Geez, Oshawa. Do You Think It’s Time Yet To Do This For Orr?

The Oshawa Generals have finally decided to retire Bobby Orr’s sweater in a ceremony to be held on November 27.


That makes the Oshawa Generals only about 40 years too late.


When none-Oshawa residents around the world think of Oshawa, they think of maybe two things -General Motors and Bobby Orr. (I don’t know what else they would think of). He WAS Oshawa, even though he was a skinny little kid from Parry Sound living away from home.


When he was 16 years old, everyone in hockey knew he was going to be the best. And he was.


But only now, 40 years later, will his sweater be retired.


Heck, three long-time Powell River Regals, the local senior team, have their sweaters hanging from the Powell River Rec Centre. They were good, but they weren’t Bobby Orr. It only took Powell River a few years to get these done.


(Come to think of it, after those fine years as a smallish yet shifty right winger for Byers Bulldozers bantam and midget teams in Orillia, maybe my sweater…..?)


The Generals raised Eric Lindros’  last March. Mr. Lindros, although a forward, was no Bobby Orr. Although his mother and father may have thought so. And maybe him. 


I noticed on CBC online sports news, a long-time Generals fan told people to quit critizing the Generals for only doing this now because they’ve been trying for ten years, but Orr was never available.


But lady, what about the other 30 years?


And I’m repeating what I’ve said many times before. Bobby Orr would’ve looked great in a Montreal Canadiens sweater.


But I guess Sam Pollock was too busy telling me I couldn’t be a stickboy to get around to getting in a car and driving to Gananoque to scout young Orr before Boston got to him.

8 thoughts on “Geez, Oshawa. Do You Think It’s Time Yet To Do This For Orr?”

  1. Orr would have looked great for sure.

    But I think the Cup tally counts in old Trader Sam’s favour. He appears to have been scouting the right guys. Although clearly not for stick-boy duty…

  2. Couldn’t agree more Dennis. As a little aside, in Stephen Brunt’s excellent biography of Orr, he details how Sam & the Canadiens were hot on the trail of young Orr as well. On that long ago day in Ganonque that the Bruins spotted Orr, there also happened to be a Habs scout in the building … some guy named Scotty Bowman. If I recall correctly, Bowman even went to Parry Sound to visit the family.

    With all that being said the Bruins desperation in tandem with the Habs reluctance to get into a “bidding” war over a 12 year-old probably sealed Orr’s fate. Trust me when I say that the Bruins threw everything but the kitchen sink into their wooing of Orr, beyond what any other team would have done. Keep in mind that the Habs of the time weren’t nearly as desperate.

  3. Apparently, Orr signed with Boston because they were such a bad team, he would have an easier time cracking the lineup. But a team that was good with a lot of great d-men (like the Habs), it could take a while to do so.

    So Orr signed with Boston because they were brutal.

  4. think about this, habs fans:

    montreal could have had the greatest player of all-time (monsieur Orr) AND they could have nabbed vladislav tretiak if he had somehow managed to escape the clutches of the communist authorities (though I do not believe the two would have played contemporaneously on the same team insofar as Tretiak was prob not going to be released, at the absolute earliest, until he hit his 30s). I do know that montreal drafted him and that tretiak was eager to play in montreal – though politics got in the way (as they so often did).

    In any case, can you flipping imagine a montreal defence with the big three AND Orr?

    Wow, the plus-minus figures would have been astronomical. But, I wonder if Orr would have been quite, well, ORR, in Montreal; in Boston, he was the sun and everything revolved around him. In Montreal, a franchise that had such a tight team structure, a team that played a give and go style (individual sorties down the ice were not as fashionable in Montreal as in Boston – or most anywhere else in the NHL) and where winning cups was the only thing that mattered, I don’t know that Bobby would have been given quite the free reign he was given in Boston in terms of being allowed to reinvent the game.

    In Boston, Orr WAS the franchise; in Montreal, he would have been the team’s greatest player and its greatest asset, but the immensity of montreal’s hockey heritage, it’s enormously disciplined team game (the closest in the NHL of that time to the european style), its otherworldy expectations (which could easily wring the creativity out of any player) and its huge, judgmental (and predominantly french-canadian) hockey audience might well have ensured that a unilingual kid from small-town ontario did not become the team.

    still, what would the habs of 1975-76 and 1976-77 have looked like with a reasonably healthy 28 and 29 year old Orr on the roster?


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