The NHL has a lot of legendary players, and some names are bigger than others. In this new series TMMOTS will help you Meet the NHL Greats. First up is Bobby Orr.
Orr is one of the greatest players to ever skate on NHL ice. His career started in 1966 with the Boston Bruins, and ended in 1979 with the Chicago Blackhawks. What you may not know is the story of how he ended up in Chicago. But first, here is a little information on the great Bobby Orr.
Bobby Orr Bio
- Born March 20, 1948, In Parry Sound, Ont., Canada
- He played from 1966-1979, Bruins (66-76) Blackhawks (76-79)
- NHL Stats: GP 657, G 270, A 645, Points 915
- Awards: Art Ross Trophy (69-70, 74-75), Conn Smythe Trophy (70, 72), Calder Memorial Trophy (66), Lou Marsh Trophy (70), Lester Patrick Trophy (79), Norris Trophy eight straight times (68-75), Hart Memorial trophy ( 70,71,72)
- Rookie of the year 1966, 13 G 22 A
- NHL’s first $1 Million contract (1971 five-year deal @$200,00 per year
- 2 time Stanly cup winner (70,72)
Having never had a chance to watch Bobby Orr play I can only imagine what a great privilege it was to watch #4 skate around the ice. From everything I’ve read it’s clear that no one could touch this man during a game. Orr set the standard that every defenseman has to live up to. His legacy is one that will never be matched. But as great as his career was it was not without turmoil.
Video Via Youtube
The Chicago Saga
In part Bobby Orr is a big reason for the Blackhawks, Bruins rivalry. A story that I have to admit I didn’t know about until I did some research today. It seems to have all started back in 1975, with former NHLPA executive director Alan Eagleson as his agent. From what I could tell Orr’s agent was a dirty business man, and ever fully disclosed the details of the Bruins offer. The original offer from the Bruins was for $4 million over 10 years, but due to a knee injury the deal was changed. The new offer was way less money, but included 18.5 per cent ownership in the Bruins. Orr never accepted the offer and it later came out he didn’t know about the ownership aspect of it. Just before Orr signed with the ‘Hawks, Eagleson was quoted as saying “There is only one way that Bobby Orr will ever be back with the Bruins. And that’s if Jeremy Jacobs asks him for another meeting and straightens out the situation. Otherwise he’s gone.” [Brunt, Stephen (2006). Searching for Bobby Orr.]
The Chicago Blackhawks came called in 1976 when it seems the B’s and Orr could no long live together. Orr’s agent seemed to have omitted details to get his client to Chicago. Eagleson was friends with Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz and NHL president John Ziegler that colluded to hold back salaries of certain players. Because Orr had no idea what was going on he signed a five-year contract for $4 million dollars, which was to be paid out over 30 years.
*At 31 years old, the NHL waved its three-year waiting policy and inducted Orr to the Hall of Fame (1979).
Do you have a NHL legend? Let us know who it is and we will see what we can find out.
(Stats and other information from NHL.com, and Wikipedia.)