Bobby Orr and figure skating

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by raleh, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. raleh

    raleh Registered User

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    I work with a girl who "dabbles with figure skating" and have heard her talk about how NHL players pale in comparrison to figure skaters as far as skating is concerned. I didn't argue, I don't know enough about it. I smiled and nodded when she said that the girls who do ice maintenance between periods of NHL games could out skate anyone on the teams they work for. I even kept my mouth shut when I heard her tell someone that SHE was a better skater than anyone in the league. However, I had to say something today when she told a tourist (I work in a museum) that the reason Bobby Orr was such an incredible skater is that he competed as a figure skater in his childhood. It doesn't say anything about that in Brunt's book, and I realize that Orr is a very private person, but figure skating doesn't seem like something a kid from Parry Sound in the '50's and '60's would do. Can anyone confirm this before I make a fool of myself yelling at this girl?:help:
     
  2. tinyzombies

    tinyzombies Registered User

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    How would he have had time? He was playing hockey in the juniors at a very young age. I doubt he could have both played competitive hockey and be a competitive figure skater. Highly unlikely.
     
  3. vancityluongo

    vancityluongo Twin Benning Sponsor

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    I've heard stories of Gretzky figure skating as a kid.

    Myself, I personally used to figure skate when I was like 5. My friends laughed at me for a long time, but by the time I was 8, I was a better skater in 3 years, then a couple of them were in 6. Maybe I was just more talented or whatever, but it might have helped.

    Also, I've heard from some other people that I know figure skate, and when they try to use hockey skates, it's a very smooth transition. I hear from some people that it's easier with hockey skates, so learning how to skate with the difficult figure skates, helps a hockey player tons.
     
  4. I was a figure skater as a young kid... then I became a man ... hockey caught me.
     
  5. V-2 Schneider

    V-2 Schneider Registered User

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    A boy would do wonders for his skating if he took figure skating for 2 years.I saw how a childhood friend did just that before he took up hockey and his skating was extraodinarily fluid and balanced and strong.He had a leg up on all his peers, and he knew the mechanics of how to get the most out of his stride.
     
  6. V-2 Schneider

    V-2 Schneider Registered User

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    I saw him play when he was 11, and he showed no signs of the smoothness you'd expect from a boy who took figure skating.He was an awkward skater.
     
  7. hockeyfan125

    hockeyfan125 Registered User

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    I think Orr was one of those rare cases of a pure, natural talent. I recently finished reading the Brunt book (terrific read, by the way).
     
  8. BNHL

    BNHL Registered User Sponsor

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    If Orr ever took figure skating I'll eat my skates.
     
  9. Chazz

    Chazz Registered User

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  10. Noldo

    Noldo Registered User

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    And if I am not mistaken, both Niedermayer brothers were taugh to skate by their mother, who is figure skating coach. So there might be some truth about benefits of figure skating to ones ability to skate with hockey blades.
     
  11. 5150

    5150 Season started party on

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    Who cares how fast that broad can skate. Ask her how fast she can slap a puck.

    But yes, I took power skating camps during the summer for hockey. One of our teachers was a figure skater.
     
  12. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    Thanks Mr. Orr, but the question was about figure skating.
     
  13. hubofhockey

    hubofhockey Registered User

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    Not sure about Orr, but.....
    Both Tom Barrasso and Robbie Ftorek were avid figure skaters before turning to hockey. And both have said numerous times how much it helped their hockey careers.
    Gerry Cheevers, while coaching the Bruins, routinely said: ''Everything in the game...everything....comes from skating.''

    hub
     
  14. Pensfan86

    Pensfan86 Registered User

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    I took lessons from a figure skating coach and it dramatically improved my skating abilities. My biggest problem was that I didn't know how to apply all my lessons right away (i.e - didn't realize the short choppy strides were instrumental to reaching full speed faster). That aside, once I figured all of that out, skating became a major piece of my game.
     
  15. 02m3smg

    02m3smg Registered User

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    I took figure skating with power skating while playing in my first few years of hockey and it made a huge difference. Half of the tryouts for MTHL teams involved skating drills and when you could out skate everyone it was definitely positive. When I have a son he's going to take figure skating along with power skating.:handclap:
     
  16. Brandinho

    Brandinho Jack Johnson to debtor's prison (E4)

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    The girl's clearly delusional (and probably very stupid as well) if she thinks the ice maintenance girls could outskate hockey players, but there is truth to the notion that a familiarity with figure skating can benefit a hockey player. Still, there's not really any one "best" way to learn skating, so different approaches will work for different people.
     
  17. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Gretzky was for sure not a figure skater. He had the choppiest skating stride you'll ever see. It was like Bure without the top notch speed.
     
  18. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Well let's see can she skate faster than Scott Niedermayer? Nope and I dont even have to know her to know that. Can she skate like Andy McDonald? Patrick Marleau? Sergei Fedorov? Alex Ovechkin? I'll bet that Nik Antropov could out skate her.
     
  19. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    I worked on that Orr book by Stephen Brunt and we found no evidence of Orr taking figure skating lessons. If it happened it was never documented.

    I think Brunt put it best when he said Orr developed his skating while on the vast spaces of the frozen pond where there were no limitations or borders to contain him.

     
  20. Brandinho

    Brandinho Jack Johnson to debtor's prison (E4)

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    Mark Recchi, with his choppy little "stuck in quicksand" stride, would lap her.
     
  21. Murphy

    Murphy Registered User

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    When I was a kid, waiting to get on the ice but couldn't because we had to wait for the "dumb" figure skaters to finish up, we were told that Bobby Orr took figure skating lessons. Well that was good enough for us and we didn't get on the figure skaters case after that. I had always believed that he took figure skating after that and it wasn't until I read Brunts book that I thought, hey wait a minute, Orr was never a figure skater.........?

    I think this scenario played out across rinks all across Canada as a way to keep the peace between the figure skaters and the little hockey players. It sounds rediculous but it worked on us.
     
  22. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    I'm not a figure skating fan. I don't watch it. Is it challenging? Sure. Would I pull every muscle in my lower body trying to execute a double axel? Of course. I usually wind up mocking them if I get stuck watching them on TV. (GBC on Emmanuel Sandhu: "I'd suffer from anger issues, too, if I had to wear that outfit.")

    But I would absolutely put my kid in figure skating or speed skating at an early age. Just to give him that little bit of an edge or an advantage, so that he knows how to skate. I'd be concerned if he chose figure skating over hockey, but I think figure skating and speed skating are valuable for a kid.

    Did Bobby Orr figure skate? Does it really matter? It wouldn't surprise me if he did. I think a lot of people would be surprised at just how many NHL players were figure skaters when just starting out in the game.
     
  23. 02m3smg

    02m3smg Registered User

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    I was reading the Phil Esposito bio and he talked about his stint with the Rangers and how a figure skater could out skate the ENTIRE team backwards.
     
  24. BNHL

    BNHL Registered User Sponsor

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    Well Phil did have a propensity for hyperbole.
     
  25. Leaf Lander

    Leaf Lander Registered User Sponsor

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    esposito wasnt the quickest skater though:)
     

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