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May 02, 2015

Dusty Blair

George "Dusty" Blair was a real speedster of a centerman. Described as "a deft carrier, fine playmaker and energetic worker," he was a gentle competitor, rarely taking penalties, but a competitor nonetheless.

Journalist Edward McCabe of the Ottawa Journal once described him as "not big enough to play the bulldozer and power his way. He is not a spectacular hockey player, but neither is he drab. He is the type of workman who grows on you the more you watch him - honest, industrious and able."

He starred in junior with Oshawa and had a lengthy pro career where he criss-crossed the continent with more than a dozen teams.

For two games in the 1950-51 season he suited up for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the only two games of his NHL career. He didn't play often and never got on the score sheet.

George was nicknamed Dusty since he was a child, so long ago that even he could not recall the origins of the nickname. He grew up in South Porcupine, Ontario playing the game with his brothers Danny and Chuck (who also played in the NHL, totalling one career game.) It is not certain if younger sister Patsy ever took to the frozen sloughs with them.

For all George's many travels chasing hockey pucks, he always returned home to Ontario. In the off-seasons he worked on the surface of the local gold mine, following in his father's footsteps. When he finally did hang up his skates (1965) he returned home for good.

Described as a humble man but proud of his accomplishments on and off the ice, and most especially of his family. He passed away in 2010.

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