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On This Date in Sports March 15, 1970: The Year of Orr

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

 

Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins becomes the first defenseman to score 100 points in a season. The achievement comes one year after teammate Phil Esposito became the first player to reach the century mark in a season. Orr would finish the season with 33 goals and 87 assists, as he won his third straight Norris Trophy and the first of three straight Hart Trophies. 

 

The 1969/70 season was the year of Bobby Orr. Born, March 20, 1948, in Parry Sound, Ontario, Orr is considered by some to be the best player in NHL history, as he set new standards in playing defense. Playing for the Oshawa Generals, Orr was one of the most anticipated rookies to hit the ice in NHL history. Before playing his first game, Bobby Orr became the third highest-paid player in league history, at $100,000 a year. 

 Bobby Orr more than lived up to expectations, as he won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie in 1967. A year later he began a string of eight straight Norris Trophies, award to the NHL’s top defenseman. The strong Orr got, the better the Bruins played as they became legitimate Stanley Cup contenders for the first time in two decades. In 1969, Orr set a record for a defenseman with 64 points. 

 

The Bruins would capture their first Stanley Cup in 29 years in 1970, with Bobby Orr as the catalyst, as he became the first Blueliner to win the Art Ross Trophy, as the NHL’s leading scorer. He ended the season with 120 points, scoring 33 goals with 87 assists. Bobby Orr reached the 100-point mark in a 5-5 tie against the Detroit Red Wings on March 15th, as he had four-point night. Bobby Orr would win the first of three straight Hart Trophies, given to the NHL’s MVP. Putting a cherry on top of the season would be his famous leap after scoring the Stanley Cup-clinching goal against the St. Louis Blues. 

 

Bobby Orr would top his numbers in 1971, with 37 goals and 102 assists, as he finished the season with an unworldly +/- of +124. Knee injuries would cut Bobby Orr’s career short, but the numbers he but up show why he is by far the best defenseman the league has ever seen as he added a second scoring title in 1975.