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Three of a kind

by Andrea Nelson / Detroit Red Wings
Martin Lapointe (Getty Images)

Mathieu Dandenault (Getty Images)

Paul Coffey (Getty Images)

DETROIT – The last time Martin Lapointe, Paul Coffey and Mathieu Dandenault skated together, they helped the Detroit Red Wings win an NHL-record 62 regular season games.

Seventeen seasons later, the trio will proudly wear the winged wheel again as they join Detroit’s growing roster of alumni playing in the 2012 Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown.

Lapointe was Detroit’s first round, 10th overall pick of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. The two-time Stanley Cup winner played in Hockeytown for ten years, scoring 108 goals and adding 122 assists for 230 points. Lapointe had a successful postseason career with the Red Wings, scoring 39 points in 86 games. His playoff numbers are still in the record books, as the forward is currently tied for 25th place on the team’s all-time playoff scoring list. Three of those points came in Game 2 of a 2000 playoff series, where Lapointe had a hat trick in Detroit’s first round sweep of the L.A. Kings.

Internationally, Lapointe made his mark representing Team Canada at the 1991, 1992 and 1993 IIHF World Junior Championships. He brought home gold medals in his first and final championship appearances. The forward also played for the Bruins, Blackhawks and Senators during his 16-year NHL career. In 991 total NHL games, Lapointe scored 381 points on 181 goals and 200 assists before retiring in 2008.

Hall of Fame inductee Paul Coffey enjoyed three and a half successful seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. In the lockout-shortened 1994-95 NHL season, Coffey led all Red Wings in scoring for the first and only time in his career, earning his third Norris Trophy. Coffey also led all defensemen in shorthanded goals during the 1994-95 playoffs, helping Detroit reach the Stanley Cup finals.

The 20-year hockey veteran tallied 396 goals and 1,135 assists for 1,531 points while playing for Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Detroit, Hartford, Chicago, Carolina and Boston. He won four Stanley Cup championships and scored an NHL-record 48 goals for defenseman while playing for the Oilers. The Weston, Ontario native played in 1,409 career NHL games before retiring in 2001. As arguably one of the best pure skaters in league history, Coffey was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.

Three-time Stanley Cup champion Mathieu Dandenault was Detroit’s second round pick of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He spent nine seasons in Detroit from 1995-2004 after converting from a forward to a defenseman. In 616 career games wearing the winged wheel, Dandenault scored 48 goals and contributed 101 assists for 149 points. In addition to his three Stanley Cup championships, Dandenault helped Team Canada capture a gold medal at the 2003 IIHF World Championships in Finland. He had two goals and three assists for five points in nine total tournament games.

Dandenault spent the last four years of his 13-year NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens. He retired in 2010 having played in 868 NHL games, scoring 68 goals and 135 assists.

Lapointe, Coffey and Dandenault join many former Red Wings who have confirmed their participation in the Alumni Showdown as part of the 2012 SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival, including Dino Ciccarelli, Alex Delvecchio, Sergei Fedorov, Mickey Redmond, Chris Chelios, Chris Osgood and many more.

The Toronto Maple Leafs also added three names to the Alumni Showdown roster. Defenseman Bryan McCabe and star wingers Gary Roberts and Lanny McDonald will join many former Maple Leafs at Comerica Park to take on the Red Wings alumni. In 4,470 combined games, McDonald, Roberts and McCabe scored 1,083 goals and added 1,360 assists for 2,443 points.

Fans can win a chance to see the former NHL players square off in the Alumni Showdown by filling out an online form at Tickets for the 2012 SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival’s GLI, AHL and OHL games will go on sale in early September.

With the legends returning and hockey’s future stars making their debut, the Winter Festival is an event Hockeytown fans don’t want to miss.


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