He is tied for the team record of goals in a season (60) with his former linemate Steve Shutt, while the center of that line, Jacques Lemaire, is now widely regarded as one of the three best coaches in NHL history (with Scotty Bowman and Toe Blake) - and the reason why Lafleur retired in the first place, putting an unusual amount of pressure on the superstar to play a defensively-minded game rather than being the offensive catalyst.
He holds the team's points in a season record (136) and was the first player in NHL history to have six consecutive 50-goal and 100-point seasons. He has 3 Art Ross trophies (1976, 1977, 1978), 2 Hart trophies (league MVP in 1977 and 1978), 3 Lester B. Pearson Awards (now the Ted Lindsay trophy for the best player as voted by the players, 1976, 1977, 1978) and a Conn Smythe Trophy (1977) to go with his 5 Stanley Cups and 1976 Canada Cup.
One of the most beloved players in Habs history, the Forum crowd would enter chants of ''Guy! Guy! Guy!'' every time he touched the puck, scored, or was named one of the game's three stars.
Feeling he had been forced into retirement unjustly, and with the lingering feeling that he had a few more goals left in him, Lafleur trained like a boxer to get back in shape and attempted a comeback in time for the 1988-89 season, with the New York Rangers, becoming the second (after Gordie Howe, before Mario Lemieux) of three players to come back to the NHL after being named to the Hall Of Fame. In his first game back to the Forum, Lafleur netted a hat trick (3 goals!) against the best goalie of all time - Patrick Roy - in a 7-5 Rangers loss; he was named the first star, to the usual chants of ''Guy! Guy! Guy!'' that rang through the Forum for the whole game.
He was sent to the Québec Nordiques with head coach Michel Bergeron in the off-season and, despite diminished ice time, was among the best players on the team, even earning an invitation to the 1991 All-Star Game, an invitation he declined, stating ''Joe Sakic has been by far our best and most deserving player, I withdraw myself so he can attend as our team's representative''. Sakic was named, and Lafleur was subsequently invited as ''the commisionner's choice'', an honor for a soon-to-be-retiring player of high caliber he shared with Bobby Smith that year.
Now onto the cards!
First, the oldest Guy Lafleur card in my collection, from Topps' 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee set (card #187, the In Action sub-set):
And now for some 2008-09 cards by Upper Deck:
But UD went all out for these cards:
(continued on the next post)