NHL Players

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This is my tribute to Hockey's most prolific players

Bobby Orr

Bobby Orr, who transformed the role of the hockey defensive line, showing that it could also be an offensive force. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979.

Born Robert Gordon Orr in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada, Orr was signed to an amateur contract by the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL) when he was 14. After an outstanding performance in junior league hockey in Canada, he became a professional for the Bruins in the 1966-67 season, winning the Calder Trophy as the league's best rookie.

He won the Norris Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL's best defenseman, and was named a first-team all-star for eight consecutive years (1968-75). During this period he expanded the role of the defensive line by leading offensive charges down the ice and captured the league scoring title in 1970 and 1975. The Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972, and Orr received the Smythe Trophy both years as the outstanding player in the playoffs.

One of the many astonishing feats of Bobby's career was his +/- ratio. In hockey, the +/- ratio is the amount of goals scored for your team while you were on the ice minus the number of goals scored by the other team while you were on the ice. If the resulting number is positive, then your team scored more goals than the other team while you were on the ice. Bobby ended his career with a +/- ratio of +597. His best season was 1970-71 when he concluded with an NHL record of +124.

Although plagued by knee injuries that required frequent operations, Orr was still an attraction when he became a free agent after the 1975-76 season. He signed with the Chicago Blackhawks, but his injured knee prevented him from being effective. He retired in 1979.

On January 9, 1979 the Boston Bruins held, "Bobby Orr Night". When Bobby was finally introduced, the Garden crowd stood and cheered for eleven minutes and would not let Mr. Orr speak. Finally the noise subsided and the #4 was raised to the rafters while Bobby and his family looked on.