Guy Lafleur announces first retirement

On November 26, 1984, Montreal Canadiens great Guy Lafleur surprised the world when he announced his retirement from the National Hockey League.

After playing 19 games in the 1984-85 season, Lafleur decided his body was not up to the task of playing the fast paced, hard hitting sport any longer. He scored two goals and had three assists that season. The previous season consisted of 30 goals and 40 assists in the 80 games he played.

Lafleur was chosen by the Canadiens in the 1971 amateur NHL draft. He stayed in Montreal until his retirement in ’84 after the home 6-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. His number, 10, was retired by the Canadiens in February of ’85.

Lafleur returned to hockey for the 1988-89 season with the New York Rangers for one season. He left the Big Apple to play for the Quebec Nordiques for two seasons. The Quebec native hung up his jersey for the last time after playing 59 games in the 1990-91 season.

“That’s why I made a comeback in 1988. I knew there were chances of not making it, but I didn’t want to end up at sixty years old and say I should have tried when I was thirty-eight.” -Guy Lafleur

“The players wanted more money, higher salary caps and they didn’t have that family relationship we felt with the players. Mentally, the players were more businesslike.” -Lafleur on the difference between players before his retirement and after his short comeback

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