October 15, 2013

Vern Stenlund: Bobby Orr`s Ghost

This man is Bobby Orr`s ghost:

His name is Vern Stenlund. Dr. Vern Stenlund, to be correct. Before we go any further we best make it clear that Stenlund is Bobby Orr`s ghost . . . writer. That`s right. Bobby Orr`s new book, Orr: My Story, is very much an autobiography but it is actually written by Dr. Stenlund.

Stenlund is no stranger to writing hockey books, though his other titles are all of the instructional variety. His books are Coaching Hockey Successfully, High-Performance Skating for Hockey, Hockey Drills for Puck Control, Hockey Drills for Passing and Receiving, Hockey Drills for Scoring and Winning Roller Hockey.

Stenlund has quite the personal background in hockey and with Orr.

Stenlund was a junior star with the London Knights in the mid 1970s. In 1975-76 he scored 46 goals and 119 points in 64 games and was drafted 23rd overall draft pick of the California Golden Seals in the 1976 NHL draft.

Stenlund played parts of two pro seasons in North America. He even got into 4 NHL games in Cleveland, where the Seals relocated and were named the Barons. Stenlund retired in the 1977-78 season, though did resurface for one season in Norway in 1980-81.

Stenlund retired for good after his Norwegian journey and began dedicating his life to coaching youth hockey in Ontario. He was a successful coach in his own right, and as we already mentioned he was an accomplished author in this field. Along the way he earned a degree in education from the University of Windsor and then a doctorate of education from the University of Michigan. He is a tenured professor now at the University of Windsor.

Perhaps Stenlund`s biggest accomplishment in hockey was teaming with friend Bobby Orr to develop the Chevrolet Safe And Fun Hockey instruction program for Canadian minor hockey players.

The excellent website Puck Struck recently interviewed Vern Stenlund.

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