Monday, 29 April 2013

Colton Orr: Taking the Next Step

The name Colton Orr doesn’t ring out as one of the franchise players for the playoff bound Toronto Maple Leafs.  That tag falls to names like top scorers Nazem Kadri and Phil Kessel.  That said, with the Leafs breaking out of a nine year playoff drought, Colton Orr is a large part of the shift in team identity that put the Blue and White back into the hunt for Lord Stanley’s Cup. 

With the 2012-13 NHL Regular Season in the books, Toronto holds the most penalty minutes in the NHL.  That mark is powered by a runaway lead in the major penalty category, 46 through 48 games.  The next closets teams are Philadelphia and Columbus, both standing at 35 majors through 48 contests.  Breaking it down even further, three players consistently contribute to that major mark in Frazer McLaren, Mark Fraser and… Colton Orr.

“We wanted to be hard to play against,” said Orr, the NHL’s penalty minutes leader.  “We were doing the little things a lot more and you could tell in our game when teams come to play us it’s going to be a long night.  We really make sure that we come to work.”

A team’s work ethic and toughness goes far beyond willingness to drop the gloves in the heat of the battle, but the Leafs’ combativeness is certainly part of that lunch-bucket mantra.  Orr is no stranger to playing in an environment that demands a strong work ethic.  His journey to the NHL started its Major Junior roots with the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos before moving to the Kamloops Blazers and finally landing in the Queen City with the Regina Pats for the 2002-03 season.
Photo Credit: The Globe and Mail