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Hockey legend Orr tells OTR fighting has a place in the NHL

TSN.ca Staff

10/25/2013 8:41:26 PM

Hockey legend Bobby Orr appeared on Off the Record with Michael Landsberg on Friday to discuss an array of topics, including fighting in the NHL.

The Hall of Fame defenceman told Landsberg that he believes fighting still has a place in today's game, but thinks staged fighting needs be outlawed.

"I just think that the fear of getting beaten up is a great deterrent from all of a sudden becoming a tough guy," Orr said. "I really believe we have to get rid of the staged fighting and get rid of avenging the legal hit, but I think that we have to leave (fighting) in there. I just think a lot of guys will all of a sudden get real brave and I think that it will lead to more violence in our game."

Orr was asked about the hit by Buffalo Sabres forward John Scott to the head of Loui Eriksson of the Boston Bruins and called it outrageous, adding that fighting is needed after illegal hits such as Scott's.

"(The hit) made no sense," said Orr. "Loui Eriksson's a pretty good hockey player and very important to the Bruins. I mean, Scott goes after Phil Kessel and that's outrageous. Why do you do that? This is why I believe that the fear of getting beat has to be there and a 'policeman' has to be there if there's a reason to fight."

Orr, who won Stanley Cups with the Boston Bruins in 1970 and 1972, said that times have changed and the game has to evolve with the changes.

"Hey, we did things back in the day that if we did today we'd probably be in a lot of trouble," said Orr. "It's changing now. The new fan we're trying to attract doesn't want to see some of the foolishness. But I really think we have to be careful with eliminating (fighting) completely.

Orr credited the NHL for doing a great job with punishments on head hits and blindside hits, as well as the new hybrid rule.

"I think the league is doing a great job with the hits from behind and the high blind spot hits, and I think hybrid icing is a wonderful rule," said Orr. "It's a changing world and we've got to make changes."