The book that hockey fans have been waiting for: the definitive, unauthorized account of the man many say was the greatest player the game has ever seen.
The legend of Bobby Orr is one of the most enduring in sport. Even those who have never played the game of hockey know that the myth surrounding Canada’s great pastime originates in places like Bobby Orr’s Parry Sound. In the glory years of the Original Six – an era when the majority of NHLers were Canadian – hockey players seemed to emerge fully formed from our frozen rivers and backyard rinks, to have found the source of their genius somehow in the landscape. Like Mozart, they just appeared – Howie Morenz, Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard and Bobby Orr – spun out of the elements, prodigies, geniuses, originals, to stoke the fantasy of a nation united around a puck.
Bobby Orr redefined the defensive style of hockey; there was nothing like it before him. He was the first to infuse the defenseman position with offensive juice, driving up the ice, setting up players and scoring some goals of his own. He was the first player to win three straight MVP awards, the first defenseman to score twenty or more goals in a season. His most famous goal won the Boston Bruins the Stanley Cup in 1970 – for the first time in twenty-nine years – against the St. Louis Blues in overtime. But history will also remember Bobby Orr as a key figure in the Alan Eagleson scandal, and as the unfortunate player forced into early retirement in 1978 because of his injuries. His is a story of dramatic highs and lows.
In Searching for Bobby Orr, Canada’s foremost sportswriter gives us a compelling and graceful look at the life and times of Bobby Orr that is also a revealingportrait of a game and a country in transition.
So Bobby Orr could skate, he could stickhandle, he could fight when he had to. He could shoot without looking at the net, without tipping a goaltender as to what was coming. His slapshot came without a big windup, and was deadly accurate. Skating backwards, defending, he was all but unbeatable one on one. He could poke check the puck away, or muscle a forward into the boards. In front of his own net, stronger on his feet than his skinny frame would suggest, he wouldn’t be moved. But there was more…
–from Searching for Bobby Orr