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Canadiens’ Beliveau Wins Hart Trophy

May 14, 1964 - Jean Beliveau, the Montreal Canadiens’ center, won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player today. In the voting of sportswriters and broadcasters from the six NHL cities, Beliveau received 102 points. It marks the third time in four years that a Canadien player has won the award. Bernie Geoffrion won in 1961 and Jacques Plante in 1962.

This past season, Jean scored 28 goals and had 50 assists. In the process, he broke Nels Stewart’s record of most goals by a center, 324, and now has 338.

Bobby Hull of Chicago was second in the overall voting with 58 points; Gordie Howe of Detroit, last year’s winner, was third with 50; and Charlie Hodge, the Montreal goalie, fourth with 43.

The 32-year-old Beliveau is the second Canadien player to win the Hart Trophy more than once. He also won it in 1956. Howie Morenz, the Canadiens’ great center, won in 1928, 1931, and 1932. Other players to win it more than once are Howe (six), Eddie Shore (four), Bill Cowley (two), and Nels Stewart (two).

“I was very pleased when I won it the first time, but this one gives me even more satisfaction,” said Beliveau, when contacted in Quebec City after the announcement. “When you reach a certain stage of your career, you begin to wonder how much longer you can play, so it’s gratifying to win it at my age. Also, this was a rebuilding year for the Canadiens. In 1956, when I won it the first time, the team was set from the start.” That year, Beliveau set the goal record for centers with 47.

“I’ll definitely be back next year,” said Jean. “It’s hard to say how long I’ll play hockey. I haven’t set any definite limit. It’s a heavy load for a forward.”

Beliveau will receive a league bonus of $1,000 as winner. Hull gets $500 as runner-up.

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