Marcel Dionne is a natural host — that’s what happens when you own one of the premier breakfast destinations in Niagara Falls – so when attendees meet the NHL icon at the Legends Banquet at Langley Events Centre on Saturday, Nov. 17, there should be no hesitation or awkwardness when people chat with Dionne as most mornings, he is serving the role of host at BlueLine Diner.
It is one of many businesses Dionne has successfully run since retiring from the NHL in 1989.
Virtually every morning when he is in town, Dionne will be inside the diner, greeting guests, many of whom have no idea who he is. But it doesn’t take long for them to figure out they are in fact meeting some hockey royalty.
“They might not have seen me play but by the time they leave, they know who I am,” Dionne said with a chuckle.
“Bottom line is the fans have been absolutely incredible to me and my family and this is my payback,” he explained.
READ MORE: Hockey legends come to Langley
Dionne is one of several scheduled honoured guests slated to attend the Legends Banquet, alongside Guy Lafleur, Mike Palmateer, and Mark, Marty and Murray Howe, the sons of the late, legendary Gordie Howe.
Mark Howe, Lafleur and Dionne are all esteemed members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Proceeds raised from the Legends Banquet – which will include a silent and live auction – will benefit the Canadian Cancer Society.
And attending events such as these is Dionne’s way to say thanks to the sport which has been such a key part of his life by helping create memories for every person who walks through the door.
“I just played a game, but hockey has given me so much,” he said. “When tourists come in, it doesn’t matter where they are from, all you have to do is pay attention and listen to them.”
Dionne. now 67, played 18 NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. His greatest success came with the Kings as Dionne was part of the fabled ‘Triple Crown’ line, with Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor.
He scored 731 goals and 1,771 points in 1,348 career NHL games, last playing in the league 1988/89. He sits fifth all-time in goals and sixth in points and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992.
For more information on the banquet, please phone 604-455-8865 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.