Ken Houston (Photo courtesy of icehockey.wikia.com).

Dresden ready to honour Ken Houston

The town of Dresden is going all out to celebrate the re-naming of its arena after former NHL player Ken Houston.

It all starts Friday, December 14 when the Dresden Jr. Kings host the Blenheim Blades at 7:30 p.m. Tara Slone from Rogers Hometown Hockey will be there for the ceremonial puck drop.

The name change will take place on Saturday, December 15, followed by a dinner and dance that night.

“The name change is at noon, on the ice at the arena. Brad Tuckwell, the arena manager is going to have everything all settled,” said one of the organizers Gary Patterson. “We’ve got music by Toast & Jam on the evening of. We also have a bunch of former players that Kenny played with are coming up to be a part of the event and festivities.”

Patterson said the goal is to fill the arena.

“Every kid from Dresden Minor Hockey is going to get a red shirt, a t-shirt, to wear for the celebration,” said Patterson. “We’re hoping to pack the arena with over 1,000 people for noon that day to make sure that it’s done properly. Rogers Hometown Hockey will be there as well, so they’re going to help us celebrate.”

Dresden Minor Hockey teams will be playing throughout the day at the arena.

They have also teamed up with Sons of Kent Brewery to create a special beer called “Doc’s Lager” that will be sold during the weekend.

Dave Depencier is helping organize a fundraising raffle and said Ken meant a lot to Dresden.

“He never forgot where he came from, and it’s going to be a fantastic weekend,” said Depencier. “I’m really happy for Ken’s family, I think this is going to be a great weekend for them. The coolest part is on Saturday, both his grandsons will be playing that day as well.”

Raffle tickets are on sale now. First prize is two tickets in the Alumni Box for the Maple Leafs game against the Boston Bruins in Toronto on Saturday, January 12, second place is a signed Connor McDavid jersey, and third place is an Auston Matthews jersey. All of the money raised will go to the Ken Houston Memorial Scholarship Fund.