Bobby Orr revolutionized hockey 25 years ago with his mesmerizing end-to-end rushes. Now he’s causing another stir because of what some agents call questionable recruiting tactics.
Since he became an agent two years ago, Orr has recruited National Hockey League players such as St. Louis Blues goalie Grant Fuhr. Yet it’s his practice of acting as a family adviser to players as young as 13 that’s raising concerns.
While Orr doesn’t immediately make any money as a family adviser, it could lay the groundwork for a player-agent relationship later. Some hockey executives and agents said 13 is too early for that.
“Kids who are that young you’d like to see being kids and not worrying about their professional future,” said New York Rangers assistant general manager Don Maloney. “I have the utmost respect for Bobby Orr and I’ve worked at his camps, but I’d like to see the business of the game wait a few years for these kids before they are told about the millions of dollars they could make.”
For parents who want to do the best they can for their children, Orr knows his pitch is tough to resist.
“I know that I’ll get into a lot of homes to talk because I’m Bobby Orr, but I hope our track record with players is the reason guys sign with us,” Orr said during a junior all-star game in Toronto.
He now refuses to answer questions about signing young players.
Michael Peca of the Buffalo Sabres was suspended by the NHL prior to Friday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers for an elbowing incident with Vancouver’s Mattias Ohlund on Thursday night.
On the ice
Alex Zhamnov scored two second-period goals Friday night to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 2-1 victory over Ottawa in Chicago.
Dominik Hasek stopped 20 shots to earn his 12th shutout of the season and the Buffalo Sabres posted their third consecutive road victory, 1-0 over the Edmonton Oilers.