ROBERT GORDON - (Bobby) ORR
Defense, 6-0 ft., 199 lbs. Parry Sound, Ont., March 20, 1948
In early 1948 (March 20th) the Orr family
had a new son named after his grandfather his name was Robert Gordon Orr.
At the tender age of 4 years old, a friend of the
family bought Bobby his first pair of skates. Little did they know the history
that would be made after that purchase.
He embarked on playing in the Parry Sound Minor
Squirt Hockey League. By 9 years old he had won the MVP in the Pee-Wee
Division. Not a bad start.
By the early 1960's the legend of Bobby Orr had
begun. The fans were taking notice of his speed and puck control. The
Parry Sound Bantam All-Stars were playing in a tournament and the scouts from
all N.H.L. teams were there but not to watch Bobby. The Bruins Management were
in amazement as Bobby played in all but 2 minutes of the game, he was in the
penalty box. Parry Sound won the Championship 2-1. The bruins management knew
they had to have Bobby Orr on their team.
At 14, Bobby Orr started playing with the
Oshawa Generals. Ending up with 4 all-star seasons with the Generals.
Bobby Orr was the first player to hire a lawyer
to negotiate a contract. Bobby received $50,000 for two years, plus a $25,000
signing bonus. By today's standards it doesn't seem like much but it tipped the
scales for today's high priced earnings. Bobby began his career with #27
but changed it to the legendary #4 a short time later. His first season in the
pros he won the Calder Trophy as top rookie. The following season he won the
Norris Trophy which would not relinquish for the next 8 years. There was no
stopping him now.
Over the next 13 years Bobby Orr set almost every
conceivable record for a defenseman. The game of hockey was changed forever
after Mr. Orr had played. One astonishing feat of Bobby's his his +/-
ratio. Bobby finished his career with a +/- ratio of 597. His best season was
1970-71 when he finished with an NHL record of 124. Just so you know Wayne
Gretzky's best +/- season was 98. In his career Bobby never had a negative +/-
Just a few facts for you to consider. The shy,
humble boy from Parry Sound revolutionized the sport and gave a new definition
to the role of a defenseman, capturing the Art Ross Trophy twice, winning the
Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player three straight times, the Conn
Smythe award twice and the Norris Trophy an unprecedented eight times.
In what he would call his biggest accomplishment, Orr guided the Bruins to
Stanley Cups in 1970 and 1972.
In 1976 Bobby was named the MVP of Team Canada in
the Canada Cup. Bobby and Dennis Potvin lead the team in scoring.
Unlike the superstars of today, Bobby was a two
way player. Bobby scored goals and he hit, and hit hard too. When
teams played the Bruins they knew that they had to stop Orr from scoring or they
would never win. After 14 knee operations Bobby took a year off to
rest his badly damaged knees. But to no avail he retired after the following
season. His body could no longer take the beating each game that the other
players laid on him.
The Boston Bruins held, "Bobby Orr
Night" on January 9, 1979.
When Bobby was at long last introduced, the Boston Garden fans rose to their
feet and rooted, cheered and applauded for twelve minutes and would not let Mr.
Orr speak. Finally the noise decreased enough to raise the #4 banner to the
rafters of the historic Boston Garden while Bobby and his family looked on. It
was the first time that his mother was at the gardens. She never went to
see him play as she was always afraid he would get injured.
In 1979 the Hockey Hall of Fame elected Bobby Orr
to be enshrined into it's sanctified building. Bobby was, and still is, the
youngest player ever to be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was 31 years
I really wonder if Bobby was to play in today's
hockey, if his career would have lasted allot longer. He had no Marty McSorley
to protect him like Gretzky. He bumped and grinded each and every night
that he played hockey.
Orr now has a new career as a player agent for
Woolf Associates. One of his clients is Jason Spezza. He still does the odd
commercial for General Motors and MasterCard.
Now you know the history of Robert Gordon Orr