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Happy 64th Birthday Bobby Orr....the greatest hockey player ever

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by JR, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. JR

    JR Active Member

    And that includes Howe, Gretzky and Lemieux

    Orr was an artist, a player who combined unbelievable skill with dynamic speed and absolute toughness. He rarely fought because, like Chara, he didn't have to .



    He's a year older than me and I remember playing Bantam hockey and watching him playing junior hockey as a fifteen year old. He was the best player on the ice.

    And I knew I would never play in the NHL. :)
     
  2. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    The first NHL game I went to was Bruins at Kings in 1974 and all these years later I'm still awed by seeing Bobby Orr.

    I remember him playing the point on the power play and it was like he had a magnet on his stick, nothing got by him.

    Happy birthday, Bobby.
     
  3. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    Being able to see Howe, Hull, Orr, Mikita, Jean Beliveau, Alex Delvecchio, Tony and Phil Esposito and many of the other old-school NHL legends play in person at the Aud in 70-71 and 71-72 is a lifetime memory. You did not need a program to identify the players on the original 6 teams. On the expansion tdeams, yes.
     
  4. Gehrig

    Gehrig Active Member

    I respect your opinion, JR. That said, to me, Gretzky is the best player to ever play the game.

    Orr is clearly better defensively, but Gretzky is the all-time leader and single season leader in takeaways, as well as all-time and single season leader for forwards in +/-. While the value of that last stat is pretty debatable (I personally think its useless almost), those are really the 2 stats used to show strong defensive play among forwards, and Gretzky holds the records for both. Twice nominated for the Selke (though no strong votes either year - 1 2nd place vote one time, 1 3rd place vote the other) as well. I'm not saying Gretzky was anywhere near Orr defensively - I'm just saying he wasn't anywhere near as bad as some make him out to be.

    I think that many "traditionalists" don't like Gretzky's game. He's not like Howe or Orr, who could fight and be tough on the boards. He didn't block shots. He didn't fight for the puck behind his own net. He didn't do any of the things people traditionally associate with good defensive play. And then offensively, its the same thing. He didn't have the blinding speed, or the big shot; he wasn't a power forward, or a 1v1 artist like Lemieux. But two decades worth of stats don't lie - he was just more effective at playing the game than anyone else.

    I understand the arguement for Orr - and honestly, I can understand people who pick Orr. IMO he has a much stronger case than Lemieux, who was just slightly worse than Gretzky at everything (which adds up to being worse by quite a bit when you account for health on top of that). I still have Orr at #2, but Gretzky had the complete package - the peak, the prime, the longevity, the trophies, the international success, the game-changing influence, etc. Orr had most those things, but not all. To me, that's the difference.
     
  5. Gehrig

    Gehrig Active Member

    I've always enjoyed the Legends of Hockey documentaries. Here's the one they did on Bobby Orr.



     
  6. JR

    JR Active Member

    Gehrig, puckheads will debate this until the end of time.

    If you look at stats and creativity, yup, Gretzky wins hands down

    But as Harry Sinden said, Orr was the perfect hockey player. There wasn't a single flaw-not one--in his game.

    Because of the way he played bad knees forced Orr to retire at 29. (We can ignore the six games he played for the Hawks, I think) Can you imagine how long he could have played if he had the knee surgery available now?

    He was named MVP of the 1976 Canada Cup playing on one good leg.

    I'm not a Gretzky detractor and as you say, his defensive game has been unjustly maligned.

    Problem is, they were completely different players.
     
  7. JR

    JR Active Member

    They're a little breathless at times but I absolutely love that series. Have the whole series on VHS. Now that you've brought it up, I think I'll go buy the DVDs.

    Good interviews. Great insights and anecdotes
     
  8. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Gretzky might have been the best offensive player of all time, and his defence might have been underrated.

    But Orr was absolutely without peer in all three zones of the ice. No other player in the history of the game can say that.

    The fact that he fought all of his own battles, and more than held his own, just puts the cap on things.

    He's the greatest hockey player who ever lived.
     
  9. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I'm not hockey guy, so take this for what you will, but one of my favorite stats in all of sports is the fact that if Gretzky had never scored a single goal, he'd still be the NHL's all-time leading scorer.

    I just feel like when one guy is that brilliant, that dominant in the most important aspect of the game, averaging nearly a full point more per game than the guy in second place, it's kind of hard to argue he's not the GOAT.
     
  10. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Happy birthday* to Bobby Errey ... the 1,000th greatest hockey player** of all-time!

    * It's not his birthday.
    ** This cannot be verified. I thought he kicked ass for his size though.
     
  11. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    No slight to Gretzky but Bobby Orr was the greatest hockey player ever.
     
  12. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Orr might have been the most revolutionary player in any sport. Redefined the defenseman position, made it 100 percent more mobile and integral to the offense. That said, Orr played a few of his years with the NHL decimated by the WHA, and played none of his years in an NHL laden with Europe's best. I give the GOAT to Gretzky.
     
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