Former NHL-ers preparing to converge on Long Pond

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Several former NHL hockey stars will be in Windsor this weekend taking part in the Long Pond Hockey Heritage Classic.

Among the special guests are Peter Mahovlich, Rick Middleton, Gilbert Dionne, Dennis Vial, and Forbes Kennedy.

Mahovlich topped the 100-point plateau twice in his career with the Montreal Canadiens, in both 1974-75 and 1975-76 when he was also part of the league's top scoring line.

Besides his prolific scoring years in Montreal, Mahovlich had his name placed on the Stanley Cup four times, and played with the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Mahovlich still plays an active role in the sport and is currently an advanced professional scout for the vastly improving Florida Panthers.

Middleton was the 14th overall first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers in 1973 before being traded to Boston in the famous Phil Esposito trade of Nov. 7, 1976.

Middleton's career season with Boston was 1981-82 when he scored 51 goals and was named the winner of the NHL's Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanlike play during an entire season.

Middleton had five straight seasons of 40 goals and 90 points while in Boston while also recording a 105-point season for the Bruins in 1983-84.

He finished his NHL career in 1988 with 448 goals, 52 short of the magical 500 number.

Dionne played on the last Canadian team to win a Stanley Cup — the 1992-93 Montreal Canadiens.

Dionne played 75 games for the cup champs in the 1992-93 season, scoring 20 goals and collecting 28 assists before adding six goals and six assists in the playoffs.

Dionne finished his NHL career after being injured following a trade to Philadelphia in the strike-shortened 1994-95 season.

Dennis Vial’s professional career ran from 1988, when he was drafted by the New York Rangers, to 2005. He was a solid and strong defenceman for the Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators.

Kennedy, who has appeared in Windsor before at Hockey Heritage functions, is a true entertainer.

Kennedy, long remembered for being involved in what was called "the mean spirited trade" in July 1957 when Kennedy was dealt with other players from the Chicago Blackhawks to Detroit for the infamous Ted Lindsay, also played with Boston for four seasons and two years in Philadelphia.

Kennedy finished his playing career with the Toronto Maple Leafs under Punch Imlach in 1969-70.

All four of these well-known former NHL players will be around Long Pond all day, with action beginning at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 8. The official opening ceremonies will be at noon.  They will also attend the Hockey Heritage Banquet, slated to begin at 6 p.m. that evening at King’s-Edgehill School. There are a limited number of tickets still available for the banquet. Tickets cost $60. For more information, call Dan Boyd at (902) 798-2984.  


Organizations: NHL, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens Detroit Red Wings Pittsburgh Penguins Florida Panthers Bruins Ottawa Senators Chicago Blackhawks Toronto Maple Leafs Edgehill School Boston Bruins

Geographic location: Long Pond, Boston, Windsor Montreal Philadelphia Hants County Birthplace of Hockey

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