Retired Hab Steve Begin graduates high school 22 years after dropping out

Begin said it was his friend, UFC champion Georges St-Pierre, who challenged him to finish his studies

Former NHL left-winger Steve Begin made nearly $7 million during his career and started an engineering company after retiring from the game, but he always felt he was missing something.

It took 22 years, but on Thursday Begin finally got that missing piece in his life when he received his high school diploma.

Quebec Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge personally gave the Habs’ former number 22 and six other students his certificate at a ceremony at the Bell Centre, home of the National Hockey League’s Canadiens.

“I have been lucky despite my less-than-intelligent decision to drop school,” Begin acknowledged at the ceremony. “I fulfilled my dreams. I succeeded in life. I have a super family. I have a company. Everything is going well — but I always knew something was missing.”

RELATED: Chicago Blackhawks fire coach after 6-6-3 start to season

Begin, 40, said it was his friend, UFC champion and fellow Quebecer Georges St-Pierre, who challenged him to finish his studies.

St-Pierre is the spokesman for an online teaching platform that Begin used to complete his studies.

“I studied early in the morning and late at night,” Begin said. “I wanted to be ready. I was nervous like during a playoff game. I put in maximum effort, because I really wanted to be ready and not to fail.”

Begin studied online for free on the education platform ChallengeU, which is supervised by seven participating school boards.

Roberge told reporters that the fact Begin studied online for free doesn’t make his diploma any less official.

“Every graduate (today) passed the ministerial exam,” Roberge said. “They met the standards and acquired all the necessary knowledge in order to receive a diploma that is valid and recognized.”

When Begin was asked what was harder, scoring a goal in the NHL or finishing high school, he said he wasn’t known for his touch around the net.

“If you count the number of goals I scored — it has to be scoring!” he said.

Begin played 524 games in the NHL between 1997-2013 and scored 56 goals and 108 total points.

He played for Calgary, Montreal, Dallas, Boston and Nashville.

Pierre Saint-Arnaud, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Postal strike affects charities at critical fundraising time

Canadian fundraising professionals and charities join call for fast resolution

Egg buyers given more information, options in Greater Victoria stores

Partnership with BC SPCA launched the project in 2011

Victoria-based warship rescues two more sea turtles

HMCS Edmonton credited with a turtle rescue earlier in November

Santa’s parade set to light up Victoria

37th Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade rolls down Government Street Saturday

Victoria drill responds to hypothetical 7.0 magnitude earthquake

Volunteers do run-through of evacuation to emergency reception centre in James Bay

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Mount Washington Alpine Resort targeting Dec. 7 opening date

Major snowfall in the forecast for this week

POLL: Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

The Christmas lights are twinkling and holiday music is playing in local… Continue reading

Legal battle ahead for suspended B.C. legislature executives

Public removal ‘very unfair,’ says veteran clerk Craig James

B.C. sees biggest spike in homicides across Canada, at 34%

Much of the killing was attributed to gang violence, according to Statistics Canada

Sea lion tangled in rope on Vancouver Island

Marine debris is a ‘significant problem’ for marine wildlife

$90,000 pen from space created by B.C man

The Space pen is made from a meteorite

B.C. woman fined $2,300 for clocking 215 km/hr in Alberta

It’s the highest fine Alberta police have issued

Most Read