'Hockey Legend --Bobby Orr'Editorial
...greatest hockey player ever !
When Bobby Orr was on the ice it was like the Boston Bruins were playing with a man advantage. Bobby was not a defenceman, he was spectacular. A good defender is like an extra forward and Bobby Orr was the invisible defender who played forward because he didn't have to play defence.
That's what happens when you start with the puck in the back of your net, cross the blue line, cross the red line, cross their blue line and put the puck in their net.
Bobby Orr was born on March 20, 1948, in the town of Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada. He caught the eye of a Boston Bruin scout in 1960 as a 12 year old defenseman playing in a bantam tournament. At age 14 the Bruins had already signed him to a junior contract that saw him begin play with the Oshawa Generals. Orr would go on to set a new record for points by a defenseman in the Ontario League. He played in Oshawa until he was 18, when he signed with the Bruins to play in the National Hockey League. Orr's first season saw him score 41 points, win the Calder trophy and be named as a Second Team All-Star.
At the beginning of the 1971-72 season, Orr signed a contract that guaranteed him $200,000 per season over five years. It was the first $1 million deal in hockey and Orr's agent, Alan Eagleson, predicted at the time that Orr would someday own part of the team if he continued to star for Boston. As it turned out, when it came time to negotiate a new contract prior to the 1976-77 season, the Bruins did offer Orr a piece of the ownership but the star player said his agent never informed him of the proposed deal. Orr, who had struggled with his left knee and played only 10 games in 1975-76, felt as though Boston no longer wanted him and signed instead with the Chicago Black Hawks. Once considered the saviour and then the hero of the rejuvenated Bruins, Orr left the team that had been a part of his career since he was a teen in Parry Sound.
Bobby Orr had an enormous impact on the game of hockey, pioneering the "mobile" or "rushing defenseman". His blazing speed, quickness, and a knack for scoring changed the face of hockey by bringing offense from the defense. Orr won the Norris Trophy as best defenseman for eight straight years, and added two Art Ross trophies for scoring titles. His first Art Ross was in 1970 as he became the only defenseman to lead the league in scoring, and he would repeat the feat in 1975. Orr also led the Boston Bruins to their first Stanley Cup in 29 years when they won the championship in 1970. The followin season saw him score 33 goals and 102 assists for 139 points, one of six seasons where the Bruin defenseman scored over 100 points. His record for goals by a defenseman stood until 1986 when Paul Coffey scored 48 goals with the 1985-86 Edmonton Oilers.
Knee injuries which began soon after Bobby Orr entered the NHL forced him to miss numerous games, require several surgeries, and severely shortened his career. He underwent five knee operations between 1968 and 1975 before leaving the Bruins for the Chicago Blackhawks. But even with his bad knees, Orr was by far the best Canadian player in the 1976 Canada Cup series. At Chicago, he only played 20 games in 1976-77 and missed the entire 1977-78 season. His final NHL season was in Chicago in 1978-79 where Bobby Orr played in just 6 games before retiring at the young age of 31. Orr is still involved in hockey in his current capacity as a player agent.
Orr won two Stanley Cup championships with the Bruins when Boston defeated the St. Louis Blues in the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals in four games and the New York Rangers in the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals in six games, respectively, scoring the clinching goals in both series, and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP both years.