OT: The Bobby Orr You May Not Know

Discussion in 'Vancouver Canucks' started by Wetcoaster, Sep 29, 2013.

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  1. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    On October 15, 2013 Robert Gordon (Bobby) Orr's autobiography “Orr: My Story’’ will hit the book shelves - I have already reserved my copy.

    [​IMG]

    But skill on the ice is only a part of his story. All of the trophies, records, and press clippings leave unsaid as much about the man as they reveal. They tell us what Orr did, but don't tell us what inspired him, who taught him, or what he learned along the way. They don't tell what it was like for a shy small-town kid to become one of the most celebrated athletes in the history of the game, all the while in the full glare of the media. They don't tell us what it was like when the agent he regarded as his brother betrayed him and left him in financial ruin, at the same time his battered knee left him unable to play the game he himself had redefined only a few seasons earlier. They don't tell about the players and people he learned to most admire along the way. They don't tell what he thinks of the game of hockey today.

    Orr himself has never put all this into words, until now. After decades of refusing to speak of his past in articles or "authorized" biographies, he finally tells his story, because he has something to share: "I am a parent and a grandparent and I believe that I have lessons worth passing along."

    In the end, this is not just a book about hockey. The most meaningful biographies and memoirs rise above the careers out of which they grew. Bobby Orr's life goes far deeper than Stanley Cup rings, trophies and recognitions. His story is not only about the game, but also the age in which it was played. It's the story of a small-town kid who came to define its highs and lows, and inevitably it is a story of the lessons he learned along the way.​
    http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books...BooksByTitle&gclid=CMCirebg8bkCFfBaMgodV1oAeg

    Orr is now 65 but I watched him play from the time he broke into the NHL until his untimely retirement due to chronic knee injuries ... and play as no other player before or since has played and transformed the game (apologies to Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky but that is how I see it).

    But what many do not know (and which he omits from his book) is his personal good works and humanitarian endeavours because Bobby Orr remains humble to a fault about himself and a very private person.

    This extensive article from the Boston Globe examines that part of the Orr legend - his second career if you will - and apparently Orr was not all that pleased. I highly commend the article and the accompanying video.

    Here is the video interview:
    http://www.boston.com/video/viral_page/?/services/player/bcpid2606570293001&&bctid=2700675642001

    And the article - At 65, Bobby Orr is focused on doing good — quietly:

    ... (F)or decades, Orr has privately counseled and comforted the sick and dying, the disabled and disenfranchised, the poor and grieving.

    He is 65 now and still considered by many the greatest hockey player who ever lived, an indelible revelation on ice. During his 12 years in the NHL from 1966-78, he twice led the Bruins to Stanley Cup titles, in 1970 and 1972, and accumulated nearly every honor the NHL grants, including early entry to the Hall of Fame.

    But if the true measure of character is found in the deeds done when no one is looking, then Orr has forged a transcendent legacy in the decades since he first wielded a wooden hockey stick on Causeway Street.

    His effortless speed, power, and scoring touch, unrivaled in the history of NHL defensemen, revolutionized the sport he loves and turned New England into a hub of hockey fanatics.

    His work changing lives is much less known, for a simple reason: He won’t talk about it and loathes anyone else talking about it. The idea of receiving credit — or worse, appearing to seek credit — for doing what a good person does repulses Bobby Orr. This article, which touches on some of those quiet acts of kindness was, in a real sense, written against his wishes.

    “I don’t do things to get ink,’’ he said in an interview last week. “I just sneak along and do my thing and meet wonderful people, some people I’ve never met, new friends.’’​
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2...eTyFcjwgoIKj2mlJL/story.html?s_campaign=sm_tw

    A legendary hockey player... and an even better person.
     
  2. billvanseattle

    billvanseattle Registered User

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    excellent post.

    I was at the game when he set a NHL record with 6 assists. Got mad at him because he punched a Canuck for scoring late and ruining the shutout. His compete level was always high.
     
  3. Betamax*

    Betamax* Guest

    So, the two greatest players in hockey history are coming out with an authorized biography this Fall ... Orr's and Gretzky's (written by Al Strachan and officially "assisted" by The Great One and not an autobiography per se ...)
     
  4. Outside99*

    Outside99* Guest

    Greatest player ever afaic.

    I had (and have since lost :() the small paperback Bobby Orr bio that came out in 1972. Must have read it 50 times as a boy, that's how big a fan I was.
     
  5. Tim McCracken

    Tim McCracken Good loser = LOSER!

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    Will get this for sure. The Stephen Brunt book on Orr was fantastic and really looking forward to this one. I've also read the Esposito, Sittler, Fluery, Probert, Eddie Shack, and John Ferguson books too. Even the one on Tiger Williams of all guys. Orr's at the top of my list and it's too bad my childhood loyalty to the Canucks prevented me from truly enjoying Orr much like Lafleur. I hated the Bruins and Canadians back then, they used to routinely have their way with the Canucks.
     
  6. Carl Carlson

    Carl Carlson Registered User

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    Greatest player IMO. I'll certainly give this a read when I get a chance.
     
  7. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    Along with many other teams other than the Detroit Dead Things and Maple Laffs of that era. ;)
     
  8. kootenayfan

    kootenayfan Registered User

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    Best player to ever play the game. I was never a Boston fan but always an Orr fan. I followed his career the best I could back in the day, couldn't wait for Saturday night to watch a HNIC game when the Bruins were playing Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver.

    Of course, as already mentioned, our Canucks usually got soundly thumped.
     
  9. Steveorama

    Steveorama Registered User

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    I have been a hockey fan for 45 years, and I have seen a lot of amazing hockey players.
    But Number 4 will always be Number 1.
     
  10. carolinacanuck

    carolinacanuck Registered User

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    Proud to say I own one of those Orr sticks with the single strand of black tape around the blade. Great article by the Globe.

    :yo:

    ps...if anyone out there has a game used Wayne Gretzky Titan TPM 20/20 from his Edmonton days I'll consider a straight trade.

    :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  11. Tim McCracken

    Tim McCracken Good loser = LOSER!

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    I remember when the Canucks finally beat the Canadians at home and Glen Hanlon was interviewed after the game, he was so emotional he was almost crying. Hell, I was almost crying! First playoff game I ever went to was game 3 of the Canadians series in 1975 when they were shut out. Oh....those glorious Gerry O'Flaherty, John Gould years....
     
  12. Eddy Punch Clock

    Eddy Punch Clock Jack Adams 2028

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    Nothing like an Orr thread to bring out all the old guys. :D

    Why hasn't ddawg chimed in yet? I thought he used to babysit Bobby back in the day.



    My very first hockey T-shirt had Orr and the number 4 on the back..... and the Hawks logo on the front. :cry:
     
  13. carolinacanuck

    carolinacanuck Registered User

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    So true. My Dad used to take me to Exhibition Park to bet on the ponies and for every race I picked #4.

    500-1 horse wearing #4? I'll take it

    :laugh:
     
  14. Barney Gumble

    Barney Gumble Registered User

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    Sickens me how Alan Eagleson treated his client.
     
  15. Tim McCracken

    Tim McCracken Good loser = LOSER!

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    No kidding! He just didn't look right in that Hawks jersey. I got my first two at the same time Bobby Orr's Bruins #4 and Bobby Clarke's Flyers #16.

    Would like to get my hands on an autographed Orr jersey. I have Howe, Bobby Hull, and Rocket Richard and Orr's would be about the only other on my wishlist.
     
  16. thom

    thom Registered User

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    Dont worry about Orr hes worth millions due to his involvement with a boston bank and his agent work.As for Allen he spent time in jail was barred from Hall and hes an old man regretting his mistakes
     
  17. Royal Canuck

    Royal Canuck Taco Enthusiast

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    Looks like a good book, might have to pick up a copy.
     
  18. Free Edler

    Free Edler Enjoy retirement, boys.

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    Eagleson was not punished nearly enough for what he did.
     
  19. thom

    thom Registered User

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    I kinda agree with you but according to Bob Gainey and Bobby Clarke Mr Eagleson is a good man who did a lot of good for nhlpa but made a few small mistakes.But I think he deserved more but the legal system believed he suffered enough
     
  20. Free Edler

    Free Edler Enjoy retirement, boys.

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    I wouldn't call stealing players' pension money, colluding with owners to underpay players (like, say, Bobby Orr) among the other awful things he did to be 'a few small mistakes,' but as Wetcoaster says, YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  21. thom

    thom Registered User

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    Im not arguing with you guys or girls all IM saying is during the court hearings yrs ago Bob gainey and Bobby Clarke along with a few others defended Alan and remain friends till this day.You can go to the newspaper arhives and see exactly what clarke and gainey said.I believe what Allan did was a serious white color crime which destroyed lives but for a small minority of players he did some very good work
     
  22. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    Mike Gillis who sued Eagleson for fraud in processing his disability claim and won has a different opinion from Clarke.

    Gillis was told that he could not win as Eagleson was still teflon at that time but he prevailed. In fact Gillis was pretty much ostacized at the time for his lawsuit.

    In another instance Eagleson convinced injured Boston Bruin player Mike Gillis to pay him, Eagleson, 15 percent of whatever was received from Gillis' disability insurance. Securing the claim, Eagleson intoned, would be tough. Yet Conway reveals that the meeting at which this deal was struck occurred after Eagleson had already been notified by the insurer that Gillis' claim had been approved. Eagleson was paid $41,250 for that scam.

    He apparently also collected from the insurance companies. The insurance agent who handled NHL disability insurance before 1981 told Conway that over the years from 1969-1981 Eagleson first asked, then demanded, to use the agent's chauffeured limousine and New York apartment. Said the agent: "He used the car 15, 20 times a year". Similarly the flat in London, England, which NHL players paid him to stay at, Eagleson owned jointly with the head of the firm "…to whom he had directed the disability insurance business." This business was profitable, at least in part because Eagleson worked to reduce payouts. In return, he demanded kickbacks.​
    http://www.wikidfranchise.org/19960701-game-misconduct

    For the full story of how Eagleson abused his fiduciary duty to Gillis (and pretty much every NHL player) see the excerpt from Money Players. There is great detail in how by way of the testimony of his wife Diane Gillis, the tide turned during the trial and Eagleson was exposed and a liar and fraud artist. Highly recommended to read. And the result?

    Gillis took little satisfaction in bringing Eagleson to ground (it was the only time the former NHLPA director ever gave evidence on the stand in the seven years between the start of the FBI's investigation and his pleading guilty to six criminal charges in 1997). He had lost the mentorship of Eagleson and the deep personal friendship with Goldblatt. He'd also risked his financial future to expose Eagleson as a liar and a cheat. But few in the hockey world bothered to attend the trial or stand behind him in his moment of need. Both in and out of court, Gillis had to listen to intimations that he was a shirker, a quitter. Moreover, NHL establishment figures such as Serge Savard were suggested as possible witnesses for the disgraced Eagleson.

    Had Gillis's mistrust of the NHL power structure not been solidified by the unhappy end to his playing career, it was carved in stone by his emotionally draining, three-year legal ordeal with Eagleson and the deception of his friend Goldblatt. There's no hazy nostalgia, no cozy chumminess, no "for the good of the game" platitudes in Mike Gillis. Not for the first time, the NHL had created its own worst adversary.

    In Gillis's view, Bill Wirtz was a part of that recidivist hockey culture when he suggested Gillis was breaking the collective bargaining rules by arranging Amonte's signing in advance -- the old bully-boy tactics. After Wirtz's blast, one thing was clear: none of Gillis's prize clients was going to end up in the livery of the Blackhawks.​
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=1840485
     
  23. enuck

    enuck Relax and enjoy

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    This sounds like a must read, nice to run across your post Wetcoaster ya old dog. :D
     
  24. Betamax*

    Betamax* Guest

  25. Catamarca Livin

    Catamarca Livin Registered User

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    I read a biography in the 80's when i was about 10. All i remember about that book is how hard he worked to become the best. He did a lot of running. Thanks Wetcoaster for the links it was a heartening way to spend an afternoon at work while not working. Perhaps some of those commenting in the Over/Under of when Mike Gillis will be fired should look at some of these links. Gillis showed real heart in transforming his life after hockey injury and taking on Alan E. One does not become the super agent he became by accident. Not that he has not made mistakes but he has show some real talent.

    One last thing look at the size of those salaries!!! Holik/Guernin at 9 million a year 10 years ago. The Sedins at 6 million now. All those NJD eventually got paid even if not in NJ. The funny or not so funny thing is that there are so many players on the Canucks within a couple million of the Sedins eventhough no one on the team has their resume as top players with the possible exception of Luongo.
     

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