Here a few words from the Montreal Gazette on the passing of Jean Béliveau, who, for all his skill and grace on the ice, was an even better person away from the rink:
He was an uncommon man with the common touch. A prince who walked among the people as though it were his job to clean up after the king’s horses.
He was at once regal and humble, magnificently talented and unfailingly generous, modest to a fault and fiercely proud of his team, and as gentle as a man could be in this most violent of sports.
He was Jean Béliveau — and his passing Tuesday night has left a void in the life of this city and this province that may never be filled. It’s conceivable that if they are very, very lucky, the Canadiens might one day draft another Rocket Richard. There will never be another Béliveau.
Le Gros Bill, as he was known, was 83. He will be missed, by fans of the Montreal Canadiens and all of hockeydom.