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A Loveable Curmudgeon

by Nate Ewell / Washington Capitals
Dave Fay, the Capitals’ beat writer for the Washington Times who covered the team since 1982, passed away at his Maryland home Tuesday night after a long battle with cancer. He was 67.

“Dave was a foundational piece of our team and our locker room; his presence will be missed,” said chairman and majority owner Ted Leonsis. “He provided a conscience for our team and he was very generous with his time and his opinions to me about hockey, life in general and family matters. He was a one of a kind personality and the entire NHL family will miss him. His email address was ‘Docspuck,’ and that is what he was: a Ph.D. in hockey and in life.”

Dave will be honored posthumously by the Hockey Hall of Fame this fall with the Elmer Ferguson Award, given annually “in recognition of distinguished members of the newspaper profession whose words have brought honor to journalism and to hockey.”

“Dave Fay was the loveable curmudgeon of the hockey writing fraternity,” said USA Today hockey writer Kevin Allen, president of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, which selects the Ferguson winner. ‘‘He entertained many writers in many press boxes though the years with his biting wit and caustic comments. He was old school.

‘‘He played the hockey journalism game with his elbows up. He enjoyed going into the corners and mixing it up.”

Dave covered the Capitals through the team’s ups and downs, making a powerful impression on everyone he came across – from fellow writers to team staff and the players he covered.

“I remember Dave from our very first road trip,” said goaltender Olie Kolzig, who is entering his 19th year with the organization. “He and I developed a real mutual respect for each others’ jobs. There was a level of trust there that doesn’t exist with many reporters.

“He took a sincere interest in autism as well,” added Kolzig, the co-founder of Athletes Against Autism. “There were times that I would get to the rink and he’d be there with an article clipped out of the paper that he had read and wanted to make sure I saw. He was a great person as well as a great reporter.”

Dave is survived by his wife, Pat, and their sons and grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions may be made in Dave’s name to: Hockey Fights Cancer, PO Box 5037, New York, NY 10185-5037 or Hockey’s All-Star Kids Foundation, National Hockey League, 1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. Canadian friends may send Memorial contributions to: Hockey Fights Cancer, P.O. Box 1282, Station B, Montreal, Quebec H3B 3K9.

Viewing and funeral arrangements have been made for Friday and Saturday, July 19-20:
Viewing: Friday, July 20, 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.
Stauffer Funeral Home
8 E. Ridgeville Blvd.
Mt. Airy, MD 21771
Services: Saturday, July 21, 11 a.m.
St. Ignatius of Loyola Church
4103 Prices Distillery Rd
Ijamsville, MD 21754
Online condolences may be expressed to Dave’s family at The Capitals will also gather messages left on Mike Vogel’s blog for Dave’s family.

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