He may be one of the greatest players to ever lace up his skates, but Bobby Orr is just as bummed by the NHL lockout as the average hockey nut.
“It’s a damn shame there is a stoppage,” the hockey legend said Thursday. “I’m in the business, but I’m also a fan.”
Orr was in Toronto to promote his Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey program, which teaches parents and coaches about the importance of keeping the pressure off of young hockey players. Too many children are leaving the game due to injury and a lack of love for the sport, Orr said, because of adults obsessed with seeing them make it to the NHL.
“By putting silly pressures on them, by humiliating them, by living through them, by putting expectations too high, too soon, all you’re going to do is drive them away.”
Orr also took a minute to address the lockout with an optimistic prediction.
“I think we’ll see hockey sooner than later,” he said.
Orr, who runs a player agency, rhymed off all the things he had been looking forward to seeing play out this season: Boston and New York looking so strong, how the additions of Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin might boost the fortunes of the Carolina Hurricanes, and “a healthy Sidney [Crosby] who’s ready to go.”
“It’s always about money,” he said of the stalled contract negotiations. Yet, he said he’s optimistic that the two sides will broker a deal and fans will have hockey on their television screens sooner than later.
“A good trade is when both sides make out,” he said. “I think there is a fair deal that can be made.”
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