/
    Dionne played 200 more games and had 400 more points 1771 to 1353. Do you think Scotty Bowman kept Lafleur on the ice for extended periods like Dionne in LA and Detroit? Not a chance.

  9. good point about the ice time dennis, but the hockey news ratings? come on haha me and you both could put together a better top 100 then they could (remember there toronto based) . But if you want to get into ice time facts then that brings me to this point, Guy Lafleur played on a line in which all 3 players are in the hall of fame ( lemaire and shutt) while Dionne played with Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer and made them better hockey players ( both taylor and simmers stats dropped when they stopped playing with Dionne) and Lafleurs stats got ugly in his later years while Dionnes stayed strong, Plus how many times did Guy Lafleur knock off wayne gretzky for the art ross trophy?

  10. I tend to think that lafleur was better because I remember how dynamic he was in the clutch when the habs called his number – and he had the flash and the flair and the big shot streaking down the wing.

    but the truth is that Guy probably needed to be accommodated more than dionne; what I mean by that is that I think dionne was a more adaptable player (guy’s game went south in a hurry in the early 1980s because of his hedonistic lifestyle and, just as importantly, because the canadiens started to go with a more defensive posture when management realized it didn;t have the horses it had in the last decade). And let’s face it: Marcel was a great player for longer than Guy.

    I really want to say lafleur was better than dionne – he and kharlamov were tied behind Orr as the second-most exciting players of the 1970s – but I keep having seeds of doubt.

  11. Sorry the canadiens of the 70s would not have been the same without the flower with his long flowing hair.for some reason Dionne in a CCM helmet just is’nt the same.I’d take the flower over Little Beaver any day. Sorry Dionne was just not that exciting to watch.

  12. I clearly remember reading that article about Lafleur when I was about 9 years old. He was considered a letdown for his first couple of years in the NHL until he suddenly tore off the Winnwell and exploded into a monster goal scoring machine. Dionne in Montreal mightve also been drawn into the hedonistic life too so its really impossible to compare but Id still take Guy over him any day.

  13. I agree, Rick. I remember a friend of mine saying in those first years that he should take off his helmet, and he did. That was the beginning. Yeah, forget Dionne. Flower Power.

  14. If Guy had been in LA for all those years out of the public eye with no pressure he would have put up even more points….in Montreal he was the main kog in a very well balanced machine … in his first few years his ice time wasn’t what Dionne’s was in Detroit. The awards speak for themselves…and look at Lafleur’s +/- stats and game winning goals…if we go by point totals that would make Ron Francis better that Guy,Bobby Orr,…Most hockey experts all agree that after Orr and before Gretzky , Lafleur was the worlds most exciting and best hockey player…Lafleur in a cakewalk…

  15. Jim, I remember in his first year or so he wore a helmet and was a slight disappointment. Then he took off his helmet and became a star. He was as exciting as it gets. He might have put up a few more points in LA but he was born to be a Hab. It was perfect.

  16. I can’t believe I missed this discussion. And I’m even more surprised that a hockey fan would pick Dionne over Lafleur. Those that picked Dionne must never watch a game, but only play in fantasy leagues. And the idea that Dionne would have had even more points with better line-mates doesn’t agree with their beloved statistics which show Simmer and Taylor had similar career goals and more points than Lemaire and Shutt. The hockey hall of fame knows that scoring when it matters is much more important that racking up points while losing games. And as for a longer career, Dionne’s ended when Lafleur came back and took his place on the Rangers.

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