MONTREAL, Que. – Hockey Canada announced on Monday that Jean Béliveau – a 10-time Stanley Cup champion and member of the Hockey Hall of Fame – has been named an honourary Team Canada member and honourary captain of Canada’s 2010 Men’s Olympic Hockey Team.
Béliveau spent his entire 20-season NHL career as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, recording 1,219 points in 1,125 games. He retired from the NHL following the 1970-71 season and never had the chance to represent Canada in international competition. The first major international event involving NHL superstars was in 1972, when Canada and Russia met in the Summit Series. The IIHF World Championship did not allow professionals to participate until 1977.
“It’s unbelievable to think of some of the players who never had the chance to represent Canada in international play,” says Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “Today, we bring a new member onto the Team Canada roster. It’s about time we see the great Jean Béliveau in a Team Canada sweater.”
Béliveau was honoured at a press conference in Montreal, as part of the Hockey Canada Foundation gala and golf fundraiser. Serge Savard and Yvan Cournoyer, honourary chairmen of the 2009 Hockey Canada Foundation gala, presented Béliveau with a Team Canada jersey, with Béliveau’s name and customary No. 4 on the back.