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

West Central Peewee Tigers crowned SCAHL league champions

The Tigers are set to continue their dominating season at Peewee AA Provincials March 28

PHOTOS: Sylvan Lake skaters use all the colours of the rainbow at showcase

The Sylvan Lake Figure Skating Club hosted its showcase, ‘Colours,’ on March 17.

SLIDESHOW: Sylvan Lake’s Kites on Ice a colourful success

The cultural event featured a colour party for the “festival of love” Holi.

Sylvan Lake maintaining a stable housing market

There are 168 residential properties available in Sylvan’s current “buyer’s market”

PHOTOS: Sylvan Lake’s Mother Teresa, H.J. Cody meet on the court

Mother Teresa’s senior basketball teams played H.J.Cody’s junior teams in exhibition games on March 13

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

Notley’s government puts priority on health care in throne speech

Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell kicked off the legislature session

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

B.C. argues it cannot stop Trans Mountain, but it can protect environment

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says only Ottawa has the authority to decide what goes in trans-boundary pipelines

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick retires in wake of SNC-Lavalin case

Jody Wilson-Raybould accused Wernick of pressuring her to head off criminal charges for the firm

Dutch tram shooting suspect arrested, say police

Police say three people were killed in the shooting Monday and five wounded

Canada extends Iraq and Ukraine military missions to 2021 and 2022

Extension is part of efforts to curb Russian aggression and to fight against Islamic militants

WestJet suspends 2019 financial guidance after Boeing 737 Max grounded

The company has 13 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft grounded by regulators after the Ethiopian crash

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Most Read