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More than 700 expected to take part in Montreal Canadiens blood drive

Montreal Canadiens hosts 2017 blood drive
WATCH ABOVE: More than 700 people are expected to take part in the Montreal Canadiens' blood drive. Global's Billy Shields reports.

The Montreal Canadiens may not have a game on their schedule Monday, but that didn’t stop members of the public from trickling into the Bell Centre as the organization held its 36th annual blood drive in partnership with Héma-Québec.

About 750 people are expected to give blood by the time the event ends at 7 p.m. Monday — but that only represents three-quarters of the daily need province-wide.

“It’s very important. Especially with the holidays coming up, we need donors to show up,” said Claude LeBoeuf, with Héma-Québec.

In total, LeBoeuf estimated the drive has saved the lives of more than 100,000 people since it started in 1981.

It was the brainchild of former Habs great Jean Beliveau and former forum announcer Claude Mouton.

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“Trust me, you can change someone’s life,” said Steve Zaccagna, a donor.

Zaccagna learned about the importance of blood donation firsthand after his father suffered a ruptured aorta and almost needed a complete transfusion.

The blood drive is slated to last until 7 p.m. Monday.