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Bobby Orr thinks defensemen need more protection from forecheckers

Oct 11, 2012, 12:06 PM EDT

Bobby Orr

Bobby Orr knows what it feels like to skate back and retrieve the puck on a shoot-in with an opposing forward in hot pursuit; however, the Hall of Fame defenseman sounds glad he doesn’t have to do it in today’s NHL.

In an interview with Sportsnet.ca, Orr — who now owns a player agency that represents the likes of Jason Spezza and Taylor Hall — suggests the league should ease up on calling interference on puck retrievals. Not only will it cut down on all the penalties that disrupt the flow of the game, it will keep defensemen safer.

“I think the (referees) are a lot better now than they were, but it was power play, power play, power play for it felt like a lot of games, and I don’t think that’s right,” he said. “I think I should be able to help my defense partner by at least getting in someone’s way — too many guys are being run — but I can’t do that.”

Orr’s not the first to say as much. And we’d argue fewer and fewer interference penalties have been called since the stringent enforcement that followed the 2004-05 lockout. (The NHL will deny this.) But defensemen are still getting run more than they were during the clutch-and-grab era.

Orr also thinks goalies should be allowed to help their defensemen more instead of being held up by the trapezoid.

Other issues are addressed in the interview, too. Worth a read.

Related: “It would be outrageous not to have a season,”says Orr

  1. mpg44 - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Unfortunately I would have to disagree. That would slow the game down dramatically and reduce the number of goals per game. Which was what they didn’t want to do…. Until now , they have severely slow the game with the lockout!!

  2. id4joey - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Agree with protecting the d men. Not sure allowing interference is the way to go. Would removing the trapezoid help? Goalies could roam more to handle the puck. Dumping is boring to say the least. Can they look for ways to prevent some dumping?

  3. travishenryskid - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    The only way they could ease up on calling that type of interferences is to publicly endorse it. I can’t remember a single time it was called last year even though it constantly occurred. If he had made these comments four years ago, he would have made sense. Now, not so much.

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