Orr was a better stickhandler than Mario, better skater than anyone except maybe Coffey, better shooter than any other d-man in history (could shoot it 100MPH, only ACCURATELY), one of the 3 best DEFENSIVE defensemen ever, could fight when need be, and was humble as all get out. Totally dominated an era, and did it pre-expansion for one year (Calder trophy, 2nd in Norris voting) then in expansion and on e one knee, and finally on one-half of a knee in Chicago. The best to ever play this game.
Mario was a very special talent but,...."Most gifted played ever, by far and away."...???....You'll get alot of support but, he wasn't as 'far and away' as you might possibly think he was. I guess you would have actually had to see Orr, among others listed here, to truly appriciate just how talented they were?
At the height of his success and popularity Gretzky still was being spoken of as no better than Orr. They were considered on apr, great but different. I do think Gretzky surpassed Howe in popular esteem in the hockey community as well as record books.