“Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux go down with Gordie Howe as our greatest players. But in my mind, they’re not knocking Gordie out of that number one spot.” – Orr on Greatest All-Time NHL Player Debate
STAMFORD, Conn. – November 14, 2013 – Widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of hockey, two-time Stanley Cup Champion and legendary NHL defenseman Bobby Orr sits down with 25-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas for the newest edition of Costas Tonight, to debut on Tuesday, November 19, at 11 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Orr made his debut with the Boston Bruins in 1966, where he played 10 of his 12 NHL seasons. Orr is recognized for revolutionizing the game of hockey, specifically the position of defenseman, where he used his speed and skill to shatter offensive records. He remains the only defenseman to have won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the NHL in points, a feat he accomplished twice (1969-70, 1974-75), and won eight consecutive Norris Trophies as the league’s best defenseman (1967-1975).
Orr’s most decorated season came during the 1969-70 campaign, when he won the Art Ross (most points), Norris (best defenseman), Hart (MVP), and Conn Smythe (playoff MVP) trophies. His historic season was punctuated by one of the most famous goals in NHL history in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, when Orr scored 40 seconds into overtime to complete Boston’s sweep of the St. Louis Blues. Orr was tripped as he scored the goal, sending him flying across the ice to create one of the most iconic images in hockey history, simply known as “The Goal,” which is also pictured on the cover of his new book entitled Orr: My Story.
Following are excerpts from Costas’ interview with Orr:
Orr on retiring at age 30 due to injuries: “There was an emptiness. I wasn’t going crazy or anything, but I certainly missed it…it bothered (me) when they took my skates.”
Orr on his first NHL game against Gordie Howe: “I might have kind of bumped Gordie the way I shouldn’t have, but a little later in the game, I’m watching my pretty pass over my shoulder, and next thing I know I’m on the ice, and it’s Mr. Howe that hit me. I think he wanted to let me know, ‘Don’t do that. I’m still around, the big guy is still around.’”
Orr on Gordie Howe as best all-time NHL player: “I say Gretzky was a great player, was a wonderful player. And Wayne and Mario Lemieux, they’ll go down with Gordie as two of our greatest players. But in my mind, they’re not knocking Gordie out of that number one spot.”
Orr on golfing legend Arnold Palmer: “Arnold Palmer was probably the best pro I’ve ever seen. Don’t tell me you can’t be a great player in a sport and still be a nice guy. Check with Arnold, he’s the best.”
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