December 11, 2019 / 10:08 PM / in a month

Hall of Famer Lapointe diagnosed with oral cancer

FILE PHOTO: Nov 8, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens former player Guy Lapointe (5) waves to the crowd during his jersey retirement ceremony before the game against the Minnesota Wild at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Former Montreal Canadiens defenseman and Hockey Hall of Famer Guy Lapointe has been diagnosed with oral cancer, the team announced Wednesday.

“Dr. Keith Richardson, the treating physician from the McGill University Health Centre, indicated that the cancer is located at the base of the tongue,” the Canadiens said in a statement. “Lapointe will begin his treatments in the coming weeks. This form of cancer has a high cure rate.

“The family wishes to thank the personnel at the MUHC as well as all hockey fans and asks for respect of their privacy as they face this challenge.”

Lapointe, 71, collected 166 goals and 406 assists in 777 games with Montreal (1968-82), with which he won six Stanley Cup titles.

A four-time All-Star, Lapointe still holds franchise records for most goals by a defenseman in one season (28, 1974-75) and goals by a rookie defenseman (15, 1970-71). Lapointe’s No. 5 sweater was retired by the Canadiens on Nov. 8, 2014, an honor he shares with Bernie Geoffrion.

Lapointe also recorded five goals and 45 assists in 107 games while playing with the St. Louis Blues (1981-1983) and Boston Bruins (1983-84).

Lapointe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.

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