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

Escape room brings ‘out of the box’ activity to Agassiz

AESS alumni and teacher developed the concept to bring teamwork-based entertainment to the town

Prices still rising, Chilliwack real estate back in balanced territory

Local market is steadier compared to points west with higher increase in average sale price

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Relationships, continuity top health-care concerns for Agassiz residents

Feedback during Fraser Health events showed access to health care needs to improve

Hatzic man charged with assaulting Chilliwack RCMP officers

Jason Roberto Vatcher was out on bail facing firearms charges

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Ratfish generates social media buzz on Vancouver Island

Boneless, glowing creature a common bycatch, but it usually stays in deep waters – fish expert

UPDATE: Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Pregnant B.C. firefighter tries to save own house that caught fire

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Crime Stoppers releases Metro Vancouver’s top 10 most wanted

The organization releases the list each year to mark National Crime Stoppers Month in January

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Most Read