September 3rd, 1966: A skinny18-year-old defenseman from Parry Sound, Ontario named Bobby Orr signs his first NHL contract with the Boston Bruins. Orr would go on to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie in his first season and would lead the Bruins to Stanley Cup championships in 1970 and 1972. He’d finish his career as the most decorated defenseman in NHL history with an outstanding 8 consecutive Norris Trophies.
Orr’s career would be cut short at just age 30 due to debilitating knee injuries. Though he was in the NHL for such a relatively short time, Orr’s impact on the game is immeasurable. His freewheeling, puck rushing style of play was revolutionary in the late 60s and early 70s and changed the way defensemen were deployed.
The living legend is regularly given credit in debates about who is the NHL’s all-time best, keeping company with Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux and others. But, before all of the accolades, it all began with a two-year, $70,000 contract signed on this day in 1966.