There’s Wayne Gretzky, there’s Mario Lemieux, and then there’s Bobby Orr. At least according to the vast majority of hockey fans. But many people out there actually think that Bobby Orr is the greatest and most talented player to ever step onto the ice. Bobby Orr changed how defenders play the game.
He could skate better than anyone and literally danced around his opponents.
Bobby Orr got to the NHL as an 18-year-old but didn’t play like one. He had dominated in the juniors despite playing way older kids. The way he skated, the way he accelerated by his opponents, had fans gasping. If the Bruins were shorthanded, Orr just took the puck and circled around his own net and his own zone, as the seconds ticked down.
Then, all of a sudden, he rushed past them and created an opportunity out of nothing. He was that good, leading to him scoring 915 points in just 657 games played. No defenseman is even closer in points per game than Orr with 1.39.
If it wasn’t for the injuries and his bad knees, who knows how many points he could’ve scored, how many Cups he could’ve won.
But Bobby Orr was humble and shy and didn’t exactly love being in the center of attention. He always put the team first, and his humbleness made him even more respected. In fact, the Bruins had a really special nickname for him that they didn’t even had the guts to use when he was in the room.
According to a Sports Illustrated piece from 2009, Orr’s first Boston coach, Harry Sinden, started calling Orr ”the Godfather.” His last coach, Don Cherry, simply called him ”God.”
Apparently, all players referred to Orr as God, but not when he was in the same room. Never to his face.
”God here yet?” the other Bruins would say, or ”Where was God last night?”
That says a lot, and rarely have a nickname been so fitting. Bobby Orr deserves all the praise; what a player!
If you loved this story, you don’t want to miss this one, about Derek Sanderson, Bobby Orr, and a locker room staredown: