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how good was Orr ?

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Old
06-21-2006, 04:20 AM
  #76
pappyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnbuckle
Let's take it a step further. Scoring went up in the 80's as the league continued to add players - a healthy Orr with his talent may very well have produced another ten 100+ point seasons as the quality of play deteriorated. Can you imagine Orr facing the Maple Leaf/New Jersey Devils teams from the early 80's....he would have had a field day.

Bernie Nicholls scores 70 goals in the 80's....... Orr in his early 30s scores 50+ goals and 160+ points.

I'm willing to bet that a healthy Orr could have played until 1990 (hey..if chelios can play 20+ seasons), and accumulated more than 2,000 points.

Lest we forgtet that Orr still holds records for defencemen despite the league going through an advanced scroing period. We should also remember that he played the majority of his games in the Original Six division - pretty much every game he was facing Montreal, the Rangers, the Leafs....all tough teams in the late 60s and early 70s, yet he still managed to produce astounding point totals.

alas...we will never know what Orr could have done. Pretty hard to discount Gretzky's accomplishments though. I would agree that Gretzky had the greaterst career ever, but Orr in his prime was the greatest player ever IMO. Nobody dominated the game physically like Orr, and he was an incredible passer, which I don't think has been mentioned. Orr's vision was incredible as well, don't fool yourself.
Agree with most of what you say with one exception. Orr only played his rookie seasom 66-67 in the original six. The NHL expanded to 12 teams in 67-68. You are right about Orr having a field day if he had a healthy career in the early 80's.

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06-21-2006, 08:04 AM
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnbuckle
Let's take it a step further. Scoring went up in the 80's as the league continued to add players - a healthy Orr with his talent may very well have produced another ten 100+ point seasons as the quality of play deteriorated. Can you imagine Orr facing the Maple Leaf/New Jersey Devils teams from the early 80's....he would have had a field day.

Bernie Nicholls scores 70 goals in the 80's....... Orr in his early 30s scores 50+ goals and 160+ points.

I'm willing to bet that a healthy Orr could have played until 1990 (hey..if chelios can play 20+ seasons), and accumulated more than 2,000 points.

Lest we forgtet that Orr still holds records for defencemen despite the league going through an advanced scroing period. We should also remember that he played the majority of his games in the Original Six division - pretty much every game he was facing Montreal, the Rangers, the Leafs....all tough teams in the late 60s and early 70s, yet he still managed to produce astounding point totals.

alas...we will never know what Orr could have done. Pretty hard to discount Gretzky's accomplishments though. I would agree that Gretzky had the greaterst career ever, but Orr in his prime was the greatest player ever IMO. Nobody dominated the game physically like Orr, and he was an incredible passer, which I don't think has been mentioned. Orr's vision was incredible as well, don't fool yourself.
The 1970's were a very high scoring decade as well. The Bruins scored at nearly the pace the 80's Oilers did. And in the mid 70's there was the WHA and at one point 32 professional teams in North America, before a great deal of Europeans were playing. There were some Scandanavian players but no one from the Eastern Bloc. I think Orr played in a more diluted period than the 80's. Not to diminish Orr in any way but just to say that if Orr played in the 80's there is no reason to think he would get a ton more points, nor a ton less than he did playing in the 1970's.

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06-21-2006, 09:51 AM
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cup2006sensrule
Had Gretzky retired after 9 seasons his legend would be smaller. He would not be as high on every all-time list as he is. (Howe and Orr and Lemieux would be above him on many lists) Gretzky was a shadow of only his former 200 pt+ early 20's self by the time he retired, he was by no means a shadow of a player. The length of Gretz career adds to his legend and does not subtract. His 1993 playoffs are as mouch of the legend of Gretzky as the Cups he won. He wins the 1994 scoring title.

Orr's short career does not add to his legend it subtracts from it. People who believe Orr is more legendary for having left early in his career and never having to play are forgetting that in his last full season after his knees were shot he led the NHL in scoring and had 46 goals. Then after that he was Canada's best player at the 1976 Canada Cup. Had Orr not been injured there is little reason to think his downside would have come for a very long time. He turned 32 in March of 1980. Most top NHL D-Men are still at their peak at age 32. Bourque's best seasons were in the early 90's, Chelios was at his peak in Chicago in his early to mid 30's. Coffey who is thought to have stuaed to long won the Norris at nearly age 34 in 1995 and had perhaps his best all-around season that year.

If Orr had played longer and not been injured he likely has at least 5 more insanely productive seasons from 75-76 through 79-80. Probably topping 100 points and 30 goals in each one of them and challenging for the scoring title each season. He also likely winning the Norris trophy each year. Also the Bruins were a very good team after Espo and Orr left in the mid-late 70's. With a healthy Orr maybe they win another Stanley Cup?

So assume this is what happened. At the end of 79/80 Orr has 11 straight 100 point seasons, 13 straight Norris trophies. He has likely around 1450 points and 400 goals. And he is only 32. Let's say he plays 3 more years and retires in 1983 at age 35. Those years are great but not as great as Orr has been before. Let's say in 1981 he only gets in 60 games and scores 75 points and finally loses his grip on the Norris and is only a 2nd team All-Star. Then in 1982 he plays the full season puts up 92 points and is again the Norris trophy winner beating out Doug Wilson. In 1983 he decides it will be his last season. He plays 70 games and gets 82 points is a 2nd team All-Star.

So he plays until age 35, that is 17 seasons. He has 11 100 point years, wins 14 Norris Trophies. Is a first team All-Star 14 times and a 2nd team 3 times. He finishes with 1700 points and 460 goals both All-time best marks by a defenceman and at the time of his retirement puts him second to only Gordie Howe in career points.

This is a not improbable scenario for Orr had his knees not been injured and if he had played for as long as Horton, Stevens, Chelios or Bourque his legend would even have been greater.

There is no way that Orr would not have been more highly regarded if he had played a longer career. He left the game at his absolute peak. It is not irrational to think he may have actually had his best 2 or 3 seasons between the age of 27 and 32. He could have topped 140 or 150 points or got 50 goals. He could have won another 2 scoring titles.

If Orr plays 5-10 more seasons he would be the definitve #1 overall player of All-time and not Gretzky.
If you give Orr his health, you must also give Gretzky his health.

That gives Wayne 7 more good seasons placing him well above 1000 goals, 3000 points and probably gives him a few more Ross and Harts, perhaps even another Cup.

The debate would still rage on.

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06-21-2006, 10:00 AM
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KariyaIsGod
If you give Orr his health, you must also give Gretzky his health.

That gives Wayne 7 more good seasons placing him well above 1000 goals, 3000 points and probably gives him a few more Ross and Harts, perhaps even another Cup.

The debate would still rage on.
Gretzky's health?????, compared to ORR Wayne was blessed a thousand times over , and protected as well.

Obviously some of you young guys never saw ORR play.

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06-21-2006, 01:31 PM
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KariyaIsGod
If you give Orr his health, you must also give Gretzky his health.

That gives Wayne 7 more good seasons placing him well above 1000 goals, 3000 points and probably gives him a few more Ross and Harts, perhaps even another Cup.

The debate would still rage on.
Uhmmm, Wayne had his health. He played a WHA season and 20 NHL seasons. Gretzky is 12th All-time in games played in the NHL. And every player who has played more than him played until they were older than Gretzky was when he retired. Gretzky played his last game at 38. Stevens and Murphy played their last games at 39 and all the other 9 players ahead of Gretzky played in the NHL at over 40 years old. Gretzky was blessed with health more than pretty much any other player in NHL history with a few exceptions. He missed 81 games in his entire NHL career. The most games he ever missed in a season were 29, 12 and 12 other than that he never missed more than 7 games in a season. You could say a nagging back injury hampered the end of his career, maybe it did but nearly every player plays with naging injuries and it couldn't have been that bad if he played full seasons several times after he got the back injury.

Orr, Neely, Pavel Bure had their careers shortened by perhaps a decade each by chronic injuries and lost many prime seasons, Lemieux had a really bad back and cancer, he probably missed many of his possibly best seasons. Gretzky got a nagging back injury after his prime and yet still played at a high level for many seasons after it.

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06-21-2006, 01:52 PM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04' hockey
Gretzky's health?????, compared to ORR Wayne was blessed a thousand times over , and protected as well.

Obviously some of you young guys never saw ORR play.
I never said anything about compared to Orr.

The hypthetical was, if Orr was perfectly healthy.

If you want to play that what-if game, both guys need to be placed on a level playing field thus Wayne must be considered perfectly healthy. The fact is, his back injury affected him greatly and that would have made a huge difference in his numbers.

In fact, Wayne playing so many games with a severe back injury after his prime really sunk his PPG as well.

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06-21-2006, 03:08 PM
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KariyaIsGod
I never said anything about compared to Orr.

The hypthetical was, if Orr was perfectly healthy.

If you want to play that what-if game, both guys need to be placed on a level playing field thus Wayne must be considered perfectly healthy. The fact is, his back injury affected him greatly and that would have made a huge difference in his numbers.

In fact, Wayne playing so many games with a severe back injury after his prime really sunk his PPG as well.
Well returning the conversation to Orr, he played many seasons with extreme pain nd his knee (s) was very messed up in several of the full seasons he did play. He would have been better when he actually did play full seasons. My assumption for Orr was that he would retire at 35 years old and miss some games with injury and not have perfect health just that he would have the debilitating knee injuries he had. With absoutely perfect Health and playing until he was 40 maybe Orr gets 2500 points. With perfect health Mario gets 2500 points easily. Either way whatever we assume is meaningless, perhaps you are right about how much Gretzky's injury affected him, I just think that Orr was robbed of his best seasons and that without the knee injuries he is the greatest player ever without question. With injury he still is considered the greatest by many anyway but I think the majority pick Gretzky.

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06-21-2006, 03:53 PM
  #83
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Really it seems like something that is impossible to know..

I have every respect for Bobby Orr and every other one of the greats that I missed out on watching in their primes. Born in the 80's, I ask:

1. Did the average talent level of a player in his time make it easier for him to dominate?

2. How does his skillset compare to a modern player (especially one of the greats)?

3. When placed in the modern NHL, would he dominate to the level he did? (with modern training, healthcare, equipment) would anyone compare?

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06-21-2006, 04:06 PM
  #84
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[QUOTE=Tb0ne]
1. Did the average talent level of a player in his time make it easier for him to dominate?

Perhaps a bit but Orr dominates in any era in any time. Howe dominated for over 20 years and Orr at his peak was more dominat than Howe was. Orr was an end of year All-Star as a raw rookie agianst the very talented and deep 6 team NHL. As a rookie pretty much every star player marvelled at Orr and said this kid is going to be the best player in the league.

2. How does his skillset compare to a modern player (especially one of the greats)?

Orr could do everything well. He was tough, fast and smart and the fastest player of his time and perhaps ever.

3. When placed in the modern NHL, would he dominate to the level he did? (with modern training, healthcare, equipment) would anyone compare?

Yes he would dominate and be the best player in the NHL or at least on par with the Mario and Gretzky in the NHL in terms of dominance. Modern training and equipment and health care and whatever have shown to have little bearing on the play of elite top level players. Mario smoked early in his career he dominated and played in the modern era. Gretzky was never a physical specimen and he played 20 years. Plus Orr didn't play that long ago. If he had played until the age that Gordie Howe did he would have retired in the year 2000. Better health care may have helped him with his knees though, he could have had a longer career. However Bure was forced to retire due to his knees, and the same with Gord Kluzak and Neely couldn't be saved with modern medecine and surgery so even with modern health care maybe Orr still has his knees derail his career.

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06-21-2006, 04:33 PM
  #85
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Well said, and I think that besides the obvious physical skills, what made Orr great and dominant was his:

Instinct for the game - having that extra sense that most other players didn't have then and don't have now.

His drive and determination.

Those two traits are important no matter what era you are talking about.

One of the advantages Orr had was his training while playing youth hockey on the frozen lakes.

There were no barriers on those vast expanses of ice and he could skate forever.

He played against much older boys and he learned to take the puck and keep it while these older and menacing boys tried to take the puck away from him. Because he had the determination to succeed and not lose the puck, he had to develop an 'awareness' of his surrounding and where his opponents were.

Those skills and instincts together with his intensity helped make him the player he was.





[QUOTE=cup2006sensrule]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tb0ne
1. Did the average talent level of a player in his time make it easier for him to dominate?

Perhaps a bit but Orr dominates in any era in any time. Howe dominated for over 20 years and Orr at his peak was more dominat than Howe was. Orr was an end of year All-Star as a raw rookie agianst the very talented and deep 6 team NHL. As a rookie pretty much every star player marvelled at Orr and said this kid is going to be the best player in the league.

2. How does his skillset compare to a modern player (especially one of the greats)?

Orr could do everything well. He was tough, fast and smart and the fastest player of his time and perhaps ever.

3. When placed in the modern NHL, would he dominate to the level he did? (with modern training, healthcare, equipment) would anyone compare?

Yes he would dominate and be the best player in the NHL or at least on par with the Mario and Gretzky in the NHL in terms of dominance. Modern training and equipment and health care and whatever have shown to have little bearing on the play of elite top level players. Mario smoked early in his career he dominated and played in the modern era. Gretzky was never a physical specimen and he played 20 years. Plus Orr didn't play that long ago. If he had played until the age that Gordie Howe did he would have retired in the year 2000. Better health care may have helped him with his knees though, he could have had a longer career. However Bure was forced to retire due to his knees, and the same with Gord Kluzak and Neely couldn't be saved with modern medecine and surgery so even with modern health care maybe Orr still has his knees derail his career.

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06-21-2006, 09:36 PM
  #86
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Guys in the East have shorter careers:

Orr 9 years
Lafleur 10 years effectively
Bossy 9
Lemieux 10 effectively
Esposito 10 effectively
Kerr
Neely
Lafontaine
Potvin.....

Imagine Lafleur playing 20 years in the no D West like Marcel Dionne?
There were no bodyguards in the east. Orr was a skillful fighter if you ever saw him fight Park etc.

I'd say its a toss up whether Orr was better than Lemieux. They were both once in a lifetime and whoever saw either play was darn lucky.

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06-21-2006, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chooch
Guys in the East have shorter careers:

Orr 9 years
Lafleur 10 years effectively
Bossy 9
Lemieux 10 effectively
Esposito 10 effectively
Kerr
Neely
Lafontaine
Potvin.....

Imagine Lafleur playing 20 years in the no D West like Marcel Dionne?
There were no bodyguards in the east. Orr was a skillful fighter if you ever saw him fight Park etc.

I'd say its a toss up whether Orr was better than Lemieux. They were both once in a lifetime and whoever saw either play was darn lucky.

I don't know if you were a fan of hockey back in the early eighties, but if you were I'm sure that you remember that for a good period of time the Kings and Habs were in the same division and that unbalanced East/West hockey was born after Lafleur was just a memory of his best self?

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06-22-2006, 09:03 AM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
I don't know if you were a fan of hockey back in the early eighties, but if you were I'm sure that you remember that for a good period of time the Kings and Habs were in the same division and that unbalanced East/West hockey was born after Lafleur was just a memory of his best self?
... let me try and clue you in:

I dont think the habs gave a darn about the Kings! Just like they didnt care about the Oilers or Jets etc,

They only cared about the Bruins, Flyers, Nordiques etc.

This might be another difficult concept.

in 81 or 82 (maybe even 83) I was watching at the Forum from the blueline as Messier lifted his foot (which he liked to do when he wasabout to drop pass) as he crossed the line and dropped the puck to Gretzky who took 2 steps and rifled a shot top shelf on herron. A bullet.

I looked up and said ":Nice shot" and went back to doing my homework!

Why?

because the Bruins were in the next night and the Nords on saturday......

And that was war, my friend.

You really have no idea ..how Lafleur took shots in the head from milbury night after night. I read he took 30 stitches to the face over the 77 finals. There's a famous picture of him holding the cup and applying an icepack to his face at teh same time.

No bodyguards - you fought your battles. Lupien was there if Jonathan ran Lafelur which he wouldnt do. Johnathan or Wensink ran Bouchard or Lupien only not the stars.

You didnt watch so...you come up with paper arguments..............

Thats why I respect Orr, Lemieux and not Dionne, Chicarelli as much. ok?


Last edited by chooch*: 06-22-2006 at 09:13 AM.
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06-22-2006, 12:49 PM
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chooch
... let me try and clue you in:

I dont think the habs gave a darn about the Kings! Just like they didnt care about the Oilers or Jets etc,

They only cared about the Bruins, Flyers, Nordiques etc.

This might be another difficult concept.

in 81 or 82 (maybe even 83) I was watching at the Forum from the blueline as Messier lifted his foot (which he liked to do when he wasabout to drop pass) as he crossed the line and dropped the puck to Gretzky who took 2 steps and rifled a shot top shelf on herron. A bullet.

I looked up and said ":Nice shot" and went back to doing my homework!

Why?

because the Bruins were in the next night and the Nords on saturday......

And that was war, my friend.

You really have no idea ..how Lafleur took shots in the head from milbury night after night. I read he took 30 stitches to the face over the 77 finals. There's a famous picture of him holding the cup and applying an icepack to his face at teh same time.

No bodyguards - you fought your battles. Lupien was there if Jonathan ran Lafelur which he wouldnt do. Johnathan or Wensink ran Bouchard or Lupien only not the stars.

You didnt watch so...you come up with paper arguments..............

Thats why I respect Orr, Lemieux and not Dionne, Chicarelli as much. ok?
Thanks just the same, but I'm not sure what this has to do with the fact that there was no East/West divide in the careers of Lafleur and Dionne. I'll pass on the personal insults, thanks just the same and thank you in advance not to send me any messages about non-hockey matters. Like most of the respectful and insightful Hab fans who post here, I don't need to try and belittle others to elevate my own heroes.

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