Skip to content

Video: Orr says there ‘should be a policeman’ to protect skill players

Nov 18, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

One of the greatest hockey players ever says fighting has its place in the professional game.

Bobby Orr, in an exclusive sit down interview with NBC’s Bob Costas on Costas Tonight, discussed his stance on what’s become a hot-button issue in the NHL this season, explaining how enforcers actually allow skill players to play to the best of their abilities.

“If a player has done something that he shouldn’t be doing, or is trying to intimidate a player that doesn’t play like that, if you’re trying to take liberties with a player that doesn’t play like that, there should be a policeman there,” Orr explained. “I want to see the skill players play. I don’t want to see them looking over their shoulders.

“That’s what makes our game great. We’ve got a lot of skilled players in this game. I go back to Sidney [Crosby] — where do you want Sidney? Fighting? Penalty box? Injured? Or do you want to see him play?”

Here’s the video:

As Costas refers to, there’s a distinct difference in opinion on the matter between Orr and his former head coach in Boston, Don Cherry.

During the 1974-75 season — the first Orr and Cherry were together in Boston — the Bruins fought 40 times in 80 games, fifth most in the NHL. Notorious tough guy Terry O’Reilly (the team leader in scraps, with 12) knew his job was to protect his star players and allow them time and space to play, something he did well as Orr set an NHL record for goals by a defenseman (46) while Phil Esposito led the league in tallies, with 61.

(This was also the year that Dave Schultz set an NHL record for most penalty minutes in a season, racking up 472 for the “Broad Street Bullies” Flyers team that went on to win the Stanley Cup. Schultz fought an unbelievable 25 times that season.)

Orr was quick, however, to point out that fighting needs to have its limits in the professional game.

“We gotta get rid of the foolishness,” Orr explained. “The things that happen for no reason. If we get rid of that, we’ll be fine.”

To watch the entire Orr-Costas interview, be sure to watch Costas Now on NBCSN on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 11 p.m. ET following the Rangers-Bruins game.

Latest Posts
  1. Success for McDavid isn’t purely a numbers game

    Aug 31, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT

    Connor McDavid AP

    The start of his rookie campaign is approaching.

  2. Hitch finds silver lining in Berglund injury

    Aug 31, 2015, 7:30 PM EDT

    Patrik Berglund Getty Images

    Who will take advantage of the opening?

  3. Neuvirth cites Voracek as his reason for joining Flyers

    Aug 31, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

    New York Islanders v Washington Capitals - Game Five Getty Images

    The two have previously played together on the Czech national team.

  4. Hurricanes add Ray Whitney, three others to scouting staff

    Aug 31, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    Jeff Daniels Getty Images

    Former coach Jeff Daniels is also staying within the organization after being relieved of his AHL coaching duties.

  5. Poll: Will Seabrook re-sign?

    Aug 31, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT

    Brent Seabrook Getty Images

    You can expect this question to be asked throughout the year.

  6. Under Pressure: Stan Bowman

    Aug 31, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Stan Bowman AP

    Heck, the ‘Hawks are still over the salary cap ceiling.

  7. Hawks’ biggest question: What happens with Patrick Kane?

    Aug 31, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Patrick Kane Getty Images

    Chicago’s star forward remains under police investigation.

  8. Looking to make the leap: Artemi Panarin

    Aug 31, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Artemi Panarin AP

    Can his KHL success translate to North America?

  9. Blackhawks ’15-16 Outlook

    Aug 31, 2015, 10:04 AM EDT

    Jonathan Toews Getty Images

    Plenty of changes in the Windy City.

  10. It’s Chicago Blackhawks day at PHT

    Aug 31, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six

    The defending Stanley Cup champs dealt away key pieces in the offseason.

  11. Cooke: ‘I have fire in my belly, I still feel I can play’

    Aug 30, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT

    Matt Cooke Matt Cooke

    The 36-year-old is still looking for a contract after being bought out by the Wild.

  12. Poll: Will Minnesota’s power play improve this season?

    Aug 30, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT

    The Wild ranked 27th overall last season with the man advantage.

  13. Wild’s biggest question: Who will step up at center?

    Aug 30, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    Mikael Granlund Mikael Granlund

    Granlund scored just eight goals last season while playing between Pominville and Parise.

  14. Looking to make the leap: Mike Reilly

    Aug 30, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    2015 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship - Northeast Regional 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship - Northeast Regional

    He’s hoping to crack the Wild’s opening night roster after three seasons at the University of Minnesota.

  15. Under Pressure: Devan Dubnyk

    Aug 30, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    150831-Devan-Dubnyk Getty Images

    He’ll have to prove last season was not a fluke.

  16. Report: Ballard, Leopold leaning towards retirement

    Aug 30, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Keith Ballard Keith Ballard

    Both blue liners are unrestricted free agents.

  17. Wild ’15-16 Outlook

    Aug 30, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    Zach Parise Getty Images

    Can they take a step forward this season?

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1948)
  2. P. Kane (1478)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1368)
  4. M. Richards (1228)
  5. M. Giordano (1202)