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The Late Frank Orr’s Curious Caps Connection

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Because media guides are forever...

Toronto Star via Getty Images

Legendary hockey writer Frank Orr passed away yesterday at the age of 84. The 1989 recipient of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Elmer Ferguson Award “in recognition of distinguished members of the newspaper profession whose words have brought honour to journalism and to hockey,” Orr was, by all accounts, an even better person than he was a writer.

The Professional Hockey Writers Association paid tribute to their “No. 3 card holder at the time of his passing, the organization’s second-longest living lifetime member” on Saturday, and the Maple Leafs honored him with a video appreciation that ran during last night’s game:

Orr left an impression on just about every corner of the hockey world, including here in Washington. To wit, our good friend Glenn Dreyfuss passed along this page from the Caps’ 1979-80 media guide:

Washington Capitals 1979-80 Media Guide, courtesy Glenn Dreyfuss

That’s... ruff (and pre-Photoshop).

An inside joke that made it into the media guide sounds like the type of thing that would be right up Orr’s alley. As the PHWA noted:

Orr was famous for his encyclopedic knowledge of the finest restaurants in any city on any continent. He was equally remembered for his brilliantly funny one-liners.

“I didn’t know we broke any windows,” was often Orr’s response when big bill arrived at the table. Then he’d wrestle the cheque away from his dining companions.

A few other Orr favourites: “I’m not saying the Leafs are bad, but is f***-up hyphenated?” Or: “I’ve bet on horses smaller than that [Eric] Lindros kid.”

During a particularly conservative Ducks-Red Wings game, Elliott Teaford recalled Orr quipping: “It’s the dump without the chase.”

So rest in peace, Frank Orr. The hockey world lost a legend this week, but one who won’t soon be forgotten.