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History Of 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 +/- season.

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 old.

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 (The Gentleman).






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