BOBBY ORR NIGHT NOVEMBER 27TH-2008
ORDER LIMITED RETIREMENT PUCK
It was a moment Oshawa Generals’ fans had been waiting
for since the late ‘60s.
Last Thursday 6,253 fans packed the General Motors Centre in Oshawa to pay homage to the greatest General to ever play the game, Bobby Orr.
Orr’s No. 2 Oshawa jersey was officially retired before the Generals faced off against the Peterborough Petes in an stirring 50-minute ceremony.
“Any time you’re honored in this manner it’s a thrill,” said the 60-year-old Orr after the first period.
“It really is. It’s very special. It’s something I’ll always remember.”
Orr joined the Generals at the tender age of 14 and commuted from Parry Sound the entire first year.
He managed to score six goals and added 13 assists in 35 games that first year.
“It was something I wanted to do,” Orr explained about playing so young.
“Not many did it at that age but it was something I wanted to do. I knew it was the next step. My goal was to play at the NHL. My dream was to play in the NHL.
“It was a nervous time to be playing at 14 against older guys. I was lucky, I could skate a little bit so I dodged a lot of the big boys,” said Orr with a smile that was on his face all night.
Orr gave a lot of credit to his former teammates, including fellow Parry Sounder Jim Whittaker, for looking out for him when guys got too aggressive.
In 194 games with the Generals, Orr scored a ridiculous 107 goals and 278 points before heading to the Boston Bruins where he went on to win two Stanley Cups and countless individual awards.
“You know winning awards and championships and everything is nice but the friendships, in my mind, is the best thing.”
Orr had a lot of former teammates, coaches and family in attendance including his former Boston Bruins head coach and Hockey Night in Canada host Don Cherry, who surprised Orr that night with his presence.
The current Generals were looking to impress Orr with their performance. They defeated the visiting Petes 5-1 to cap off a fantastic night.
Playing in the game was John Tavares who, like Orr, joined the Generals at the age of 14 and is expected to be selected first overall in this year’s NHL entry draft.
Before Orr left he offered some words of advice for the new generation of hockey players. “Everyone has a level that they can play consistently at. The only thing that bothers me in the game today is that often when I talk to players they say ‘I can’t play like you.’ Well I don’t expect them to play like me. I do expect them to play at their level. Be consistent at that level. It will be better for the game.”