Quebec is in talks with the family of Guy Lafleur to hold a national funeral for the Montreal Canadiens legend, premier François Legault announced at a news conference Friday.
Flanked by a framed, signed Lafleur jersey, the premier said, with the permission of Lafleur's family, the official funeral would give all Quebecers a chance to pay tribute to the Habs icon.
"I think it's a whole people who are in mourning and it's normal that they can bid their farewells to Guy Lafleur," Legault said.
"Number 10 will be in our collective memory, always."
Lafleur, a Hall of Famer who led the Canadiens to four straight Stanley Cup titles in the 1970s and is still the all-time points leader for the Habs, passed away at the age of 70. He had struggled with health conditions, including a recurrence of lung cancer in October of 2020.
The announcement of a national funeral for Lafleur follows similar honours for fellow Canadiens icons, Maurice Richard and Jean Béliveau, in 2000 and 2014 respectively.
Legault described Lafleur as an "idol" for Quebecers, who like Richard and Béliveau would remain immortal in history.
"He helped us dream and helped up win ... in that sense he gave a lot to the Quebec people," he said.
"We remember his style. He wasn't just a hockey player, he was a spectacular hockey player," Legault said. "We felt like we were seeing an artist play hockey."
Legault said the government has also opened an online book of condolences on the Quebec.ca website, so all Quebecers who wish to share a message in honour of Lafleur can do so. The registry will then be passed on to his family.
The premier also said the government would consider a proposal by Mathieu Lacombe, minister responsible for the Outaouais region, and Benoit Lauzon, the mayor of Thurso, where Lafleur is from, to rename Highway 50 in honour of Lafleur.