A look back at the former Canadiens Captain’s career

Our Acadia Hockey Celebrity Dinner on June 22nd will feature Hockey Hall of Famer, Guy Carbonneau. A legend in the 80’s and 90’s for his defensive prowess, we wanted to look back on his career and accolades. To purchase your ticket(s), visit the Acadia Box office or online at AcadiaU.UniversityTickets.com!

Story Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

Guy Carbonneau played nineteen seasons in the NHL, claiming the Stanley Cup three times (Paul Bereswill/HHOF).

A three-time Stanley Cup champion, for two decades, Guy Carbonneau reinvented himself from a high-scoring junior into one of the National Hockey League’s premier defensive forwards of his era.

Carbonneau was born March 18, 1960. He was a scoring sensation during his four seasons of junior, playing with the Chicoutimi Saugeneens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). By his third season, in 1978-79, he had scored 62 times and contributed 141 points. The following season, he earned a spot on the QMJHL Second All-Star Team after scoring 72 goals and 182 points. That season, he also served just six minutes in penalties. Carbonneau’s number 21 was later retired by the Chicoutimi franchise.

Curiously, Carbonneau was not chosen by an NHL team in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft in 1979 after collecting 435 regular points in four QMJHL seasons. Instead, he was drafted in the second round, 44th overall by the Montreal Canadiens. Carbonneau was quickly instructed that if he was going to make hockey a career, he had to learn to play in both ends of the rink. He spent two seasons with the American Hockey League affiliate, the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, although he did get into two NHL games with the parent Canadiens during the 1980-81 season. He made his fulltime NHL debut during the 1982-83 season.

Guy won the Frank J. Selke Trophy three times in his career (Doug MacLellan/HHOF).

Carbonneau had learned his lessons well. Although he had been an offensive threat every time he stepped onto the ice in junior, his strong defensive work really established him as an NHL star. He helped the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup in 1986, Guy’s first championship. His diligent work as a defensive forward drew the accolades of the Canadiens faithful, who chanted, “Guy! Guy!” every time he was on the ice. In 1987-88, Carbonneau earned the first of his three Frank Selke Memorial Trophies as the league’s top defensive forward. He earned a second consecutive Selke Trophy in 1988-89. By 1989-90, he was named captain of the Montreal Canadiens.

A third Selke Trophy came Carbonneau’s way following the 1991-92 season. In the spring of 1993, newly appointed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman handed the Stanley Cup to Guy Carbonneau after his Montreal Canadiens toppled the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final.

Guy Carbonneau receives the Stanley Cup from Gary Bettman following game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in 1993 (Paul Bereswill/HHOF).

Don’t be deceived – while Carbonneau excelled in a defensive role, he hadn’t lost the hands that made him a scoring star in junior. In ten of his 12 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Carbonneau scored 15 or more goals. He enjoyed a career-best 26 goals in 1988-89 while his career-best point total of 57 was collected during the 1984-85 season.

Carbonneau wore the Montreal Canadiens jersey for 12 of his 19 NHL seasons (Doug MacLellan/HHOF).

After four seasons serving as captain of the Canadiens, prior to the 1994-95 season, Carbonneau was dealt to the St. Louis Blues, but it was his only season in Missouri. Before the following season, he was traded to the Dallas Stars where Guy spent the final five seasons of his NHL career. The Stars won and finished first overall in back-to-back seasons (1997-98 and 1998-99), earning the Presidents’ Trophy. In 1999, Carbonneau was part of a third Stanley Cup championship when the Stars won that franchise’s first championship. They almost made it a second, going to the Stanley Cup Final again in 1999-2000, but Dallas was defeated by the New Jersey Devils this time. Guy Carbonneau concluded his 18-season playing career following the 1999-2000 season, having played 1,318 regular season NHL games and scoring 260 goals and adding 403 assists for 663 points. In playoff action, Carbonneau scored 38 goals and 55 assists for 93 points in 234 post-season contests.

While the NHL had recognized Guy Carbonneau’s defensive prowess three times as winner of the Frank J. Selke Memorial Trophy, in 2005, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League created the Guy Carbonneau Trophy (Trophee Guy Carbonneau) to be awarded annually to the QMJHL player judged to be the best defensive forward.

Following his playing career, Guy was also a coach and assistant coach with Montreal from 2006 to 2009. Carbonneau was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on the 18th of November 2019. He is now a successful TV commentator and analyst.

  • 1318 games played in the NHL
  • 663 points, including 260 goals
  • Two-time winner of the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens (1986,1993)
  • One-time winner of the Stanley Cup with the Stars (1999)
  • Winner of the Frank-Selke Trophy in 1988, 1989 and 1992
  • Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame

Coach Burns looks forward to the Axemen off-season initiatives

2022-23 was the year we were finally back to some sense of normalcy in AUS men’s hockey, after the Acadia hosted University Cup was cancelled before the Axemen played a game in March of 2020, a cancelled 2020-21 season, and a fragmented season in 2021-22, it was finally back to business as usual this season.


The Axemen welcomed 9 new faces into the lineup in September as they looked to lay the building blocks for the program’s future. Their first half of the season saw some growing pains as they entered the holiday break going 5-10-2-1, and saw the team begin to gel, as many of the players began to get acclimated to the speed and compete level of the AUS.


Acadia head coach Darren Burns said this about his team’s growth, “We were extremely happy with our team’s progress over the season. In early September we made our team very aware that we were not going to use age as an excuse. We felt this was an extremely important recruiting year for our program and it was crucial that we brought in players who loved the game and were committed to do what our program asks of them. It’s not a secret, if you are going to be competitive as an individual and team in AUS hockey, you better compete and love the game; it’s the only way you have any chance of succeeding especially if you are a young team. We felt this group of players demonstrated this from day one.”


The Axemen began to turn a corner in the second half, as they earned 12 points, going 6-6 not only making the playoffs, but moving into 5th place in the standings by passing the Aigles Bleus in the final game of the regular season. The Axemen were slotted to play the StFX X-Men in the 1st round of the playoffs, in a best of 3 series. The X-Men were a team, that by and large, were considered a potential team to make it to the UCup tournament this season, and boasted the top 3 regular season scorers in the conference. The underdog Axemen knocked off the X-Men in 2 straight games to win the series and move on to the 2nd round. In the 2nd round, they faced the Saint Mary’s Huskies who finished 2nd in the AUS, and were ranked in the USports top 10 in the country throughout the year. After a decisive loss in the 1st game, Acadia gave SMU all they could handle in the next 3 games, including a 2-1 double overtime win in Wolfville for the Axemen, to save off elimination in game 3, before finally bowing out to the Huskies in a hard fought game 4.


We asked Coach Burns about the team’s 2nd half and the importance of the team’s playoff compete level, he said, “The second half success and playoffs helped, in that it showed the players that hard work and commitment and belief in a plan and structure will bring positive results. We don’t want winning one round in the playoffs to be our standard. Some folks questioned if we would even make the playoffs. Our finish and performance in the playoffs gave our returning players a taste of what it takes to succeed in this league. There is no question we feel they had a successful season. We compete in a tremendous conference, and it’s well documented that AUS hockey creates opportunity to compete against some of the top teams in the country every night, so it tests you every night.”


With the 2022-23 season now in the rear-view mirror, the attention shifts to the Axemen off-season and what needs to be done to ensure the team and the hockey program are ready to continue to build for success in the 2023-24 season and beyond.


Coach Burns expressed his desire to continue to build the program for the future saying, “Moving forward the main focus for our staff is generating more revenue, which will enhance our on-ice product. To be a national contender you need to be able to compete financially. The landscape has changed and even though the AUS always produces many of the top teams in the country, you are seeing many other schools raising their levels and hockey is as competitive as it’s ever been. We have been fortunate here in the Annapolis Valley, this is the best place to play university hockey in the country. We have a great facility and a very loyal fan base and a following like no other. We want to make sure our players have everything they need to win and develop to further their careers. Our university is extremely supportive of our team. It will be crucial for us to execute our different fundraising endeavors to help ensure we can have a top-quality program. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be releasing these initiatives and we look forward to making these successful with the support of our community, alumni, and fans.  It’s no secret money is crucial not only to attract the best players in the country, but to provide the best student athlete experience. This is a must.”


Burns added, “On ice, we are very fortunate that we have already secured a topflight goalie in Thomas Couture and our focus will be in recruiting players who have speed and can create offence. We have many key building blocks in place to have a very strong team. It’s no secret we struggled to score this year, and this is our ongoing focus for our recruiting process. It was great to see a reinvigorated following in the arena this year after a couple of fragmented seasons in our league due to the pandemic. I don’t believe I have ever been as excited about the future for this program. There’s a lot of work to do and it starts with our coaching staff.”


Stay tuned for exciting news about off-season events and initiatives, as well as recruiting announcements in the coming weeks! The future is looking bright for the Axemen hockey program and we’re excited to have you onboard for the journey! #GoAcadiaGo