Jean Beliveau suffers stroke
Hockey great Jean Beliveau has suffered a stroke.
CTV News has learned the Montreal Canadiens legend suffered a stroke Wednesday night and was transported to the Montreal General Hospital.
He is now in the neurological department, and doctors believe at this point his life is not in danger.
They say they will have a better indication of the 78-year-old's prognosis in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Donald Beauchamp, VP Communications with the Canadiens, will only say that Beliveau was taken to hospital for tests and would not confirm the reason for Beliveau's hospitalization.
Late Thursday afternoon the MUHC issued the following statement: Jean Beliveau was admitted overnight to the Montreal General Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) for investigation and is currently in stable condition. More details will be released if they become available.
Former teammate Rejean Houle was supposed to meet Beliveau this past Monday, but Beliveau had to cancel because of a doctor's appointment.
Houle found out this morning that Beliveau was in hospital when he talked to his daughter, Helene.
Meanwhile another former teammate, Dickie Moore, was not aware Beliveau was in hospital, and told CTV News: "I am relieved to hear it's not life threatening."
Beliveau was one of the greatest members of the Canadiens.
He played on ten Stanley Cup-winning teams, and has been a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame since 1972.
"Le Gros Bill" was called up to play for the Canadiens in the 1950-51 and 1952-53 seasons, finally joining the club full-time for the 1953-54 season.
By the end of 1971, Beliveau had scored 507 goals, made 712 assists in regular season games, with another 79 goals and 97 in the playoffs.
He served as captain for 10 years -- a record tied by Saku Koivu.
When he retired from the ice, his jersey was too, with #4 placed in the rafters on Oct. 9, 1971.
Beliveau then went on to join the Canadiens management team, and as a result his name appears on the Stanley Cup 17 times -- ten times as a player, and seven as an executive.
Beliveau is also the honourary captain of the 2010 Men's Olympic Hockey Team, and of course, his statue is one of four that stands outside the Bell Centre.
Life outside hockey
Beliveau was twice offered a seat in the Senate, and twice turned it down.
He did accept a nomination to the Order of Canada.
In June 2009, Beliveau teamed up with CTV anchor Mutsumi Takahashi to be the public face of the superhospital's fundraising campaign
At the time, Beliveau said that he was inspired to join the campaign because of the cancer treatment he received at the MUHC.
He has long been active in health care.
Back in 1981, Beliveau and Claude Mouton started the Canadiens blood drive, which is one of the more popular drives benefiting Hema Quebec.
In 2006, Beliveau auctioned off some of his memorabilia to benefit his foundation for disabled children.
Other health issues
In 2000, Beliveau was successfully treated for a malignant cancerous tumour.
The battle was difficult -- Beliveau reportedly lost 30 pounds while being treated.
In December 2008, Believeau was taken to hospital after collapsing while attending the funeral service for Father Paul Aquin.
He was soon released, having suffered nothing more than a drop in blood pressure.