“Orr: My Story” by Bobby Orr
Ice Hockey, memoir, professional, Bruins, Blackhawks
October 15, 2013
4 of 5 stars (very good)
Mention the name “Bobby Orr” and hockey fans will envision the man who revolutionized how defensemen play the game and non-fans will even know that he was a great player in Boston. Considered one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, he had an image of a quiet and dignified man, not completely comfortable in the spotlight and would give much more credit to his teammates.
When he decided to write his memoir in 2013, the words he used solidified that reputation. He tries to write as much about others as he does about himself in the book. He states that he wrote the book because he had “something to share” to other parents and grandchildren. He stays away from gossip (his section on colorful Bruins teammate Derek Sanderson was very short) or harsh criticism. The latter was very evident with his section on Alan Eagleson, the disgraced agent who represented Orr and many other hockey players while serving as the president of the NHL players’ union. Even though it is very evident that Orr still harbors bitterness to this day about the man who led him astray financially, he still writes some positive things about Eagleson as well.
That was probably the biggest surprise in the book as most of the book reads like the typical sports memoir, with praise for his parents, fond memories of playing hockey on the lake as a kid, remembering his career in Juniors where he was discovered at 15 by the Bruins and signed as a teenager. Then we hear stories about his time with the Bruins and their talented teams – of course in true Orr style, he is humble about this and writes more about his teammates than himself. He also writes more about his foundation to make hockey for children better and even some thoughts on today’s professional game.
The best writing in this part of the book for me was when he talked about his departure from Boston to the Chicago Blackhawks, a move he was making because he felt that the Bruins did not want him any longer since his knees were giving him much pain. This is also addressed in his chapter on Eagleson. While he played so few games in Chicago, even there he shows his humility by wanting to do something for the franchise instead of just collecting a paycheck for not playing with his balky knees.
This book is an easy read, one that will be completed fairly quickly and will be enjoyed by any hockey fan of any level. This is mainly because even if a fan is too young to have seen Orr play, he or she knows about the legendary defenseman and his story is one that should be shared with all fans.
Book Format Read: