December 05, 2014

Ken Dryden on Jean Beliveau

When Ken Dryden writes a special report for the Toronto Star, we must read it.

When Ken Dryden writes about his former teammate, the late Jean Beliveau, we must stop everything we do immediately, and enjoy it.

He was the great Jean BĂ©liveau, tall, handsome, graceful and gracious, with his warm dignity and friendly smile, yet there he was. He treated everyone with such respect. He said the right things, and in the right way — in French and in English — because that is what he believed, and that’s how he was. He made every occasion better. He made everyone who attended feel that their town, their organization, their province, their country, their event mattered. That they mattered. Appealing to their best selves, he reminded them of the best that was in them.

I especially enjoyed his comparison of Beliveau with Rocket Richard:

He is linked inevitably with the team’s greatest star, Maurice Richard. The Rocket, bull-shouldered, explosive, with a will that intimidated his opponents. Jean played in cool control of the action. For fans in Quebec, the Rocket was just like them. He did what they could do, if only in their dreams. Jean was beyond them; out of reach. One evoked deep love; the other deep admiration. Yet as different as they were, with some great coaches and managers, and some outstanding players around them, they were the making of the Canadiens.

Here's Dryden's full article.

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