Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 08
The Stanley Cup Journal

'Coach's Corner' commentator Don Cherry poses with 'good Canadian boy' Bobby Orr and the Stanley Cup at the Parry Sound Golf & Country Club. Cherry coached Bobby with the Bruins in 1974-75 when the defenseman won the scoring title with an astonishing 46 goals, 89 assists and 135 points. (Mike Bolt)
The Stanley Cup arrived in Parry Sound, Ontario early in the evening of Thursday, June 23, and was checked into a hotel room in the Travelodge--Brunswick Inn on James Street. To hockey fans in the area, the Brunswick has great significance — it was once owned by Alex Eager who for decades, nurtured hockey through coaching and sponsoring teams. For more recent fans, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that a Don Cherry's Sports Grill is located on-site. Recently, former Boston coach Cherry commented that his greatest professional highlight was "that I coached Bobby Orr, the greatest hockey player ever. And he had his greatest year, I thought, with me."

Friday was going to be an exciting day spent on the golf course with Bobby Orr in support of the wonderful Bobby Orr Hall of Fame, located in the Charles W. Stockey Centre, right on the gorgeous blue of Georgian Bay. The museum, which had its gala opening on July 18, 2003 with Orr front and centre, has since attracted thousands of fans from all over the world to visit the repository of artifacts from Bobby Orr's professional and personal life.

On Friday morning at 8:30, the Stanley Cup was secretly taken to the Parry Sound Golf and Country Club and tucked away out of sight. Orr wanted the magnificent trophy to be a surprise for the many golfers that day. At 10:45, a shotgun start initiated the day. Bobby Orr, with the Stanley Cup, was situated at the 12th hole.

It was evident that the knee surgery recently undergone by Orr was still leaving the superstar wincing in pain. It's difficult to watch one of the best to ever play the game (and even more importantly, one of the nicest gentlemen in sports), reel from pain. With Bobby wearing shorts in the heat, one golfer observed that Bobby's many knee surgeries left his legs looking like roadmaps. In fact, if you follow his left knee, it'll lead you to Great North Road, where Bobby spent his childhood.

Two of Parry Sound's finest hockey exports joined up on the links for a few pleasantries and a whole lot of stories. Bobby Orr sets the ground rules on emceeing his event to Terry Crisp (right). (Marynn Hall/Bobby Orr Hall of Fame) The incredible Charles W. Stockey Centre was the
setting for dinner for the 5th Annual Bobby Orr
Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Classic.
(Marynn Hall/Bobby Orr Hall of Fame)

The Bobby Orr Hall of Fame is located in the Stockey Centre, right on the banks of gorgeous Georgian Bay. The Stanley Cup sits poised, ready to look around at the amazing artifacts that chronicle
Bobby's life and career.
(Marynn Hall/Bobby Orr Hall of Fame)
A who's who of hockey participated in the tournament on Friday. Under scorching skies, Bobby's old pal Don Cherry arrived, and the two spent time autographing Boston Bruins' ballcaps. Two of the recent Inductees into the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame also participated. Bill Beagan, a former NHL official and commissioner of the International Hockey League, the Eastern Hockey League and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, took his swings as did Floyd Thomson, who played eight seasons with the St. Louis Blues in the 1970's. Both gentleman were inducted on June 10, along with golfer Lynn Hurd and former NHL stars Neil Belland, Dave Burrows and the late Frank Carson, who was inducted posthumously.

Other notables who participated in the golf tournament were Bobby's Bruin teammate Derek Sanderson, Pete Conacher, who lives in the Parry Sound area, Leaf star Gary Roberts as well as former Leafs Brian Conacher, Mike Krushelnyski, Gary Leeman and Rick Vaive. Tenor Michael Burgess, best known as Jean Valjean in 'Les Miserables,' was also on hand to tee off on this beautiful day. Participants all had their photos taken with the tournament's host along with the Stanley Cup.

Bobby earned the right to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup in 1970 by scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal. Boston's Number 4 scored at the :40 second mark of the 4th period to give Boston a 4-3 win and the 4th championship in franchise history. And at his golf tournament, what would participants yell? 'FORE!!!!!', of course! (Dave Sandford/HHOF)
Dinner took place afterwards in the Stockey Centre, with the Stanley Cup there for fans to examine more closely. Many searched for the name 'Bobby Orr' engraved on the Cup. There it was, twice -- in 1970 and again in 1972. One man pored over the names on the 1973-74 and 1974-75 Philadelphia Flyers, as well as the 1988-89 Calgary Flames. It turned out to be the evening's master of ceremonies — Parry Sound native, Terry Crisp — who won the Cup twice as a player and once as a coach.

As the sun set gloriously on the horizon of Georgian Bay, the day's golfers sat and relaxed watching dusk emerge. All agreed it was a spectacular cap to the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Golf Tournament, and a fitting tribute to one of the greats of the game.

* * *

Tuesday, the Stanley Cup takes a nostalgic trip back to the 1940's as it visits Gus Bodnar and Hank Goldup. See you back here for 'Stanley Cup Journal.'

Kevin Shea is the Manager of Publishing and Editorial Services for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
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