Brian Bellows scored his 1,000th career point, against Toronto, on January 2, 1999, thus becoming the 54th player in the NHL to reach this career milestone. He scored a goal in the second period of that game to reach 999 and then assisted on a goal by Jeff Toms for the 1,000th point. Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Bellows played junior hockey with the Kitchener Rangers and led them to a Memorial Cup championship. Leadership was a big component of his junior career and attracted the attention of a number of NHL teams. In 1982 Bellows entered the NHL after being drafted second overall by the Minnesota North Stars.
Bellows had a tough rookie year. Many fans compared him to Wayne Gretzky, but critics wondered what all the fuss was about a player who was just coming out of the junior ranks. Then, halfway through his first season, Bellows began to improve.
In his second year, Bellows was named the North Stars' captain, becoming one of the youngest players in league history to assume leadership duties. After the 1987-88 season, after conferring with team owners George and Gordon Gund, Bellows signed a multi-year deal with Minnesota, even though the team had finished last in the Norris Division that year.
Bellows was well known and admired in Minnesota for his charitable involvement in many causes, ranging from Special Olympics and drug prevention to fundraising for multiple sclerosis, Easter Seals, the March of Dimes and MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). He was especially recognized for placing special emphasis on drug education.
Bellows joined the Montreal Canadiens in 1992. He had scored 342 goals in 10 seasons with Minnesota before he was traded to Montreal for Russ Courtnall. His career high was 55 goals in one season, but he had other seasons of 40 goals or more.
When he joined the Canadiens, Bellows remarked, "I hope to score more than last year. I want to come in and prove I can still play to the levels expected. I was shocked [about the trade] but I'm excited about the new change. My idol was Ken Dryden. It's every kid's dream to play for the Canadiens." That dream lasted three years and included his first Stanley Cup in 1993. After his tenure in Montreal, Bellows was traded to Tampa Bay and then Anaheim. His final two years in the NHL saw him suit up with for the Washington Capitals and part of the 1997-98 season in Berlin.
Bellows played over 1,000 games and finished with over 1,000 points.