There’s Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. Sidney Crosby and Jaromir Jagr. But if we’re talking about defensemen, nobody comes close to Bobby Orr.
He’s widely acknowledged as one of the best players of all time, and the things he did on the ice, well, nobody could even compare him.
Due to injuries, his NHL career only lasted for 12 years. But during those years, he became the only defenseman in history to win the league scoring title. He also holds the record for most points and assists in a single season by a defenseman.
Bobby Orr won eight consecutive Norris Trophies and three consecutive Hart Trophies as the league’s MVP. When Bobby Orr got inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, he was only 31 and the youngest to ever be inducted at the time.
Orr could do things nobody else could. They weren’t even close. He skated like a God and could create goal-scoring opportunities out of nothing.
But Orr was also a great leader and a key figure in a great Boston Bruins team. He demanded a lot from his teammates, and if they didn’t meet his expectations, he ensured they knew.
”When I felt that a teammate was not achieving, Derek (Sanderson) claims that I would sit in my stall and just look at the underachieving player. I suppose it was my way, without singling anybody out, to send a little message that it was time to pick it up,” Orr said in his autobiography.
”Derek recalls that one time he wasn’t having a particularly productive game. He was living life at a fairly fast clip back then, so perhaps he’d had another late night.
”As the second period ended, and we all filed into the dressing room and sat down, the Turk could feel me looking at him.”
”He knew he wasn’t playing well, and he didn’t want to look back in my direction to see me staring at him, so instead he leaned over to the player sitting beside him, Phil Esposito, and asked, ’Is Bobby looking over here?’ Espo apparently glanced over in my direction and said, ’Yes, he’s looking here alright.’ Derek asked, ’Is he staring at you or at me?’ To which Phil responded, ’Well, Derek, I have two goals already tonight, so I don’t think he’s looking at me!’
”Derek picked up his play in the third period.”