Wayne Gretzky grew up idolizing Gordie Howe and wanted to do everything Mr Hockey did.
It’s because of Gordie that Wayne started wearing the legendary No. 99, but another player was a big influence on him, and that’s no other than Bobby Orr.
Wayne’s father, Walter, loved watching Bobby Orr play, and Wayne has recalled a story of when he was young, and Walter came home after watching a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins.
”He came back and he told me that this guy Bobby Orr was pretty special. All I remember saying to my dad is, ‘I can’t play defense,’” Gretzky said.
”“So my dad said, ‘OK, forgot about Bobby Orr,” Gretzky continued.
Wayne Gretzky never played in the NHL at the same time as Orr did. The Bruins cult hero got his career shortened due to injuries, but Gretzky still tried to imitate him.
During a TNT broadcast last season, Gretzky teed up a great story about Orr and his stick-taping.
“Bobby Orr only used one strand, sometimes no strands on the blade,” Gretzky said on the TNT broadcast.
“One game I was playing, I had no tape on the stick. After the game, my dad said to me, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘Well, Bobby Orr plays with no tape.’ And he said, ‘Well, you’re not Bobby Orr.’”
Walter Gretzky wasn’t wrong; from that on, he learned his lesson, not to imitate the great Bobby Orr.
”I started taping my stick from then,” Gretzky said.
Bobby Orr won two Stanley Cups with the Boston Bruins, recording 915 points in 657 games.
At the time of his induction, he was the youngest player ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Wayne Gretzky has earlier said that the NHL should introduce awards to honor his idols, Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr.
”A Bobby Orr Trophy, for the most points for a defenseman, and then (a trophy) for the best defensive defenseman. Have two awards. You should honor Bobby Orr, him and Gordie Howe, the greatest players ever.”