Oshawa hockey community mourning the loss of long-time Generals owner John Humphreys

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Published April 14, 2022 at 9:44 am

The Ontario junior hockey community is mourning the loss of former long-time Oshawa Generals President and Governor John Humphreys, who died on Wednesday.

The Humphreys family took over ownership of the club from the Boston Bruins in 1962 after the NHL team (along with Wren Blair) had resurrected the Generals. The Oshawa junior team – winners of three Memorial Cups during the war years – had been without a place to place since fire destroyed their arena in 1953.

The club’s re-birth – with John’s father Russ at the helm – coincided with the introduction of hocky legend Bobby Orr to the world and the Generals would go on to enormous success during the 42 years the family owned the team.

Oshawa won J. Ross Robertson Cup titles in 1966, 1983, 1987, 1990 and 1997 along with a Memorial Cup championship with Eric Lindros in 1990 during the family’s tenure at the helm.

Throughout the family’s ownership years, the Generals developed an abundance of talented players who would go on to great NHL careers, such as Orr, Lindros, Rick Middleton, Tony Tanti, Dave Andreychuk, Marc Savard, and many others.

John Humphreys would eventually take over ownership from his father and was the team’s governor for the 1990 and 1997 championship years.

John Humphreys sold the team to John Davies in 2004, who would sell it to current owner Rocco Tullio two years later.

Humphreys is remembered as an owner who made his entire staff feel like a part of his family. He is predeceased by his wife Barbara, a noted artist who succumbed to ovarian cancer in 2014. The two had been married for 47 years.

John and Barbara Humphreys had three daughters: Nancy, Kathryn and Beth. Kathryn was a noted sports broadcast personality with City-TV for 18 years before retiring in 2015 to spend more time with her twin boys, who were born the previous year.

Kathryn Humphreys is married to Tragically Hip drummer Johnny Fay.

Messages of condolences have been coming in from the hockey world and the Oshawa and Muskoka communities since yesterday. It is expected that funeral arrangements for John Humphreys will be private.

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