It's Bye Bye to Bobby Orr
For years there have been only two Bobby's in NHL hockey, Bobby Orr and Bobby Hull, and they have done for hockey what Buster Brown did for shoes. The B's without Orr would be like Popeye without his spinach, and picturing the Hawks without Hull is like imagining a trio of Huey, Luey, and Garfinkel Duck. But Bruins coach Tom Johnson announced the unbelievable after last night's game with the Canadiens: Bobby Orr and Dallas Smith must send their skate sizes to the Hawks' equipment manager before the Stanley Cup playoffs. In return, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Dennis Hull, Erie Nesterenko, and Pip Martin will soon be picking out Bruin numerals.
I can promise you there was at least one pair of skeptical ears listening to the "pie-in-the-sky" trade deal last night. Nobody gets anything without giving up a lot, that's granted, but not even Edward, Duke of Windsor, who gave up his crown for love, handed over more valuable goods than those two golden skates of Orr.
But Johnston, admittedly, did get a couple sound players in return, and if the B's coach can play Merlin and pull a strategem out of his sleeve, the Bruins may become the most potent weapon since Ray Milland in "The Man with the X-Ray Vision."
"I'm planning on putting two forward lines on the ice at a time," Johnston said last night. "I overheard somebody on the plane this morning saying you can't score if you don't have the puck in their zone. Well, golly, I thought it over and he was right. So I got on the phone to Reay. With six forwards out there we'll be the only ones who cane score, hee, hee," Johnston churtled.
It's true, the B's can pack more ammo into a blue zone now than all the tea in China. Picture it: added to the Espo line are the two Hulls at the point and Mikita as a rover. That thought alone should make the Gumper retire.
Speaking of retiring goalies, the B's also plan to put Cheevers, Johnston, Green and Rick Smith on the trading block today. Cheevers and Smith seem headed for Detroit for FrankMahovilich and John Ferguson.
Rumors have it that Johnston and Green will soon be buying homes in seenic Buffalo, N.Y. while rookie Gile Perrault will be taking a locker in the Boston Garden.
Well, they say goals in hockey, like home runs in baseball, are the "piece de resistence" for the fan. So Bruins fans should be getting the biggest return on their dollar since Sutter tripped over a little gold nugget.
But what will happen when the little guys watching the T.V. see Orr and Espo mixing it up against the boards? Freud couldn't have dreamed of worse.