Colton Orr will hear it from a while. Is he making a statement with his number 28?
“I’ve always worn 28,” said the Leafs new designated tough guy.” I wore it in junior in Kamloops and I just got used to it.”
Leaf fans are used to seeing a number 28 fighting their battles for them thanks to a decade-long run by Tie Domi that ended with his retirement in 2005.
Orr is built to more traditional specs than the five-foot-nine, Domi, who usually tangled with bigger and broader players and who chipped in with 82 goals for the Leafs.
Orr, signed as a free agent by general manager Brian Burke, has racked up only four goals while accruing 63 fighting majors in four NHL seasons He is as big as a battleship at six-foot-three and 220 pounds and whether you like it or not, and plenty do, he represents an ingredient in the mix mandated by Burke.
After physicals and media duties on Saturday, the Leafs are scheduled to open camp Sunday at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence
“I’ve said it before,” the Leafs GM noted on Friday, “I’m sick of seeing a trainer go on the ice and it’s always for our players.”
Burke said the added muscle of six-foot-four Mike Komisarek
, rugged defenceman Garnet Exelby and the six-foot-four Wayne Primeau will not be able to keep a player from slamming defenceman Mike Van Ryn face first into the boards the way the Habs Tom Kostopoulos did last season.
“But I expect to see a far greater reaction if it does happen.”
“I’m just excited about getting the season going,” said Orr who has been governed by an edict from Ron Wilson discouraging fighting at training camp.
Orr spent his last four seasons as a New York Ranger. He said there is a different energy playing in Toronto.
“The vibe here is certainly different,” he said. “New York is a big city and fun but Toronto is a city where everybody seems to be interested in the club. I think it’s going to be great to play here.”
The Leafs play their first exhibition game, Wednesday at home against the Boston Bruins.