Stephan Lebeau

An undersized centre from St-Jerome, Quebec, #47 Stephane Lebeau was junior scoring dynamo. Blessed with quickness and an amazingly accurate shot. In four seasons with the Shawinigan Cataractes he scored 281 goals and 580 points in 270 career games. In his last season of junior his scored a ridiculous 94 goals and 188 points.

You know what is even more ridiculous? Even with those gaudy offensive numbers, Lebeau was never drafted by a NHL team.

Sure, he was small and slow and did not pay much attention to the defensive side of the game. But with numbers like that, how could every NHL team not take at least a late round flyer on him?

The Montreal Canadiens invited him to camp and were smart enough to sign him to a pro deal. Perhaps the Habs were look to prop up their farm team in Sherbrooke. The Habs were hoping to inject some offensive life into their AHL team.

It obviously worked. As a rookie Lebeau scored 70 goals and 134 points in 78 games. He and Benoit Brunet formed a dynamic duo that, despite their lack of size, would not be denied their NHL chance.

But the Habs insisted Lebeau learn to play without the puck first. Lebeau was not the first offensive star out of the QMJHL to be expected to become a well rounded and defensively conscientious player. In fact Guy Carbonneau became perhaps the greatest defensive forward of all time.

Lebeau would join the Canadiens in 1989-90 and was utilized as a power play specialist while learning defense for 3 seasons. In 1992-93 the Canadiens needed an infusion of offense and new coach Jacques Demers. He capitalized on his teammates speed. He would headman the puck and trail in on the play. He exploded for a 31 goal and 80 point season, 4th best on the team. More importantly, he helped the Canadiens capture a surprised Stanley Cup in the spring of 93.

The writing was on the wall however. He only played in 13 of Montreal's playoff games, and contributed just 3 goals and 6 points.The next season he was traded to Anaheim and after another season he was out of the NHL altogether.

Lebeau extended his career by playing several seasons in Switzerland. Nowadays Lebeau is living in the Eastern Townships in Sherbrooke and runs the hockey program at private English school Bishop College in Lennoxville. He also has done some French media work concerning the Montreal Canadiens.


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