In a lot of respects Coffey's career reflects the downfall of the NHL over the last two decades. In the 80's before the reliance upon defensive schemes, Coffey flourished in a run and gun offense that was absolutely a pleasure to watch (even if it occured against your team). Coffey was amazing. Unfortunately that era was lost to a generation of hockey followers in the US as the NHL went with Sports Channel America instead of a national television audience. That short-sited goal is a major reason why the league didn't gain in popularity in the US. Consider how stupid that decision was when you factor how interested US citizens were in hockey after the miracle on ice in the 1980 Oympics.
As the league went the way of the trap and offense dipped - players like Coffey became obsolete. Too one dimensional. Coaches wanted robots not necessarily skill. Factor back to the League office. A lack of revenues to counter salary escalations and a lack of popularity in the country where the NHL hoped would result in their growth opportunities. The same market a decade earlier they turned their back on.
You know what the league deserves to go under for how they've handled their operations. They screwed themselves.