Thursday

Jimmy Orlando

Jimmy Orlando was a mean spirited, hard hitting defenseman with the Detroit Red Wings for 4 full seasons in the 1940s prior to his involvement in World War II

Aside from his aggressive play, his rarely-shaven face was a recognizable characteristic of Orlando's. And on one night it cost him a lot of blood.

In a game in 1942-43 between the Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, Orlando unceremoniously thumped Leafs rookie Gaye Stewart. Stewart didn't like it much, and got up and yelled "Why don't you get yourself a shave!"

Orlando didn't say a word, but rather leaned back and hurled a devastating punch at Stewart, knocking him out instantly.

Stewart recovered and later in the game returned to the ice. Soon enough the two collided again. As Stewart raced down on Orlando with the puck, Stewart suddenly forgot about the puck and took a home run swing at Orlando with his stick. The stick connected with Orlando's head, causing much blood to be spilled.

"The only other time I saw more blood was the day I was taken on a tour of the cattle killing floor of an abattoir," said famed writer Jim Coleman.

Orlando recovered from the incident and continued to play until he 1944 when he was arrested by the FBI. He was charged and convicted of draft evasion and falsifying documents suggesting he held an essential war job and therefore was exempt from military service. Orlando avoided jail time by enlisting in the Canadian armed forces.

Once he returned from the war, he stayed in his native Quebec and played in the QSHL with Montreal and Valleyfield.

After retiring from hockey altogether in 1951, he remained in the Montreal area until his death in 1992. I have not been able to confirm what he did in his life after hockey, but I have some unconfirmed reports that he befriended legendary wrestling promoter Eddie Quinn. Orlando may have become the manager of Montreal's famous 'El Morroco' night club. Other reports suggest he may have actually stepped into a wrestling ring himself, but as a referee.

2 comments:

Holly Orlando 8:25 PM  

My name is Holly Orlando and Jimmy was my great uncle. If ever you want any information about his life after hockey, I would be glad to help you to the best of my ability! (holly.orlando1518@gmail.com)

Anonymous,  9:06 PM  

Hello jimmy orlando is my great uncle my name is Nicholas Orlando i do not know that much about jimmy though and i will like to learn more about him

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