Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Today, May 10th, proved to be a very remarkable day in the life of Bobby Orr, for on this date in 1968 Orr was named the winner of the Norris Trophy as the NHL's outstanding defenseman despite it being only Orr's second season in the NHL and the fact he was limited to just 46 games and 31 points by a knee injury!
Orr had already won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year the season before and that season's Norris Trophy winner Harry Howell of the New York Rangers then commented he was glad to have won it when he did because "Orr will own this trophy from now on."
Orr proved Howell correct, winning the trophy eight consecutive seasons. After winning the Norris again in 1969, Orr had a season for the ages in 1969-70, winning not only the Norris, but also the Art Ross Trophy that goes to the league's leading scorer, the first and only defenseman to ever do so, the Hart Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player for the first of three times, and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, (becoming the first player to ever win four major NHL awards in one season) as he clinched the Boston Bruins first Stanley Cup championship in 29 years.
Orr did it in style by scoring one of the most memorable goals in hockey history as he scored the cup winning goal in overtime of Game 4 against the St. Louis Blues, also on this date, to give the Bruins their first championship since 1941. His immediate mid-air celebration after tripping over the stick of Blues goaltender Glenn Hall is perhaps the most famous photo in hockey history.
So famous is Orr's goal, that a book has been published about it. Not about Orr's career or even his spectacular 1969-70 season, but an entire book dedicated to just that one goal.
One year later, again on today, May 10th, Orr was named the winner of not only his fourth consecutive Norris Trophy, but also his second consecutive Hart Trophy as he set a personal high with 139 points, the most ever by a defenseman and a record which still stands to this day.
Although his career was cut short by multiple knee surgeries, Orr would win four more Norris Trophies, another Art Ross Trophy, another Hart Trophy and another Conn Smythe Trophy while winning his second Stanley Cup. Orr was later inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979, becoming the youngest person to ever receive that honor, sadly made possible by the shortness of his career.
Today's featured jersey is a 1969-70 Boston Bruins Bobby Orr jersey as worn while he was flying through the air like Superman after scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal in 1970.
When purchasing a Bobby Orr Bruins jersey, please be aware that Orr very rarely wore his name on the back of any Boston Bruins jersey during his entire career, with the only times being for national TV games, as was the practice back then. Quite often Orr jerseys are sold on ebay or other online stores with Orr's name incorrectly on the back of the jersey, as if his iconic #4 wasn't enough.
Even during Orr's first season in Chicago no names were used on the back, making just the final six games of his career with the Black Hawks in 1978-79, a sad and unfortunate end to a great career and not exactly worthy of recreating for your collection, one of the few times Orr regularly wore his name on the back of a jersey outside of NHL All-Star Games and the 1976 Canada Cup.
Today's video selection is the Legends of Hockey profile of Bobby Orr which includes footage of his famous Stanley Cup winning goal, scored on this day in 1970.