Robert Gordon Orr.
The name itself reeks of hockey royalty and conjures up images of end to end rushes, pinpoint passes, bull’s eye slapshots and the most famous knees in all of hockey.
He is also one of the most respected athletes in professional sport and carries as much weight in the private sector as he did when playing for the Boston Bruins.
When the debate about who is the best to play the game is based on statistics alone Orr is always at or near the top with Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.
When you figure in the fact he was a defenceman playing 657 games, tallying 915 points with 270 of those being goals Bobby Orr is right there.
Now factor in six straight seasons with 100 points or more, one season with 46 goals, another with 139 overall points and Orr inches closer to the top rung of that ladder.
The ace card for this debate is what Orr has done off the ice and I’m not talking about the charity aspect because all the others in the argument do plenty to help their causes.
I’m talking about when Orr talks about the game itself and it’s right then when people sit-up, take notice and really hear from someone who has no hidden agenda about the sport which gave him everything and also took it away in some respects (see Mr. Alan Eagleson).
Orr recently had a one-on-one with the People’s Network anchor Peter Mansbridge and laid out a couple of points as smoothly as he would send a pass to a teammate.
It was never about how the game was “better” back when he played or this version of hockey is inferior because of the paycheques.
He spoke about the fabric of the game when it comes to what hockey at any level should be about.
He has just released a book on his life and for a very private man to expose himself to the armchair critics out there it was a brave move but not surprising for a man of his strength.
If you have a chance look for the interview with Mansbridge and grab a copy of the book.
If you are a fan of the game, you won’t be disappointed.
Orr would never do that to a fan.