Born: January 21, 1933 (New Glasgow, Nova Scotia)
Died: March 11, 2013 (New Glasgow, Nova Scotia)
Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame (1996)
Pictou County (N.S.) Sports Heritage Hall of Fame (2005)
Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame (2007)
Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame (2008)
Danky Dorrington led the Corner Brook (Nfld.) Royals to four Herder Memorial Trophy wins as senior provincial champions in the 1960s, later adding a fifth title as coach. He recorded more than 800 points in senior hockey, during which he became a legend in his home province of Nova Scotia as well as his adopted province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Born in 1933 to Donelda (née MacKay) and William Dorrington in New Glasgow, N.S., Dorrington began his hockey career with a Maritime midget championship (at age 16), a Maritime juvenile championship (at age 17) and a Maritime junior championship (at age 19).
The 6-foot, 185-pound right-winger was known for his size and speed. He added a Martime senior championship to his resumé with the Moncton (N.B.) Hawks in 1955. In 1956-57, he joined the Miramichi (N.B.) Beavers, becoming New Brunswick’s top goal scorer in his two seasons in the circuit, scoring 94 goals in just 76 games.
Dorrington went to the United States to play for the Johnstown (Pa.) Jets of the EHL in 1958. His statistics were more modest in that tough pro league — he recorded 92 points in 124 games in two seasons. He enjoyed yet another championship season when Johnstown knocked off New Haven to claim the EHL title in 1960 with a 4-2 victory in Game 5 of a best-of-seven series. Dorrington scored his team’s final goal.
After yet another stellar season playing senior hockey in the Maritimes, with the Amhert (N.S.) Ramblers, Dorrington made a move to Newfoundland late in the 1961-62 season, arriving in time to guide Corner Brook to a provincial title. (While they played a playoff game, the hotel in which they were staying burned down and the players lost their personal possessions.) The triumph ended a 37-season drought for the Royals. Dorrington and the Royals were perennial contenders, winning the Herder Trophy again in 1964, 1966 and 1968. He was coaching in 1977 when the Royals again claimed the Newfoundland senior championship.
In 13 seasons as a player with the Royals, Dorrington scored 349 goals in 340 games. He also had 529 assists and retired as the league’s all-time leader in goals, assists and points.
A popular figure with hometown crowds, but a hated one when on the road, Dorrington was competitive at all times, even during practice. The city of Corner Brook adopted Dorrington as a favourite son, proclaiming a Frank (Danky) Dorrington Day in his honour in 1972, the only athlete ever said to have been so honoured. His No. 17 sweater was retired to be placed in the rafters of the arena.
Dorrington was also a notable softball player in summer. He led the Corner Brook league with a .428 average in 1969, further evidence, if any were needed, for his being named the city’s male athlete of the year.
Away from the rink, Dorrington earned his keep delivered heating oil in Corner Brook.
In recent years, Dorrington was inducted into provincial sports halls of fame in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. As well, his 1960-61 Amherst Ramblers team has been named to the Nova Scotia hall.
Dorrington was diagnosed with dementia a year before his death. He leaves the former Angie Pitts, his wife of 50 years; a son; a daughter; two granddaughters; two brothers; and, a sister. He was predeceased by two brothers.