Tuesday, October 18, 2005


More Coffey

Here's the best Coffey tribute you're likely to read:
...when Gretzky had a 200-point season, he owed more to Coffey than Coffey did to Gretzky for his own 120-point years. If there had been five like him in the NHL between 1995 and 2004, there would be no such thing as the neutral-zone trap.

I think it is fair to say that Edmontonians assessed Gretzky and Messier at no less than their true value, and that we were admirably quick to do so. But we never realized that there wouldn't be another Paul Coffey.

It's not just Edmontonians that didn't realize this. Read the whole thing, and do not neglect to click through the last link in the piece.


One of those Sun stories mentions that my Sturgeon County homeboy Pete Peeters was sometimes "a victim" of Coffey's offensive sparkle. Peeters was also the winning Team Canada goalie in the '84 Canada Cup game.

I hated Coffey when he was an Oiler because my Flames were frequent 'victims' of him.

I always felt he should have won the Conn Smythe in the 85 cup run, but I think Wayne set a points record that year and had to win it. Still, Coffey was a rare talent.

I wonder if they will be selling throwback Coffey jerseys at the game? Man, I could go for one of those.

Cal Nichols agrees with Cosh. From a story in the Journal (link not working):

Oilers chairman Cal Nichols said his greatest moment was during the 1984 Canada Cup game against Russia. "The teams were tied 2-2 and he was the lone defenceman back on a two-on-one," recalled Nichols. "He broke up the play, skated the pick down the end and fired a shot, which was deflected by (teammate Mike) Bossey into the net. Canada went on to with the Canada Cup."

I remember that play well, and that was abgreat defensive (and then offensive) play that Coffey made at a time when he was not particularly regarded for his defence.

I don't know that I would go as far as Colby and call it Team Canada's greatest moment, the Olympic gold, Lemieux's goal in 87 and Henderson! would have to rank above it, but it was a great play.

Since no Oiler fan has, I suppose I'll point out that Coffey was absolutely robbed of what should have been his 1st Norris, which went to Langway for his 2nd. (You could easily argue that Coffey deserved BOTH of Langway's trophies).

It was openly acknowledged at the time that Langway deserved the win only if you ignored the piffling question of, "Which guy would you rather have playing on your team?", which for some bizarre reason was thought to be beside the point.

I also loved the Coffey quote from the comic page linked, which is not unrelated to my comment directly above this one:

"I can remember thinking if I was caught up ice, and they were coming down on someone else, I'd never hear the end of it..."

I still can't believe Coffey skated in a size 6 and a 1/2 skate when he had a size 9 foot. Thats just incredible. What a player though. He defined the term "offensive defenceman" which is used far to frequently nowadays.

Take a look at how short his stick is too, if you catch any of the highlights. Kids these days with their long sticks. How the hell can you stick handle with the puck that far away from you?

Oh yeah -- I had totally forgotten about the stick thing.

There was a big defenseman on my team through 9 years of minor hockey who used a stick that came up only to the bottom of his sternum, when the rule of thumb was about your chin.

Anytime he was questioned or criticized about it, by a coach or anyone, he responded "Paul Coffey".
-"But you know.."
-"Paul Coffey"
-"But you should really try.."
-"Paul Coffey!!"

This line from the Terry Jones/SUN piece made me laugh out loud, for some reason:

"Metz had Coffey out on the ice for a rehearsal of tonight's event, which will be followed by a hockey game."

And then by a buffet and no-host bar, presumably.

Man, if Hull thought the younger Coyote players were too intimidated by Gretzky before, they sure will be now - what with the statue, the road to the arena, and the retirement ceremony.

Jesus Christ. Did you see the shoulder pads Coffey used to wear?

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