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Bobby Orr's Knee injuries

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06-17-2005, 11:53 PM
  #1
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Bobby Orr's Knee injuries

DOes anyone know what kind of knee injuries bobby orr sustained?? Of course I knew he blew his knees out and had to quit becuase of it but I'm just curious about the type of knee injury he sustained.

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06-18-2005, 12:37 AM
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I'm pretty sure it was a torn ACL. The problem with his knees became the surgeries. There wasn't any arthoscopic surgery then, and the surgeries he had left a ton of scar tissue that caused him persistant pain.

If only medical science had been more advanced.

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06-18-2005, 01:08 AM
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yup, i hear today's technology could have added at least 5 more years on to his career

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06-18-2005, 01:29 AM
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That's unfortunate for him.

I had two serious knee operations (surprise surpriuse) from playing hockey. Meniscus broke off and I partially tore my ACL. Mine was too hard to get at with an athriscope, so it had to be done by opening a huge part of my knee twice.

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06-18-2005, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legionnaire
I'm pretty sure it was a torn ACL. The problem with his knees became the surgeries. There wasn't any arthoscopic surgery then, and the surgeries he had left a ton of scar tissue that caused him persistant pain.

If only medical science had been more advanced.
it wasnt the scar tissue that caused him pain as much as it was the lack of cartilage....which was routinely removed during his 7 knee surgeries. Doctors described it as nothing but bone rubbing bone after so many operations and injuries.....

I have often wondered not so much what would have happened if he had played longer....but if he had been healthy when he was playing. His first knee injury was during his first season and he missed 28 games his 2nd season....what makes him even more amazing is he did what he did on ravaged knees.....as opposed to having one serious career ending injury.

It must also be said that his style of play, total balls out, is what lead to this. He played as hard as anyone.....and carried the puck all the time, making him a target. It easy to see why he got injured so often and had he not played like that he would not have been #4

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06-18-2005, 01:54 AM
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i had a torn acl from indoor soccer since i came off a injury my dad didnt want me to play hockey yet, then i tore it, yea funny eh? i was better off playin hockey... anyway, im still not completely recovered and its hard for my knee to go completely straight, i reblew it 4 times before they said i offically tore it, ****** michigan docters..

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06-18-2005, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mothra
it wasnt the scar tissue that caused him pain as much as it was the lack of cartilage....which was routinely removed during his 7 knee surgeries. Doctors described it as nothing but bone rubbing bone after so many operations and injuries.....

I have often wondered not so much what would have happened if he had played longer....but if he had been healthy when he was playing. His first knee injury was during his first season and he missed 28 games his 2nd season....what makes him even more amazing is he did what he did on ravaged knees.....as opposed to having one serious career ending injury.

It must also be said that his style of play, total balls out, is what lead to this. He played as hard as anyone.....and carried the puck all the time, making him a target. It easy to see why he got injured so often and had he not played like that he would not have been #4
Yeah, you're right. One of his surgeries was to remove the scar tissue. I got mixed up.

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06-18-2005, 10:16 AM
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IIRC he also had knee problems going back to juniors.

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06-18-2005, 04:37 PM
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If I'm not mistaken the same kinds of injuries prematurely ended the career of another Bruin defenceman with a ton of potential (though not as much as Bobby):

Gord Kluzak.

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06-18-2005, 04:54 PM
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Orr

I've followed Orr's career since I saw him in his first game in Junior - Hard not to notice a small 14 year old kid with a helmet wearing #2 playing defence for Oshawa.
I've never come across any info of him having knee problems in Junior. My best info is that his first knee injury was in his first year in the NHL when playing against Toronto at the Boston Garden, he tried to squeeze between Marcel Pronovost and the boards and didn't make it. The first knee operation might have been the botched one.

Orr was injured in junior and couldn't play much in the Memorial Cup but that was more a groin or hamstring problem.

Quote:
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IIRC he also had knee problems going back to juniors.

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06-18-2005, 08:01 PM
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In the ESPN profile of Orr, they showed film of him in the hospital, recovering from one of his surgeries. The scars were graphic, forming a roadmap across his knee.

I recall reading in Sports Illustrated at the time he was traded to Chicago (at that point a shell of his former immortal self) that when he'd simply bend his knee, one could hear an unmistakable crunching noise. The sound of bone against bone, as the multiple surgeries had left him without any cartilage.

It's sad. I'm convinced we'll never see the likes of him again, he was that good.


Last edited by Trottier: 06-18-2005 at 08:14 PM.
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06-19-2005, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
In the ESPN profile of Orr, they showed film of him in the hospital, recovering from one of his surgeries. The scars were graphic, forming a roadmap across his knee.

I recall reading in Sports Illustrated at the time he was traded to Chicago (at that point a shell of his former immortal self) that when he'd simply bend his knee, one could hear an unmistakable crunching noise. The sound of bone against bone, as the multiple surgeries had left him without any cartilage.

It's sad. I'm convinced we'll never see the likes of him again, he was that good.
I agree....we were that lucky to be able to see him play....his combination of skill, grace, toughness, and competitive desire is unmatched IMO......wrap that up in a modest and what seems like an overall great guy/great teammate and you have what I feel is the best player to ever put skate to ice

worthy of note is, the doctors re-used the same scars for at least a couple surgeries.....

again I address the issue of not what would have happened if his career had not been cut short....but if he had actually been healthy. Bobby Clarke has said that what Orr did in the 76 Canada Cup was the most, or one of the most curagous things he has even seen in sports. Orr himself says he knew it was about over and wanted to give it one last go......and that the damage he did by playing on it shortened his career even more

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06-19-2005, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mothra
I agree....we were that lucky to be able to see him play....his combination of skill, grace, toughness, and competitive desire is unmatched IMO......wrap that up in a modest and what seems like an overall great guy/great teammate and you have what I feel is the best player to ever put skate to ice

worthy of note is, the doctors re-used the same scars for at least a couple surgeries.....

again I address the issue of not what would have happened if his career had not been cut short....but if he had actually been healthy. Bobby Clarke has said that what Orr did in the 76 Canada Cup was the most, or one of the most curagous things he has even seen in sports. Orr himself says he knew it was about over and wanted to give it one last go......and that the damage he did by playing on it shortened his career even more
I recall hearing that Orr first injured his knee playing in a pickup outdoor game as a favour to a friend. That his knee was caught in a rut.

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06-19-2005, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
.

It's sad. I'm convinced we'll never see the likes of him again, he was that good.
True. You know when you're a kid and you want to believe that no one not wearing your team's sweater is really that good. Every other star is vastly overrated. I would claim Bobby Hull was overrated, and so on. You couldn't do that with Orr. No matter how dense a kid I was, you had to admit how good Orr was.He just wasn't like anybody else. You couldn't compare his style or game to anybody because he re-invented so many parts of it. The game evolved to more offensive d men, but there were no Orr copiers. No one else before or since would even attempt commonplace Orr plays.

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06-20-2005, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicHockey
I've never come across any info of him having knee problems in Junior. My best info is that his first knee injury was in his first year in the NHL when playing against Toronto at the Boston Garden, he tried to squeeze between Marcel Pronovost and the boards and didn't make it. The first knee operation might have been the botched one.
Yeah, that's the story I've always heard, too. Pronovost caught his trailing leg against the boards as Orr tried to slip around him.

Anyone know how much improvement he had after his knee replacement a little while back? I read a newspaper story about it then, but haven't heard much since. He seems comfortable enough on the ice in those TV commercials, but he's not moving around a lot.

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06-20-2005, 07:27 AM
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I don't know that it caused one of his injuries but I remember a hit on Orr in the Montreal Forum by Larry Robinson, very similiar to the famous Gary Dornhoefer hit. Big Larry liked to entice you to try and beat him along the boards and drive you into the boards with a a hip check at the appropriate moment. I remember feeling sorry for Orr after this hit as he hobbled back to the Bruins bench.

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06-20-2005, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mothra
I agree....we were that lucky to be able to see him play....his combination of skill, grace, toughness, and competitive desire is unmatched IMO......wrap that up in a modest and what seems like an overall great guy/great teammate and you have what I feel is the best player to ever put skate to ice

worthy of note is, the doctors re-used the same scars for at least a couple surgeries.....

again I address the issue of not what would have happened if his career had not been cut short....but if he had actually been healthy. Bobby Clarke has said that what Orr did in the 76 Canada Cup was the most, or one of the most curagous things he has even seen in sports. Orr himself says he knew it was about over and wanted to give it one last go......and that the damage he did by playing on it shortened his career even more
He was clearly the MVP of the series while on two busted knees.

He should have just been hitting his prime....

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06-20-2005, 07:02 PM
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try!

Try to think of ANY D-man today who MIGHT have a shot at the SCORING TITLE.
How about a slight chance?.....How about ANY CHANCE AT ALL?

ANYBODY???????????????????

Thats how great ORR WAS!!!!!

#4

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06-20-2005, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chili
I don't know that it caused one of his injuries but I remember a hit on Orr in the Montreal Forum by Larry Robinson, very similiar to the famous Gary Dornhoefer hit. Big Larry liked to entice you to try and beat him along the boards and drive you into the boards with a a hip check at the appropriate moment. I remember feeling sorry for Orr after this hit as he hobbled back to the Bruins bench.
i thought i was the only one who rememebered that hit. afternoon game I think at the forum. Orr skated holding his knee out to the bench but was ok.

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06-21-2005, 04:18 PM
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I forget what magazine this was in but it talked about how if Orr had not had those knee problems what the Hockey world would have been like. It was really interesting. It went something like this:

Talking about how many more Cups the Bruins would have won. Think about it, in '77, '78 and '79 the only Playoff team the Bruins lost to were the Habs who ended up winning all those Cups. If Orr had been in there then there surely would have been a Cup or two.

If he had played in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviets then the series would have surely been a different outcome. Imagine Orr skating with those Russians, in his prime! There wouldnt have been any do or die game fo sure. The Canadians may have lost the first game, but I would see the series go 6-2 for Canada. So now, who's Paul Henderson?

Then in 1979, with Orr retired, the NHL All-stars go against the Russians in the challenge Cup. No Orr though. NHL wins game 1, loses game 2 and then loses game three 6-0. With Orr I dont believe NHL would have lost. That brings us to the 1980 Olympics. All of the sudden the Soviets dont look so mighty, and losing to the Americans isnt that much of a "Miracle!" The Soviets dont have that mystique of beating the best NHL stars anymore.

Onto the 1981 Canada Cup. Orr is still 33. Still a very good player, maybe past his prime but still the best defenseman in the league. Do the Russians still beat Canada in the final game 8-1? Could Orr have changed that game? Would these "mighty" Russians now all of the sudden not have something to prove after losign to the much underdog Americans in 1980?

So here's my take on what could have happened if Orr had healthy knees his whole career.
- Russia is shlacked by Canada in '72, what gave them the right to think they could compete with us. And who is Paul Henderson? Just an ex-Leaf alumni right?
- Miracle? What Miracle? The Russians aren't THAT good. It was an upset sure but they never had a mystique about them.
- Would the Habs of the 70s been winners of four straight Cups?
- NHL all-stars prove they are superior to the Russians, no need to panic.

Pretty neat post eh? Makes you think how he could have changed history. He was that good folks!

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06-21-2005, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
- Would the Habs of the 70s been winners of four straight Cups?
The bruins with Orr couldnt beat the flyers 74 and 75; they would have lost to the Habs. The 79 habs team did just enough to win- maybe they sign Sadler who knows? Hard to speculate.

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06-22-2005, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
I forget what magazine this was in but it talked about how if Orr had not had those knee problems what the Hockey world would have been like. It was really interesting. It went something like this:

Talking about how many more Cups the Bruins would have won. Think about it, in '77, '78 and '79 the only Playoff team the Bruins lost to were the Habs who ended up winning all those Cups. If Orr had been in there then there surely would have been a Cup or two.

If he had played in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviets then the series would have surely been a different outcome. Imagine Orr skating with those Russians, in his prime! There wouldnt have been any do or die game fo sure. The Canadians may have lost the first game, but I would see the series go 6-2 for Canada. So now, who's Paul Henderson?

Then in 1979, with Orr retired, the NHL All-stars go against the Russians in the challenge Cup. No Orr though. NHL wins game 1, loses game 2 and then loses game three 6-0. With Orr I dont believe NHL would have lost. That brings us to the 1980 Olympics. All of the sudden the Soviets dont look so mighty, and losing to the Americans isnt that much of a "Miracle!" The Soviets dont have that mystique of beating the best NHL stars anymore.

Onto the 1981 Canada Cup. Orr is still 33. Still a very good player, maybe past his prime but still the best defenseman in the league. Do the Russians still beat Canada in the final game 8-1? Could Orr have changed that game? Would these "mighty" Russians now all of the sudden not have something to prove after losign to the much underdog Americans in 1980?

So here's my take on what could have happened if Orr had healthy knees his whole career.
- Russia is shlacked by Canada in '72, what gave them the right to think they could compete with us. And who is Paul Henderson? Just an ex-Leaf alumni right?
- Miracle? What Miracle? The Russians aren't THAT good. It was an upset sure but they never had a mystique about them.
- Would the Habs of the 70s been winners of four straight Cups?
- NHL all-stars prove they are superior to the Russians, no need to panic.

Pretty neat post eh? Makes you think how he could have changed history. He was that good folks!
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06-22-2005, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04' hockey
Try to think of ANY D-man today who MIGHT have a shot at the SCORING TITLE.
How about a slight chance?.....How about ANY CHANCE AT ALL?
With two terrible knees as well.

IMO, I can't see how anyone can rank Gretzky ahead of him(not career wise but playing wise).

The man isn't a man, he's a hockey god.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chooch
The bruins with Orr couldnt beat the flyers 74 and 75; they would have lost to the Habs. The 79 habs team did just enough to win- maybe they sign Sadler who knows? Hard to speculate.
If Orr never had the major knee problems that he had, then maybe they could've beat the 74 and 75 Flyers?

I also think they would've gotten one against the Canadians. Montreal still would've gotten three though.


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06-25-2005, 12:02 AM
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By the end of the 71-72 playoffs, Orr's left knee was bone on bone. and the name Dr. Carter Rowe regularly appeared in the Boston Globe and Record American (Herald). Orr had surgery that summer and missed the start of 1972-73 season.

Brad Park, then an archrival Ranger, noticed during 72-73 that Orr had stopped skating backwards and had begun to turn his back to puck carriers, sort of swooping back and forth the way a forechecker does right before retreating to the next zone. His defensive ability was reduced to puck stripping (thus Pat Quinn's assertion that Orr was not a great defenseman but a great puck stripper). Anyway, to make a long story boring, Park told coach Emile Francis that Orr had stopped skating backwards and was turning his back instead, and they worked out some combo plays to suck the overly aggressive Don Awrey into overcompensating, then freeing up the right winger for a lane into either Jacques Plante or, once they had chased Plante, Eddie Johnston. Rangers won it in 5, then lost to Chicago in 5, who lost to Montreal in 6.
The next season, the last Orr-Espo team to make the finals, Orr could barely skate and still was outlegging Flyers up the ice. But the leg checks from Barber, etc., were piling up, and it was a sad sight to see Orr, down a goal with time ticking away in Game 6, trying to lug it against the first NHL team to micro-coach a system.
As far as Bucyk's concerned, they only lost because Parent was unconscious, but as I recall, Gilbert was pretty damn good himself. The Bruins, who had made the mistake of dealing off their top prospects (Gibbs, MacLeish, Leach) were just a shell of their former selves at that point. The WHA and the expansion had pillaged them; it was the Flyers' time, albeit with several former Bruins in their lineup.
Incredibly, Orr played one more full season after that, winning the scoring race and going a league-leading plus-80. How he didn't win the Hart is way beyond me.

Mothra's post is excellent for pointing out what often gets lost in celebrations of Orr's career. He was all-out, all-team, all the time, especially when it meant sticking up for his teammates, especially when it meant the nasty side of the game, and always when it meant risking his health for the sake of winning.

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06-26-2005, 12:14 AM
  #25
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Thanks for a great post - I love this stuff and now I know why Esposito always joked that Orr couldn't skate backwards. Its also nice to hear of some in-game strategy.

I think that Orr learned early in his junior career the importance of protecting himself in fights, especially as a 14 year old being beat on by a 19 year old player in the old Metro Junior A League.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doc5hole
By the end of the 71-72 playoffs, Orr's left knee was bone on bone. and the name Dr. Carter Rowe regularly appeared in the Boston Globe and Record American (Herald). Orr had surgery that summer and missed the start of 1972-73 season.

Brad Park, then an archrival Ranger, noticed during 72-73 that Orr had stopped skating backwards and had begun to turn his back to puck carriers, sort of swooping back and forth the way a forechecker does right before retreating to the next zone. His defensive ability was reduced to puck stripping (thus Pat Quinn's assertion that Orr was not a great defenseman but a great puck stripper). Anyway, to make a long story boring, Park told coach Emile Francis that Orr had stopped skating backwards and was turning his back instead, and they worked out some combo plays to suck the overly aggressive Don Awrey into overcompensating, then freeing up the right winger for a lane into either Jacques Plante or, once they had chased Plante, Eddie Johnston. Rangers won it in 5, then lost to Chicago in 5, who lost to Montreal in 6.
The next season, the last Orr-Espo team to make the finals, Orr could barely skate and still was outlegging Flyers up the ice. But the leg checks from Barber, etc., were piling up, and it was a sad sight to see Orr, down a goal with time ticking away in Game 6, trying to lug it against the first NHL team to micro-coach a system.
As far as Bucyk's concerned, they only lost because Parent was unconscious, but as I recall, Gilbert was pretty damn good himself. The Bruins, who had made the mistake of dealing off their top prospects (Gibbs, MacLeish, Leach) were just a shell of their former selves at that point. The WHA and the expansion had pillaged them; it was the Flyers' time, albeit with several former Bruins in their lineup.
Incredibly, Orr played one more full season after that, winning the scoring race and going a league-leading plus-80. How he didn't win the Hart is way beyond me.

Mothra's post is excellent for pointing out what often gets lost in celebrations of Orr's career. He was all-out, all-team, all the time, especially when it meant sticking up for his teammates, especially when it meant the nasty side of the game, and always when it meant risking his health for the sake of winning.

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