Arguably the best defenseman in NHL history and current NHL agent, Bobby Orr, who is now the head of the Orr Hockey Group Agency that currently represents over 30 NHL players and last week he decided to share his thoughts on the NHL lockout. In case you missed it the NHL and NHLPA can’t agree on a new collective bargaining agreement, so the NHL locked out the players and most of them signed contracts in other leagues.
I’d do a background on Orr, but if you don’t know who he is and what he did for the game of hockey, then you really need to go read a book or “Google” the man. Also check out YouTube for some of his ridiculous highlights and just remember that yes, he was in fact that fast and smooth while basically skating on clap skates.
Needless to say I’ll cave (like the owners should) and give you a brief bio on Bobby. He’s in the NHL Hall of Fame, won numerous Norris trophies and other individual awards, he won two Stanley Cups while playing for the Boston Bruins, he was awarded the Conn Smythe after both Stanley Cup wins and now he helps guide young players through the minefield that is professional hockey.
Orr whose rookie contract was the first to be negotiated by an agent, also made him the highest paid player in the NHL as a rookie and his next contract was the first million-dollar contract in the NHL. He was also infamously ripped off by his agent and found out at the end of his playing career that he was in fact broke and had to go into business with his family back in Boston to avoid filing for bankruptcy. He later helped investigators bring his former agent, Alan Eagleson, up on fraud charges that led to Eagleson’s disbarment. So, when he talks hockey and hockey related business everyone should listen.
Here is what Orr had to say to the NHL, the NHLPA and fans of the NHL:
“I really do believe there is a fair deal to be made and (talking about) who’s wrong, who’s right… I don’t think its the time. I don’t think its good for negotiation. If I were to give them any advice at all, I would say, ‘lock both sides in a room, give them bread and water and don’t (let them) come out of the room until (they) make a deal.’ Everything is going so well in that league, with (Los Angeles) winning the cup and the Rangers are going to be strong. We have so many great, young players in our game. The game is in such great shape… It’s like a trade here, a good trade, where both sides make out, and I do think both sides can make out very well here. That’s the kind of deal that has to be made here, where both sides are happy. And I think they have two bright guys in Don (Fehr) and Gary (Bettman) who should be able to put a deal together, for the good of everyone. It’s unbelievable how many people are affected. From the rinks, to the minor leagues where players are going down, and other players are getting shoved out for positions. It’s not a good thing.”
I agree Bobby, it’s not a good thing at all. Now sure, Bobby Orr has a vested interest in the NHL and would love the lockout to end sooner rather than later. I’d also bet my house he’s on the players side. However, can you really argue with anything he said? Because I can’t other than he called Gary Bettman smart (just kidding, maybe). The league is growing and it should be able to set itself up in a way where everyone is making money and is happy. The NHL is growing, there is a big influx of young and exciting talent in the NHL and they just signed a massive TV contract. There is no reason why a CBA deal can’t be made that works for everyone. The pie is big enough for everyone to get a decent sized slice. Problem is we need people (Gary Bettman and the NHL Board of Governors I’m looking at you) that want everyone to get their share of that pie and sadly, that doesn’t look like it will be happening any time soon.
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