Orr was only 31 when Gretzky debuted in the NHL. We could have seen them play against each other (and together in all-star games and even in the freakin' Canada Cup!) for at least 5 years, if not 10. I always get so bummed when I think of this.
Isnt that interesting. Great find, never heard about it before, nor the rather tragic story of the individual involved, reason for the event & game.... And ya, it is a shame that medical science then wasnt what it is today, Orr able to play and hopefully at optimum capacity well into his 30's HOWEVER.... even then youve got to remember how he played. He was a left hand shot playing right defence & lead with his left knee, and that was the one got crunched. Something like 13 or 14 surgeries. The right knee virtually unscathed. Today were appalled by head shots (clean or dirty). Back in the late 60's & through the 70's there were Submarine Hit Artists, guys who deliberately targeted other guys knees not knee on so much but in low tuck hip checks sending the victim ass over tea kettle. Even with todays advancements in re-building damaged knees, taking impact hits like that would still mess a player up but good.
I was at this game. Ken Dryden played also but I'm pretty sure he was on defence as the 11 year old me was excited to see him and his mask and was disappointed. Somewhere I have the program for this, there were tons of stars there as I remember. I don't think Orr played too much for obvious reasons.