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Habs great Beliveau released from hospital

The Canadian Press

3/24/2012 5:23:42 PM

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens great Jean Beliveau has been released from hospital after suffering a stroke late last month.

Donald Beauchamp, a spokesman for the NHL team, said Beliveau was released from Montreal General Hospital on Friday. The 80-year-old Hall of Famer was transferred to a rehabilitation centre.

"His condition is improving, it's good news," Beauchamp said Saturday.

Beliveau suffered the stroke on Feb. 27, his second in as many years.

He was also treated for cardiac problems in 1996 and in 2000 was diagnosed with a tumour on his neck. Beliveau underwent surgery last year to treat abdominal aneurysms.

The longtime fan favourite, who won 10 Stanley Cups as a player with the Habs, received an outpouring of support after news of the stroke surfaced.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper even sent him his best wishes.

On Saturday, fans rejoiced after it was revealed their hockey hero was recovering.

"Very happy to see that Jean Beliveau was released from hospital," said one Twitter user who identified himself as Paul Balfour. "No player will ever win 10 Stanley Cups again."

Beliveau's career began with brief stints with the Habs over two seasons before he joined the team for good in 1953-54.

He had been such a coveted prospect that the Canadiens bought an entire league to gain his contractual rights. Even then, he managed to exceed expectations.

Beliveau retired in 1971 after playing his entire NHL career in Montreal.

He recorded 507 goals and 712 assists in 1,125 career games. He also had 176 points (79-97) in the playoffs.