He was voted the greatest athlete in the history of Boston, ahead of the great baseball and basketball stars. His list of awards is to date unmatched by any defenceman in NHL history: HART TROPHY 1970, 1971 and 1972; CONN SMYTHE TROPHY 1970 and 1972; and JAMES NORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY 8 years 1968-75. He was first-team all-star 8 consecutive years, 1967-75, and scored 270 goals and 645 assists in 953 games, adding 92 points in 74 playoff games. He suffered his first knee injury in his rookie season, and by the time he left Boston to sign a $3-million contract with Chicago Black Hawks (1976-77), he had had 6 knee operations. Orr was unable to participate in the CANADA-SOVIET HOCKEY SERIES due to injury, but did play in the inaugural CANADA CUP in 1976. His knees were already destroyed but his performance was outstanding, earning him honours as the tournament's most valuable player and proving he was still the best player in the game. Following the tournament he was able to play in only 26 games for the Black Hawks before his knees put an end to his career.
Orr was elected to the HOCKEY HALL OF FAME in 1979 and was made a member of the ORDER OF CANADA that same year. He is currently a player agent in the US and devotes his time to several charities. Orr is widely considered to be one of the sport's greatest players.
Author JAMES MARSH