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Guy Lafleur to lie in state at the Bell Centre allowing fans to pay respects

Click to play video: 'Fans, Premier Legault, Mayor Plante pay respects to Guy Lafleur at the Bell Centre' Fans, Premier Legault, Mayor Plante pay respects to Guy Lafleur at the Bell Centre
WATCH: The body of Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur lied in state at the Bell Centre on Sunday. Quebec Premier Francois Legault, who previously called Lafleur the “greatest player in the history of the NHL,” was among those paying his respects, along with Mayor Valerie Plante and the public. Global News' Elizabeth Zogalis has more – May 1, 2022

A national funeral will be held for hockey great Guy Lafleur on Tuesday, but fans will be able to pay their respects to the late hockey great as he lies in state at the Bell Centre as of Sunday.

Lafleur’s family accepted Quebec’s offer for a state funeral, Premier François Legault announced last week, which will be held on May 3 at 11 a.m. at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in downtown Montreal.

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Michel Jerome honoring hockey legend Guy Lafleur as Quebec learns of his death in Montreal, Quebec, Friday, April 22, 2022. Mario Beauregard/The Canadian Press

Meanwhile, as of Sunday morning, the public can honour the hockey Hall of Famer at the Bell Centre where he will rest from noon to 8 p.m., and again on Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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READ MORE: Guy Lafleur’s national funeral and how Montreal is having to prepare for it

Fans wishing to pay a final tribute are invited to visit the hockey stadium using its main entrance at 1909 Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montreal.

“Out of respect for the public, which has supported Guy over the years, the Lafleur family has agreed to share their grief with the community,” a statement from the Montreal Canadiens said earlier this week. “And in keeping with the family’s wishes, all activities will reflect the image of the late hockey legend: they will be humble and accessible.”

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Former hockey star Guy Lafleur poses next to one of 10 paintings of moments from his career by artist Mario Beaudoin Tuesday, May 18, 2004 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

The events will be organized by the Montreal Canadiens and the Protocole du Gouvernement du Quebec.

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READ MORE: Guy Lafleur, Canadiens icon and ‘marquee performer’, dead at 70

According to the province, a state funeral is “reserved for people who, for example, have made an impact on political life, as decided by the government.”

Legault made the offer to Lafleur’s family in the hours following his death on April 22 at age 70 following a battle with lung cancer.

He said the government was looking at other tributes including the renaming a highway in the Outaouais region in western Quebec where Lafleur was raised.

READ MORE: Montrealers pay tribute to Habs great Guy Lafleur as Quebec offers state funeral

“This national funeral in homage to the memory of Mr. Guy Lafleur testifies to all the admiration and all the love that Quebecers have for him,” Legault said. “He will have marked our history and our national culture forever. We will therefore pay him a deserved tribute, for the great man he was.”

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Three eras of the Montreal Canadiens are pictured at the Forum in Montreal, Que., on April 12, 1979. From left, Jean Beliveau (1950s and 1960s), Guy Lafleur (1970s) and Maurice "Rocket" Richard (1940s and 1950s). Doug Ball/The Canadian Press
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Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers (L) and Montreal Canadiens Guy Lafleur are seen here during a break in their light skate at the first day of training camp for Team Canada in Montreal, Aug. 10, 1981. (CP PHOTO/Ian MacAlpine). AVB

Legault, who previously called Lafleur the “greatest player in the history of the NHL,” is set to be among those paying his respects.

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Lafleur helped the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup in 1973, and then again four more times from 1976 to 1979. He finished with a career total of 560 goals and 793 assists for 1,353 points in 1,126 games over his 17-season career. He was later named one of the NHL’s top-100 players of all-time.

National honours were also granted to Habs stars Maurice Richard and Jean Beliveau when they died.

— With files from the Canadian Press and Kalina Laframboise, Global News

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