Inclusion of Bobby Orr Makes this Line Truly Legendary
Friday, March 04, 2005

McFarlane Toys is jumping up and down in our skates with this one: Hockey icon Bobby Orr has been added to this fall's NHL Legends Series 3. The pride of Parry Sound, Ontario, and Boston's adopted son etched his legacy with eight consecutive Norris trophies (given annually to the league's best defenseman), three straight Hart trophies (awarded to the league's MVP) and a pair of Conn Smythe trophies (given to the MVP of the playoffs) to go with his two Stanley Cup victories.

Bobby Orr revolutionized the game -- teaching goalies that defensemen can score while showing fans that hockey players can fly. Orr's first Sports Picks figure will be part of McFarlane Toys' NHL Legends Series 3, alongside four other Hall of Famers:

MARCEL DIONNE: Wayne Gretzky didn't bring hockey to Los Angeles, he just reminded Kings fans what it was like when Marcel Dionne wore purple and gold. Dionne began his career with four brilliant seasons for the Detroit Red Wings. A trade to L.A. started the first of a dozen seasons with the Kings, during which Dionne surpassed 100 points seven times. Defensemen league-wide shuddered at the sight of the "Triple Crown Line" featuring Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor. The talented center took his last shift in 1989, finishing his career with 1,771 points -- the fifth-best total in league history. From Drummmondville to Detroit, Los Angeles and New York City, Dionne's career made a final stop in Toronto, settling in the Hall of Fame in 1992.

TONY ESPOSITO: Tony Esposito has a few hundred grandchildren. Every goalie that drops to the ice "butterfly" style owes his training and instinct to Esposito's groundbreaking play. After a brief stint in Montreal, Esposito was traded to Chicago, where he won the Calder Trophy (given to the league's top rookie) and the Vezina Trophy (given to the league's best goaltender) in his first season for the Blackhawks. Chicago never missed the playoffs with Esposito in goal, though his career highlight may well have happened outside the NHL when he and Ken Dryden helped lead Team Canada to victory over the Soviet Union in the 1972 Summit Series. Tony Esposito played into his 40s, eventually retiring and skating into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

PETE MAHOVLICH: Life as a little brother is never easy, particularly when your big brother's nickname (Frank Mahovlich AKA "The Big M") automatically hands you a less-impressive handle. It's hard to believe anyone actually called the 6-foot-5-inch Pete Mahovlich "The Little M," but history doesn't lie. Pete began his career in the Red Wings organization, but he truly found his stride after being dealt to the Canadiens in 1969. Pete won five Stanley Cups in Montreal and also played for Team Canada in the unforgettable 1972 Summit Series.

WAYNE GRETZKY: If you don't know who Wayne Gretzky is, you're probably not reading this story. The greatest player in the history of the NHL has also been the figurehead for our NHL Legends line. The third series of NHL Legends Sports Picks will feature two different Gretzky figures. One is a young Gretzky during his early years in Edmonton, while the other showcases "The Great One" during his time with the New York Rangers.

The addition of Bobby Orr to the NHL Legends 3 line also meant the shifting of Sabres superstar Gilbert Perreault into our next Legends lineup. If you slide Pete Mahovlich to defense, our NHL Legends Series 3 lineup features a "starting six" we'd put up against any team. Who's going to beat a front line with Marcel Dionne and two Wayne Gretzkys?