The Oshawa Generals organization is deeply saddened by the loss of Wren Blair, who passed away Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013.
Blair has been one of the most significant figures in the history of the Oshawa Generals and hockey in the Durham region. His influence has extended from the Oshawa Generals to the Whitby Dunlops and throughout the hockey community.
“We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Wren,” commented President and Governor Rocco Tullio. “With how much he has done for the Oshawa Generals and hockey in the Durham region, his legacy is sure to stretch on for years to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and we will miss him deeply.”
Blair played a primary role in bringing junior hockey back to Oshawa in the early 1960s. Almost a decade after the Hambly Arena burned down in 1953, Blair spear headed the reformation the Oshawa Generals and acquired one of the most memorable players in the team’s history, Bobby Orr. He operated the Generals until 1966 and put together the team that would win the 1966 J. Ross Robertson Cup as league champions.
Before his time with the Generals, Blair founded the Whitby Dunlops, originally the Oshawa Truckmen, and served as General Manager. He oversaw their move from Senior B to Senior A hockey, built two Allan Cup winning teams, and built and managed the 1958 team that won the World International Championships.
Blair also had a successful career at the NHL level. He became the General Manager and Coach of the Minnesota North Stars when the National Hockey League expanded in the 1960s. He was co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1975-77 and served as Director of Player Personnel for the Los Angeles Kings for six years.
When the Kingston OHL team was in danger of relocation, Blair, as part of a group, bought the team and renamed them the Kingston Frontenacs. He also helped bring OHL hockey to Saginaw, moving the North Bay Centennials and renaming them the Saginaw Spirit. Blair was recognized for his contributions to the OHL with the Bill Long Award in 1997.