Winners: Jean Béliveau, Ice Hockey

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Jean Beliveau on the ice with the puck

Jean Béliveau on the ice in his Montreal Canadiens uniform.
Date: 1951-1971
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

1956 - Feature Story

Jean Béliveau began his accumulation of National Hockey League hardware in earnest in 1956, winning his first of 10 Stanley Cups, along with the Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion and the Hart Trophy as most valuable player. But equally telling for the NHL’s first-team All-Star centre, 1956 was the year Béliveau changed his on-ice image, along with his game. He had been nicknamed Gentleman Jean, but finally tired of his opponent’s intimidation tactics, he decided to adopt a fight-back policy. Béliveau shed his reputation as a player who didn’t like to mix it up when needed. Along with his 47 goals and 41 assists, he took a team-record 143 penalty minutes, after only 58 the entire season before. As Montreal succeeded Detroit as the NHL’s greatest power, Béliveau’s dominance, particularly in the 1956 playoffs, when he scored 12 goals in 10 games, was one of the primary reasons Montreal won the Stanley Cup.

Career Highlights

  • 1998 Promoted to Companion, Order of Canada
  • 1965 First player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy (Most Valuable Player for his team in the playoffs)
  • 1956, 1964 Hart Trophy (Most Valuable Player in the NHL)
  • 1956 Art Ross Trophy (NHL scoring champion)
  • 1956 Lionel Conacher Award (Canada’s male athlete of the year)
Jean Beliveau (left) sitting next to Gordie Howe in a locker room

Jean Béliveau (Left) and Gordie Howe (Right) sitting in locker room.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

Jean Beliveau celebrating with the Stanley Cup

Jean Béliveau holding the Stanley Cup.
Date: 1956-1971
Collection: Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Photograph of Jean Beliveau

Portrait of Jean Béliveau.
Collection: Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

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