Burton 40: Dustin Blair
In ten years of Burton Hockey, players have come and gone. Some were dedicated diehards. Some dominated session in, session out. Some excelled. Some were very successful junior hockey players. Some even went on to represent their country internationally. But when people are asked who the best player to ever play Burton Hockey was, one name stands above them all. It doesn't matter that he didn't play very often. The impression he left and the feats he was capable of created a myth that has stood the test of time. Quite simply, there has never been a player in Burton Hockey that has been at the level of Dustin Blair.
A dynamo on wheels, Dustin was a hockey prodigy with the size, skill and workrate to take him anywhere he wanted to be in hockey. Dustin, however, decided early on that hockey was never going to be an occupation he would want, and thus passed on the myriad offers thrown at him by junior scouts, opting instead for life in the real world. Nothing is more satisfying to Dustin than an honest day's work. However, that doesn't mean he fell out of love with hockey or anything. In 2001, he finally took up the open offer for him to come down to Burton and destroy.
Destroy, he did. In an eight-game session, he scored an amazing 30 goals on 66 shots, setting a record that hasn't been touched to this day. His 35 points stood for five years as the all-time session best. He toyed with the other players. His high-velocity shot completely broke Shawn Struck, who was never the same goalie afterward. He embarrassed the BUSH regulars. And we were never happier for it, for we knew we had just experienced greatness.
Dustin would make two more cameos: a 3-game, 14-point performance in 2001 coupled with a stint in goal, and an appearance at the Calgary abortion of 2003. He's in the Okanagan now, and a future appearance seems like a distant dream. But we can only hope. 55 points in 12 games skated is quite possibly the most unbelieveable statistic in the entire history of the league. Dustin, of course, wasn't really ever in our league; he was far beyond it. The cult-like myth surrounding his legendary one-offs has continued to grow over the years. It's amazing how much of an impact he has left for having played so little, but it's a testament to his sheer dominance of the game. A truly intimidating figure indeed, Dustin Blair, the most overpowering player in Burton Hockey history, is one of the Burton 40.
Awards: Most Outstanding Player - 2000; 1st All-Star - 2000
Previous Burton 40 Articles
Ben de Wit