Coffey headlining 17th Acadia hockey dinner

John Decoste
Published on June 12, 2014

Paul Coffey will be the headliner for the 17th annual Acadia Hockey Axemen celebrity dinner June 19. - Submitted


Hockey Hall of Famer Paul Coffey will be the headliner for the 17th annual Acadia Hockey Axemen celebrity dinner June 19.

The event will be held at the Acadia Arena in Wolfville. Len Hawley, a member of the organizing committee, said the group is “pretty excited” at securing Coffey, a high-profile NHL defenceman for 21 seasons, during which he played for nine different teams.

The Weston, ON native won four Stanley Cups, three with Edmonton (1984, 1985, 1987) and a fourth with Pittsburgh (1991), and lost in the final on three other occasions. He also captured three Norris trophies as the NHL’s top defenceman.

In 1,409 regular season games, Coffey had 396 goals and 1,135 assists for 1,531 points, plus an additional 59-137-196 in 194 playoff games.

Coffey, Hawley said, “was really part of revolutionizing hockey. As part of those Oilers’ teams in the 80s, they changed the way hockey was played, elevated it to a different level.”

As the NHL’s highest scoring defenceman of his era, “he was a big part of that, despite the fact that he wasn’t a high NHL draft pick.”

Hawley added, “it’s quite a story how all those players came together in Edmonton. I don’t think you’ll ever see a team dominate the game like they did. I’m sure he’ll have lots of stories to tell from those years.”

Hawley said that there are no other headline guests confirmed for this year’s dinner, although the committee is still working on it.

“A lot of current NHL players have troubles committing to something like this at this time of year,” he said. The timing of the dinner is dependent on when the NHL draft is scheduled.

It is planned, though, to recognize Neil Price (class of 1940), Acadia’s oldest hockey alumni.

“Neil is 98 years old now, but his mind is very sharp. We’d like to have him come, and I’m looking forward to having him there. He’ll have some great stories,” Hawley said.

Tickets sales are “on par” with other years, with about 400 people expected to attend.

On June 19, a reception will start at 6 p.m. with the dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Acadia Box Office at (902) 542-5500.