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Last year, to mark the end of the first decade of the new millennium, we here at Sports of Boston opened our virtual doors to the Sports of Boston Hall of Fame to honor the greatest players in Boston sports history. In our inaugural ceremony, we enshrined the late and great Ted Williams, the Red Sox slugger who holds numerous team and major league records.
Now, in 2010, a new legend from a different sport will be joining Teddy Ballgame: Bobby Orr, whose name is always mentioned among the greatest hockey players of all time. There’s good reason, too. Despite playing just 12 seasons, Orr, a defenseman, is widely credited with revolutionizing his position. He won a record eight straight Norris Trophies as the NHL’s best defenseman. He’s the only defenseman to lead the league in scoring, and he did it twice (in 1970-71 and 1974-75). Orr also holds the single-season record for most assists and points by a defensman (102 assists, 139 points in 1970-71).
He’s easily the greatest Bruin of all time, and was the star on the last Bruins squad to win a Stanley Cup in 1972. He won the Conn Smythe Trophies in 1970 and 1972 (given to the Playoff MVP), and three league MVP awards overall.
Orr is famous for the image of him flying through the air after scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal in overtime against the St. Louis Blues in 1970. The image is iconic in Boston sports lore, and no story about Bruins history is complete without mentioning “The Goal.”
“I vote for the greatest hockey player of all time, Bobby Orr.” – Dan Davis
“While his career was somewhat short, Bobby Orr didn’t take long to revolutionize the defenseman position in the NHL and beyond. His league records are too numerous to mention. His playoff heroics are too legendary to do justice in such a short blurb. But what Bobby Orr did for the game of hockey, especially here in Boston and the entire New England area, was like none other. He is the reason why so many locals were inspired to play hockey as kids, and still play to this day. Orr’s Bruins were the toast of the town. Like “Red Sox Nation” is today, “Bruins Nation” was widespread in the early 70′s, thanks to players like the great, “number 4, Bobby Orr.” – Brian Kintz
Not only did he bring Boston the last two Stanley Cups the city saw, but he revolutionized the game of hockey, particularly the way his position is played. – Erikk Hokenson