Thousands of people braved the cold (and an often hour-long lineup) to pay their last respects to Jean Béliveau.
For two days the northern half of Montreal’s Bell Centre, the home of the Montreal Canadiens, was cloaked in black; Béliveau’s seat, draped in his No. 4 jersey, was lit up by two spotlights from above. Visitors walked a red carpet to Béliveau’s flower-strewn coffin. Members of the family of ‘Le Gros Bill’ quietly shook their hands.
Outside, well-wishers filled guestbooks before going back into the frigid city that Béliveau helped make proud.
In this video, friends and fans talk about their deep connection to the hockey legend:
A funeral will be held on Wednesday at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral near the Bell Centre.