Jacques Demers has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke.

The former coach of the Montreal Canadiens was rushed to hospital Wednesday evening to treat the medical emergency.

Demers, 71, began coaching hockey in 1979 with the Quebec Nordiques. After stints in St. Louis and Detroit he came to Montreal in 1992, and was behind the bench when the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup.

In 2009 Stephen Harper appointed Demers to the Senate, and he represented the Conservative party until December, when he resigned from the Conservative caucus.