Mark Clairmont |

PEMBROKE — Montreal is mourning the loss of the legendary Lafleur — as are most Canadians and Canadiens hockey fans.

They’ll be watching Guy’s funeral tomorrow the way most saw his incredible feats — on TV.

One of them will be Brian Whitehead.

The former Bracebridge Bear junior star and the Habs great were team-mates “one day” in a charity game over in the Valley.

It was a dozen years ago, but he said this week that it was a “pleasure” and an “honour” to skate with the Hockey Hall of Famer.

“He was a quiet guy in the dressing room, but you could feel his presence in person and when he stepped on the ice.”

Whitehead was one of two local players who suited up in a famed red, white and blue jersey following a fundraising auction.

He wore No. 2 and Lafleur his No. 10.

“Smooth” was about all Whitehead could say about the record-scoring sensation of the ’70s and ’80s.

But Whitehead outscored “The Flower” on this day by netting hat-trick — one more than Lafleur.

Not bad for an old-timers defenceman promoted back to his natural forward scoring position.

“They said ‘Where do you play? When I told them the blue line, they said ‘No way, big guy, you gotta be up front.’”

And so for a fleeting game Whitehead (a Senators fan) and Lafleur were Montreal Canadiens old-timers.

A thrill of a lifetime for the 66-year-old former Gravenhurst minor hockey product who was four years Lafleur’s junior.

But he’ll be wearing his No. 2 jersey Tuesday in honour of his old “team-mate” as he tunes in to Sportsnet NOW.

Guy Lafleur and his two local wingers, including Brian Whitehead, left No. 2, in a 2010 charity hockey game in the Ottawa Valley.


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