Hundreds remember Canadiens defenceman
|Family members of Hockey Hall of Famer and former Montreal Canadiens captain Emile "Butch" Bouchard watch his casket being removed after the funeral in Longueuil, Quebec. (Olivier Jean/REUTERS)
MONTREAL - Hundreds attended the funeral services for legendary Canadiens defenceman Emile "Butch" Bouchard, Saturday morning just south of Montreal.
Bouchard died last Saturday surrounded by family. He was 92.
Current and former Canadiens players, as well as the team's owner, Geoff Molson, attended the funeral. Several Quebec politicians, including former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe, and former Quebec premier Bernard Landry, were also present.
Bouchard's greatest honour was when his number 3 was retired during the Canadiens' 100th year celebrations, in 2009, said former Habs star defenceman Serge Savard.
Molson told QMI Agency it was as much of an honour for the team as it was for Bouchard when his jersey number was retired.
"(Bouchard) had a big smile on his face when he was honoured," Molson said. "It was an emotional day for everyone."
Bouchard was considered the team's best defenceman during its first 50 years as a hockey organization. He played his entire 15-year career with the Canadiens, from 1941 to 1956, and captained the team for eight years from 1948 until his retirement.
Bouchard won four Stanley Cups with the Canadiens and was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966.