Former players return for Cottonmouths Legends Weekend

Former players return for Cottonmouths Legends Weekend

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's a big weekend for the Columbus Cottonmouths, and not just because they play home games - it's also because of who's coming home, so to speak.

This is Legends Weekend for the Snakes, with more than a dozen former players coming to town for a big reunion and exhibition game.

A few of the former players have been skating in morning practices with the current snakes and enjoying the blast from the past, at least as long as their bodies will let them.

Among those back are former team captain Craig Stahl, who played for seven years in 2001 and from 2004-2010, and defenseman Mick Kempffer, who played for five seasons with the Snakes from 1997-2001 and again in 2005.

Stahl was also honored with a banner in the rafters and his number 32 retired.

"Oh man, it's awesome," said Kempffer. "We've got guys coming from Canada - all over the place. I haven't seen these guys in years, so it's like a class reunion, really. It's going to be fun."

"It's always great," Stahl said. "You get away from the game for a while, and to see all these familiar faces and play with some of the new ones, it's always a pleasure. Even though you ache a little differently, it's still a good time."

Head coach Jerome Bechard will get out there and play as well. He was the original Cottonmouth team captain for seven seasons.

"Most of the guys have won something here and it's just nice to always have those guys want to come back and really show the guys that haven't won in our dressing room what Cottonmouths hockey really is," Bechard said.

The Snakes host the Huntsville Havoc at 7:30 EST on Friday night, and the Legends hit the ice for their game Saturday night at 5:45 p.m. EST before the game versus the Louisiana Ice Gators.

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