In a world where there are so many people who are not what they seem, Guy Lafleur was authentic. His kindness and generosity were real. And this was part of what makes him a hero, in addition, of course, to his extraordinary talent on the ice.

Of course, we’ll never forget the slapshots, the speed, the drive to win, the Stanley Cups, the panache, the list goes on and on. Lafleur is now ensconced in the Holy Trinity of the Montreal Canadiens with Maurice Richard and Jean Béliveau. When the Habs were the greatest, he was the Blond Demon.

Since his death last week, his niceness and his accessibility have been celebrated as much as his athletic prowess. The same things were also said about Mike Bossy and Jean Béliveau. Quebecers have a reputation for being approachable, easygoing people.

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