Normand Léveillé

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Normand "Norm" Léveillé (born January 10, 1963) is a Canadian former professional hockey left winger. He played one season and one month in the National Hockey League for the Boston Bruins, before his career was cut short at age 19 by a brain aneurysm suffered during a game at the Pacific Coliseum, which left him unable to walk.[1] After he recovered, Léveillé devoted his energies to therapy for others suffering from disabling conditions. He is the founder and president of the Centre Normand-Léveillé at Drummondville in the Centre-du-Québec region of Quebec.[2][3][4] His story is told in Un arrêt en plein vol by Thérèse Desjardins (2005.)[5][6]

Normand Léveillé
Born (1963-01-10) January 10, 1963 (age 58)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 172 lb (78 kg; 12 st 4 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shot Left
Played for Boston Bruins
NHL Draft 14th overall, 1981
Boston Bruins
Playing career 1981–October 1982

Playing careerEdit

Léveillé was born in Montreal, Quebec. As a youth, he played in the 1975 and 1976 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournaments with a minor ice hockey team from Montreal.[7] He was drafted in the first round, 14th overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins. He was a highly touted prospect coming out of the QMJHL after a 101-point season in his last year with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. In his rookie year with the Bruins, he scored 33 points in 60 games.

On October 23, 1982, after the first period in a game against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, British Columbia during his second season with the Bruins, Léveillé complained of feeling dizzy and having pains in his shoulder. As the trainers began tending to him, he lost consciousness. He was rushed to a local hospital, where doctors diagnosed a brain aneurysm.[8] Léveillé was rushed into emergency surgery in an effort to save his life. After surgery, he was comatose for three weeks and remained hospitalized for an additional three weeks. He eventually recovered enough to walk again, but at the age of 19, his promising career as an NHL player was over. Doctors confirmed that his aneurysm was caused by a congenital condition and was not triggered by an on-ice incident.

In 1995, the Boston Bruins invited Léveillé to the closing ceremonies of the Boston Garden, where he was allowed to skate on the Garden ice one last time. Bruins captain Ray Bourque helped escort Léveillé around the ice surface.[9]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1979–80 Chicoutimi Saguenéens QMJHL 60 24 12 36 39
1980–81 Chicoutimi Saguenéens QMJHL 72 55 46 101 46
1981–82 Boston Bruins NHL 66 14 19 33 49
1982–83 Boston Bruins NHL 9 3 6 9 0
NHL totals 75 17 25 42 49

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Normand Léveillé
  2. ^ Centre Normand-Léveillé
  3. ^ Canada. Parliament. House of Commons - House of Commons debates: 2005 Issues 78-90 "Now, the Centre Normand Léveillé is established on the SaintFrancois River in Drummondville. It welcomes individuals of all ages with a light to moderate disability, be it physical or intellectual. I encourage you to discover this man ..."
  4. ^ Repère Volume 1 Services documentaires Multimedia, Bibliothèque nationale du Québec - 2005 "Centre Normand-Léveillé (Québec) - Jacqueline Simoneau Normand Léveillé: un homme de coeur et de courage. — Capital santé, 7, no 9. juil.-août 2005, p. 38-40. Portrait et parcours de cet ex-joueur de hockey professionnel ..."
  5. ^ http://www.efb.net "1 mars 2005 – Un arrêt en plein vol raconte la vie de Normand Léveillé, ex-joueur des Bruins de Boston, foudroyé sur la patinoire du Pacific Coliseum à ..."
  6. ^ Desjardins, Thérèse, Un arrêt en plein vol : Normand Léveillé l'ex-joueur de la LNH se ..." Léveillé, Normand, Centre Normand-Léveillé. Fondation - 2005
  7. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  8. ^ "Leveille breathing unaided as life-support systems removed". Montreal Gazette. 1982-11-06. p. G2. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  9. ^ Weekes, Don (2003). The Best and Worst of Hockey's Firsts: The Unofficial Guide. Canada: Greystone Books. pp. 240. ISBN 9781550548600.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Barry Pederson
Boston Bruins first round draft pick
1981
Succeeded by
Gord Kluzak