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July 26, 2014

Minn. North Stars first GM, coach dies at 87

Wren “The Bird” Blair, the first general manager and head coach of the Minnesota North Stars, died at his home in Ontario Wednesday, the Star Tribune reports.

Blair was known by fans and players as bombastic and unpredictable. He was described as a wild man on the bench and often climbed on the boards to scream profanities at officials or at his own team.

Blair was hired by Walter Bush in 1967. He had two tenures as coach and remained as general manager until 1974.

His career claim to fame was helping the Boston Bruins land Bobby Orr. In 1962, Blair was scouting for the Bruins when he signed the then 14-year-old phenom.

After his time with the North Stars, Blair served as president and chief operating officer of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1975 to 1977. He later spent six years as player personnel director for the Los Angeles Kings.