Bobby Orr is “thrilled” that the NHL is coming back, but he isn’t thrilled with how long it took for the league to resolve its third straight lockout.
“I just wish it happened sooner,” Orr said at the event to announce “Turk: The Movie,” based on the life of Bruins teammate Derek Sanderson. “There are are so many people that are hurt by the lockout. People talk about who won, well nobody won. How do you win? You don’t win.
“You can’t pick winners and losers in something like this. Everybody lost. Now I just hope that players will get back to work and work hard, and I’m sure they will. It’s going to be a short season for these teams, so you have a bad start, you’re going to be in trouble, so I think we’re going to see real good hockey.”
Orr, whose agency represents Bruins forward Nathan Horton, said to “give me a team that’s better” than the Bruins this year. He expects the upcoming 48-game season to be hectic.
“This is going to be an interesting year,” he said. “You’ve got to come out of the chute. You’ve got to win real fast. You go into any long losing streaks early and you’re in trouble. I think it’s going to be a great season. I really do, because I think we’re going to see high intensity hockey and very good hockey. I think the players all know what’s at stake here.”
The league and players finally came to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement last Sunday, the 113th day of the lockout. Orr hopes that the new CBA, which lasts for 10 years with a mutual opt-out after eight years, is good enough to provide long-term labor peace and prevent another lockout at the end. In the meantime, he just hopes the league can do its best to recover over the course of this CBA.
“It’s a long term deal and we need that. Sponsors will be more comfortable doing deals with the league. Players have 50 percent of everything, so it’s a good deal for everybody,” Orr said. “Get good sponsors, have good hockey and everybody will be in good shape.”
There had been talk of the league making concessions, such as offering the Center Ice television package for free, but it’s been reported that fans will still have to pay for Center Ice. Orr has a better idea in mind for how to make it up to fans.
“Play hard and give them good hockey,” Orr said. “Hockey fans are very loyal and I’m sure they’ve missed the game as I have. … There are some that may be slow coming back, but hockey fans are very loyal and hopefully they will come back.”