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As Guy Lafleur lay in state for 2nd day, preparations underway for hockey legend’s funeral

Click to play video: 'Fans line the streets as Guy Lafleur lies in state for second day' Fans line the streets as Guy Lafleur lies in state for second day
Guy Lafleur fans had one last chance to pay their respects to the hockey legend while he was lying in state at the Bell Centre on Monday for a second day in a row. As Elizabeth Zogalis reports, Tuesday's national funeral will be held in downtown Montreal at the Mary Queen of the World Cathedral. – May 2, 2022

Thousands of fans lined up for hours outside the Bell Centre to share stories, pay their respects to the Lafleur family, and say one last goodbye to the hockey icon.

Guy Lafleur, who helped the Canadiens win five Stanley cups in the 1970’s, died of cancer on April 22. He was 70 years old.

A national funeral will be held on Tuesday at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral where archbishop Christian Lépine will preside.

Read more: In photos: Hockey fans honour Montreal Canadiens great Guy Lafleur

“He wanted to be on the same ground, he didn’t want to be over the people, he wanted to be with them,” said Lépine. “This funeral, is about being with the people. It’s the atmosphere that is very important,” he added.

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Lépine never met Lafleur but said he learned a compelling lesson many years ago when the hockey great decided to make a comeback, playing with the New York Rangers.

“He could have let go, he could have said ‘Oh it won’t work, it’s too much, I’m too old’, but that’s not what he said,” noted Lépine.  “Instead he had the courage to try, whatever people would say about him.”

Read more: National funeral for Habs great Guy Lafleur to be held May 3 in Montreal

The funeral is by invitation only. Lépine confirmed it is a changing list but former and current hockey players will attend and political figures will also be there, including Quebec Premier François Legault and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Preparations inside and outside Mary Queen of the World Cathedral are in full swing. The funeral is scheduled to begin at 11 am and the ceremony will be live streamed on the Global News website and streaming channels.

The neighbourhood around the cathedral will be off limits to traffic all morning. A fighter jet fly-by will  mark the end of the funeral, weather permitting.

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