|Boston Bruins hockey great Bobby Orr addresses a crowd during an unveiling ceremony for a statue of Orr, left, in front of the TD Garden sports arena, in Boston, Monday, May 10, 2010. The statue depicts Orr in the defining moment when he scored in overtime in 1970 giving the Bruins victory over the St. Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) |
The 110% life-size, 800-pound bronze sculpture by artist Harry Weber was installed on Causeway Street in front of the West Entrance to TD Garden.
Now a permanent fixture, it greets all those who pass with the exuberance of the then 22-year-old Orr who flew through the air immediately after scoring one of the most famous goals in hockey history.
Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs helped introduce both Orr and his statue, emphasizing the defenseman’s contributions hockey both on and off the ice.
“Bobby is not only a great ambassador for hockey in my opinion and in the opinion of millions of fans around the world, but arguably the greatest hockey player ever to play this sport,” said Jacobs.
“On behalf of all your friends and supporters around the world, we congratulate and thank you for all that you have done for the sport, this community, and for the youth of the players today who you have motivated and inspired not only to be better athletes, but be better human beings.”
Then Jacobs added, “With this statue, it is our hope that generations to come will retell the Bobby Orr story and the many magical moments he had on the ice to their kids and to their grandchildren.”
Harry Sinden was also present at the ceremony to welcome the bronze Orr to its place of honor. Sinden, who now serves as the Senior Advisor to the Owner and Alternate Governor of the Bruins, was the head coach of the 1970 Stanley Cup team. He relived “The Goal” for the gathered crowd.
“When he scored, it had a little bit of a delayed reaction,” Sinden said, and then added with a laugh, “The fans had been waiting for this for a long time—as you are right now.
“It kind of didn’t stick for the first 10-15 seconds. And then the next thing I knew, the entire team was gone, over the bench, and euphoria broke out.”
Sinden went on to explain what he said when he addressed his Stanley Cup-winning team in the dressing room just moments after Orr’s goal was scored on Mother’s Day, 1970.
“I can remember addressing the team and saying, ‘You know, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for at the moment.
“And one of the things on this Mother’s Day […] We should be thankful to our mothers for buying us our first pair of skates,’” Sinden said, and then added with a smile, “Everybody thought that was kind of apropos and I could have said, ‘We should be thankful to Bobby’s mother, for buying him his first pair of skates.’”
“It was my privilege, to play on, in my opinion, the greatest hockey team that ever played the sport...but my teammates, the fans, everyone’s aware of one true fact—we also had the greatest player that ever played.” - Derek Sanderson
After his statue was unveiled, the humble #4 took some time to thank his family and friends for their support, as well as Boston fans for their undying dedication to the team.
“That reaction from all our wonderful fans—the loyalty and support—made playing for the Bruins very, very special,” Orr said. “The specific moment in time that we celebrate with this statue is something we can all now nostalgically remember with fondness together.”
Derek Sanderson, Orr’s teammate whose perfect pass would become “The Goal,” said he was grateful to be a part of such a legendary moment in sports history.
“It was my privilege, to play on, in my opinion, the greatest hockey team that ever played the sport,” Sanderson said. “But my teammates, the fans, everyone’s aware of one true fact—we also had the greatest player that ever played.”
Whether passersby were at that game or perhaps had yet to be born, the statue serves as a permanent reminder of the day that Bobby Orr changed hockey and cemented himself among the greatest to ever step on the ice.
It will stand for many, many years to come, just as “The Goal” has remained indelible on the collective conscience of both the sport of hockey and the city of Boston.