Inspired by a Facebook posting from one of my sisters, a posting that brought back some great memories. Add to that the excitement of the Bruins' playoff run this year, and a post here is born...
Some will argue with the title and toss out there names like Gretzky, Hull (fils or pere), Lemieux, Richard, and others.
Those are great players one and all, but they were just incredibly good at things others had done before them and have done since.
Bobby Orr was the one who changed the way that people viewed and played his position, defenseman.
Prior to his entry into the NHL, defensemen spent most of their ice time skating backwards, checking opposing forwards, or dumping the puck out of their own ends, allowing their own forwards to handle most of the offensive workload. Other than a few slapshots from the blue line during power plays, defensemen didn't score.
Orr changed that with exciting end-to-end rushes and nifty passing. He was the first and only defenseman to win the league's scoring title. In addition, he won multiple league and playoff MVP awards.
Anyway, a YouTube clip of some of Orr's highlights is here. As a bonus, it is set to the broadcast-opening theme music that the local station (WSBK) used at that time. It is rather iconic, as anyone who grew up in MA in the 70s immediately thinks of Bruins broadcasts whenever they hear it.
I'm embedding the video here, but most of the vids embedded here are cut off, and the video should be seen as fully as possible.