January 28, 2008

Coffey Break

NHL All Star weekend is over. A lot of fans are disinterested in the All Star Game, others don't mind it.

For the All Stars it is a fun weekend and a chance to show off some skills. The All Stars did that masterfully, encouraging none other than Eric Duhatschek to suggest a new golden age of hockey is upon us.

For most players, All Star weekend is the NHL's version of a coffee break, or even a mini vacation. I suspect more than a few players made their way to places like Las Vegas or Whistler or Florida.

Speaking of coffee, it is long, long overdue that I profiled Paul Coffey on this website. He is truly one of the greatest hockey players of all time, an All Star if there ever was one.

The first thing everyone thinks about when the name Paul Coffey is mentioned is his skating ability. Wearing skates several sizes too small, this guy was simply amazing. In a couple of strides he was able to glide through the neutral and offensive zones faster than those dogged checkers chasing him. He was every bit as silky smooth as he was lightning quick.

Scoring exploits are also always remembered. He retired as the 10th highest scorer in NHL history, even though he was a defenseman. Coffey tallied 396 goals and 1,135 assists for 1,531 points in 1,409 regular-season games. He added 196 points, on 59 goals and 137 assists, in 194 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He eclipsed the 100-point mark five times in his career, and set the single-season goal-scoring record for defenseman with 48 goals in 1986.

Full Paul Coffey Profile

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