Thursday, August 23, 2012

Team Canada 72, The Return of Bobby Orr

Further look at Team Canada's 1972 training camp through the first-hand accounts of Montreal Gazette Sports Editor, Ted Blackman.

Aug. 23, 1972

Bobby Orr skated with Team Canada after arriving in camp yesterday. He took part in three-on-two rushes, skating cautiously as if he had nitroglycerine sewn in his shin guards. “Sure he can skate – and if it was a Stanley Cup final he might even play,” said Weston Adams Jr, president of the Boston Bruins. “But to Boston, this isn’t important. Canada will beat Russia any way and to ask us for Orr’s services, before he’s fully prepared, is not reasonable.” He continued, “We’re being pressured and we don’t like it at all. I don’t mind making sacrifices to help Canada beat Russia, but I’m not about to tolerate the abuse of the Boston Bruins franchise.”

Orr was greeted by cries of “Moses, Moses,” as he skated onto the ice, Team Canada was glad to see him. Orr said he believes checking in with Team Canada will speed up his recovery since, by his own admission, he’s his own worst enemy. He said he hadn’t done the exercises prescribed by Karl Elieff, the physiotherapist at Maple Leaf Gardens. “You need someone to push you, Orr said. “Karl helped me three or four years ago when I had surgery on the knee and he pushes me. “I’ll be wearing a brace all the time now. I should have been wearing it this summer because I stumbled a couple times and twisted the knee.”

After the practice Orr spoke of his prospects for playing, “This is only the second time I’ve skated this summer and it feels all right, but I’ll be able to say more in five or six days. All I know is that after I’m able to go all out, it’ll take me 10 days to reach perfect condition.” He added, “If I can play against the Russians in Moscow, I’ll be satisfied. No, the Bruins won’t intervene. They know that if I say I’m ready, I’m damn well ready.”  

 I was somewhat surprised to hear how cavalier Orr seemed to be toward his knee-injury and rehabilitation. Imagine nowadays if the Penguins sat by idly as Sidney Crosby neglected his physiotherapy and rehab. Also, the fact Orr should have but wasn't wearing a knee brace all summer seems outrageous. Then on top of that, for him to admit that he 'stumbled a couple times and twisted his knee'!?? Times have certainly changed.

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