AUDIO: Montreal Canadiens Alumni to Play in Amherstburg
The Montreal Canadiens Alumni hockey team rolls into Amherstburg Saturday night.
Among the former players who will be in the lineup is Keith Acton, who played 19 seasons in the NHL, including five in Montreal.
Acton was originally drafted by the Windsor Spitfires in 1975 but was traded to the Peterborough Petes before ever playing for the Spits.
He remembers playing at Windsor Arena.
"You know in that old arena in downtown Windsor it wasn't a friendly place to play. It was hard to play there," says Acton. "In those kinds of games you were into it and those games got your attention and it was a fun place to play."
AM800's Paul McDonald speaks with Montréal Canadiens alumni, Keith Acton
During his first season in Peterborough, Acton's head coach was future Hall of Famer Roger Neilson, who was responsible for many innovations in the game.
Acton says Neilson was "a real thinker."
"He certainly had the ability to take a team that maybe didn't have maybe as much scoring talent as others and have the ability to make them very competitive," says Acton.
Acton says he was privileged to have been drafted into a dynasty like the Montreal Canadiens in 1978.
"Probably played with 10 or 12 Hall of Famers when I first started there," says Acton. "They knew the formula for winning, they knew how it worked and I was very priviledged to play with those guys because it was extreme learning for me and all the principles that I learned there I carried with me for the rest of my hockey career."
After his playing career, Acton spent 18 seasons as an assistant coach in the NHL for the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers.
The Rotary Club is raising money to benefit programming at Amherstburg Community Services.
The game is being played at the Libro Credit Union Centre Saturday beginning at 7 p.m.