Bobby Orr is pictured in a Toronto hotel room as he promotes his new book “Bobby: My Story in Pictures,” on Monday, October 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Bobby Orr shares life in and out of hockey in new book

Bobby Orr shares life in and out of hockey in new book “Bobby: My Story in Pictures”

Bobby Orr provided hockey one of its most iconic pictures with his flying, horizontal celebration after scoring the winning goal in the 1970 Stanley Cup final.

The Bruins defenceman beat St. Louis Blues goalie Glenn Hall from the lip of the crease just 40 seconds into overtime of Game 4 to complete the sweep and send fans at the old Boston Garden into a frenzy.

Orr remembers the moment well — the joy on the Hall of Famer’s face is woven into the sport’s fabric — but as he explains in his new book “Bobby: My Story in Pictures,” a photo differs from a memory.

“It represents a single moment in time,” Orr writes. “When you look at a picture, you might think at first that you’re just looking at a person, or maybe a place or some object.

“But really, you’re looking at a time.”

In his new book out this week, Orr shares plenty of his own intimate moments in time.

There are photos of his parents, pictures from his childhood growing up in Parry Sound, Ont., the start of his hockey career, his triumphs, heartbreaks, and life following a premature retirement at age 30 because to injury.

“It was a fun process,” Orr said in an interview with The Canadian Press this week. ”A trip down memory lane. Seeing old friends, being able to put some of them in there was great.”

The 70-year-old Orr also wrote a 2013 autobiography titled “Orr: My Story,” but said the new book gives readers the opportunity to experience what shaped him through pictures.

“I wish I could have put more photos in there,” he said. ”Seeing everything was nice.”

There are the ones of his father on a corvette in the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War — including an outdoor hockey game with shipmates during some down time — and his mom and dad in a canoe passing the camera back and forth to take pictures of each other.

There are shots of grandparents, hockey buddies, siblings, and personal family moments with his wife, Peggy, and their sons.

“We had tons of photos,” Orr said. ”Then we had to whittle it down.

“It took a long, long time.”

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There’s the picture of Orr and a Bruins teammate on the shoulders wrestler Andre (The Giant) Roussimoff, another of the time he played golf with comedian Bob Hope, LPGA star Juli Inkster and former U.S. President Gerald Ford.

“It was a round that you didn’t want to end,” Orr recalled with a smile. “We laughed for five straight hours.”

The overtime goal in 1970 is presented in three frames, but there’s another lesser-known picture of Hall and Blues defenceman Noel Picard, the player who helped launch Orr in the air, with their heads bowed as the crowd focuses on the Bruins’ celebration.

“Their attention is directed towards the corner of the ice at the exact moment,” he writes of Boston fans. “I am on the bottom of the pile.

“That’s the winning part of this moment in time.”

But not all of the moments in the book involve good memories.

There’s a picture of Orr in a Canada jersey before 1972 Summit Series, which he would miss because of his troublesome knee. There’s also one of him putting on a brace and of the MRIs of his knees, while the book’s cover has him seated and empty locker-room wearing shorts to emphasize the scars from his surgeries.

Orr won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman eight straight times between 1968 and 1975, took the Hart Trophy three straight years as league MVP (1970-72) and grabbed the Conn Smythe Trophy as the top playoff performer in Boston’s Cup victories in both 1970 and 1972.

He’s still the only defenceman to win the scoring title, doing it in both 1970 and 1975, but wound up playing only 657 games — with a mere 36 total coming in his final three seasons because of his knees.

Orr scored 270 goals and 645 assists for 915 points with Boston and Chicago, where he finished his career in 1978.

“It wasn’t hard,” he said of including pictures documenting difficult life moments. ”(But) you sit and think, ‘What could I have done, what should I have done.’ You go through all that.”

Orr does wonder what might have been if medicine was different in the 1970s or if he had suited up in a later era.

“I wish I would have played longer,” he said. ”My style didn’t help. I liked to have the puck a lot. When you have the puck a lot in our game, you’re going to be hit.”

The book’s last 60 pages focus on Orr’s life after hockey. There are pictures with friends, including Don Cherry, and fellow athletes.

But Orr said it’s no coincidence the book begins and ends with chapters dedicated to his loved ones.

“It’s about how important family is,” he said. “There are lessons for everybody.

“I just hope they enjoy it.”

—-

“Bobby: My Story in Pictures,” Bobby Orr, Penguin Random House Canada, 213 pages, $37.00.

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

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