With their first pick in the second round (No. 20 overall), the Canadiens selected a tall, lanky defenceman named Larry Robinson.
Lafleur and Robinson would go on to win five Stanley Cups together during their Hall of Fame careers. They became more like brothers than teammates.
That’s what made Lafleur’s battle with lung cancer — which took his life on April 22 at age 70 — so difficult for Robinson.
Robinson lost his real brother, Brian, to brain cancer in 2005 at age 57.
“Not just Guy, but all of our teammates were special,” Robinson said outside Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral Tuesday morning, shortly before the start of Lafleur’s national funeral. “It’s kind of like a brotherhood. I find a day like today, it’s like waking up to a bad dream because of the fact that he was just taken from us too soon. But, at the same time, I realize probably that the pain that he was in over the last little while — nobody should have to live with that pain. I watched my brother go through pain at 57 years old and there was no way that I was going to watch that with Guy.”