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April 29, 2016

Colton Orr

He was about the furthest thing from Bobby Orr as a hockey player can get. But Colton Orr - no relation - had an impressive hockey career in his own right.

In a 13-year professional career Orr played 477 career NHL games with the Boston Bruins, the New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He only scored 12 goals and 12 assists in all those games, but he piled up 1,186 penalty minutes.

According to HockeyFights.com Colton Orr had 131 fights in the NHL, including pre-season scraps. Add another 80 in the minor leagues and 40 in junior hockey, and we can officially label Colton Orr as a specialist.

Colton Orr announced his retirement in 2016 as the enforcer role all but disappeared from hockey. He simply was no longer needed.

But there was a time when the six-foot-three, 225 pounder out of Winnipeg played regularly. Twice he played all 82 games in a season. Twice more he played 70 games or more.

"I feel privileged to have played for a decade in the NHL and to have had the support of four great organizations in Boston, New York, Toronto and Calgary," Orr said in a statement upon retirement. "I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play with great teammates and against great players, many of whom have become great friends.

"It has been an amazing journey that would not have been anywhere near as fulfilling as it was without the love and support of fans, friends, agents, GMs, coaches and family."

Does Orr think there is still room for a player like him? Of course he does.

“Yeah, I still definitely think there’s that role for a guy who’s going to look out for their teammates and a warrior who’s going to go to bat any time someone needs help,” said Orr. “I don’t think it’s going to go away completely.”

Not that Orr described himself as a strict goon.

"I'm a strong-checking forward who sticks up up for his teammates," he said. "You know, go out and work hard and get in the corners and get to the net, and if something happens look after your teammates as well."

And he never apologized for doing what he felt he had to do.

"I knew what I had to do to move up to the next level," he said. "I just have to keep getting better and be a tough physical player. It's a lot of work. I have to improve my skating and stickhandling and stuff like that - everything I can - to stay here."

Orr's teammates certainly appreciated his contributions.

"They supported me all the time and made sure they let me know that they did appreciate what I did for them and that they did like having me there, knowing that I would have their back through anything," said Orr.

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