This NHL lockout, has been nothing short of devastating, to us Hockey fans. It has been nothing but depressing news in the hockey world, lately. As each day goes by, it becomes more apparent that there just may not be a Hockey season this year. We fans, aren’t the only ones who are upset about the lockout. According to Globe Sports, the great Bobby Orr is pretty upset as well. Bobby Orr was quoted as saying, “It’s a damn shame there is a stoppage. I’m in the business, but I’m also a fan.” He also went on to express his belief that hockey will resume, sooner rather than later. He believes a deal can be made, that would be fair to both sides.
Speaking of Bobby Orr, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather reminisce about the good times, instead of thinking about the possibility of a year without Hockey. So, that’s what I am going to do. Let’s take a walk down ‘memory lane’, shall we?
The Great Bobby Orr:
Bobby Orr, played as defenseman for the Boston Bruins, for 10 years (1966-1976) of his professional career in the NHL. He played for the Chicago Blackhawks, for the last two years of his professional career (1976-1978). Although, he sat out for a full season, while he was signed with the Blackhawks, due to never-ending problems with his knee. Orr played a total of 6 games with the Blackhawks during the 1978-1979 season and scored his last NHL goal against Detroit, on October 28,1978. Orr retired as a professional hockey player in 1978.
Orr’s love for the game, began at the age of 5. His Father, Doug Orr was a talented Hockey player and wanted his son to play hockey. Even though Orr was small for his age, he was extremely talented. When Orr was 11-12 years of age, he began training with Bucko McDonald, who was a former hockey player in the NHL. Even though Orr’s Father, wanted Bobby to play as a forward, Bucko knew that Orr would be a great defenseman and trained him in the ‘defense’ position. Since Orr was a natural skater and scorer, Bunko also encouraged him to practice ‘stick-handling’ and encouraged him to learn to make ‘offensive rushes’. Orr has been quoted as saying, “Bucko taught me almost everything I know”.
The Bruins took notice in Orr, spring of 1961 and decided that he’d be a ‘future Bruin’ and actively began to pursue him. At 14years of age, Orr began playing for the Generals, which were affiliated with the Bruins in the metro Junior A League. During his time with the General’s, he was competing against eighteen, nineteen and twenty year olds. He stood out from both teammates, and competitors. Orr was an All-Star for 3 of his 4 seasons with the Generals.
Orr officially signed with the Bruins, in 1966. During his very first season (1966-1967) with the Bruins, it became apparent that he was a ‘star player’. As a rookie player, he had quickly proven his defensive abilities. He won the Calder Trophy, as the best rookie and also made the NHL’s Second All-Star Team. During his very first season with the Bruins, he also acquired what would ultimately lead to his retirement. Orr suffered his very first knee injury, by being ‘checked’ into the boards, by Toronto’s defenseman Marcel Pronovost. As a result of the injury, he was out for 9 games that season. During his first season with the Bruins, Orr scored 13 goals and 28 assists.
Right before his second season (1967-1968) with the Bruins, Orr obtained another knee injury during a charity game in Winnipeg. He was in a cast for 3 weeks as a result. He had his first of many knee surgeries, during this season. He also obtained a fracture to his collar bone and a shoulder separation, when ‘checked’ by Detroit’s left winger, Frank Maholvich. Orr played a total of 8 games that season. He won the first of 8 consecutive Norris trophies and was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team, despite injuries to his knee, collar bone and shoulder.
Orr obtained yet another knee injury, during the 1968-1969 season with the Bruins, but he decided to play through the pain anyway. He missed 9 games of the season and it wasn’t his best season, but despite the injury, he was determined. He struggled that season, but his determination to play paid off. On December 14, in a game against the Blackhawks, he scored his first’ hat trick’. Orr scored 21 goals that season, breaking the goal scoring record for defenseman and totaled 64 points, setting a new point scoring record for one season, for one defenseman.
In the 1969-1970 season, Orr scored one of the most talked about and famous goals in history, the goal that gave the Bruins the Stanley Cup, which was their first Stanley Cup since 1941. Not only is it one of the most famous goals, it’s also one of the most famous moments. The picture of Orr, air born after scoring the winning goal that ‘swept’ the Blues and gained the Bruins, the Stanley Cup. Orr was quoted as saying, “If it had gone by me, it’s a two-on-one. So I got lucky there, but Derek gave me a great pass and when I got the pass, I was moving across.
As I skated across, Glenn had to move across the crease and had to open his pads a little. I was really trying to get the puck on net, and I did. As I went across, Glenn’s legs opened. I looked back, and I saw it go in, so I jumped”. Orr doubled his scoring total, from the previous season. At 120 points, he was only 6 points away from the league record. Orr also won the Norris, Hart and Art Ross Trophies, as regular season MVP. He then went on to win the Conn Smythe, for his playoff performance.
The 1971-1972 season, ended with another Stanley Cup win for the Bruins. It was Orr, that once again scored the winning goal. This would be his last Stanley Cup win, with the Bruins. He was awarded his second Conn Smythe Tropy, as playoff MVP. Orr was the first two-time winner of the Conn Smythe. Orr also won the MVP award at the 1972 NHL All-Star game, which made him a 3 time MVP winner, in one season.
Orr won the league scoring title and the Art Ross Trophy for the second time, in the 1974-1975 season. The 1975-1976 season was Orr’s final season with the Bruins. Orr signed with Chicago, in 1976. He was given permission by his new team, to play for Team Canada, in the 1976 Canada Cup. He played in the Canada Cup and despite the knee pain, and the fact that he could barely skate any longer, he went on to win MVP of the tournament. He may have ‘over done it’ during that tournament, as he unfortunately, had to sit out for the full 1977-1978 season with the Black hawks, due to his knee problems. In the 1977-1978 season with Chicago, he only played 6 games. Orr only played a total of 26 games, during his time with the Black Hawks. He scored his last NHL goal on Oct 28, 1978. Orr decided that it was time to retire, in 1978. In the end, Orr retired with 270 goals and 645 assists, in 657 games.
Bobby Orr, was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 1979. He was 31 yrs old and at that point, the youngest ‘living’ player, to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. Bobby Orr had won so many trophies and awards, throughout his professional hockey career and it’s not hard to see why. Orr was a one of a kind. He had a real passion for the game. He played the game because he loved the game. It wasn’t all about the money to him. It’s unfortunate, that in this day and age, some care about the money, more than the game itself. I can absolutely say, Bobby Orr was one of the greatest hockey players of all time.
Information in this article, was obtained via 3 sites;
The quotes by Bobby Orr, about the current lockout
BobbyOrr.com The Official site of Bobby Orr
Bobby Orr Wikipedia
I am a Bruins fanatic, from California (47)