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

UPDATE: Maple Ridge homicide victim identified as full-patch member of Hells Angels

Chad John Wilson was one of four men arrested in Spain in 2013 on allegations of smuggling cocaine.

OPINION: Full-time

New Pitt Meadows mayor wants to hire two full-time firefighters.

11 years sought for Burnaby man who killed girlfriend with hammer, burned her body

Manslaughter sentencing hearing starts Monday in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack for Ryan Armstrong

OUTLOOK: Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows adding, upgrading rec facilities

Opening date for Leisure Centre not set yet.

Ruskin Community Hall has more life, but work needed

98-year-old east Maple Ridge building needs a roof

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Second person dies following head-on collision in Surrey

Paige Nagata of Abbotsford was in crash on Nov. 4 that also killed maternity nurse

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Most Read