Colorado Avalanche blue-liner Cale Makar has heard the comparisons to Bobby Orr, but he doesn’t consider himself anywhere close to the most famous defenseman in NHL history.
“Those are crazy comments. To be compared to a guy like that is crazy,” Makar told ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. “It’s hard for me to comprehend that. I’m 24. The amount that he accomplished in his career is pretty much insurmountable. I’m nowhere near that point yet. Obviously, a comparison is a comparison. But for me, (I’m) just kind of bringing it down to Earth a little bit.”
He added: “Anytime you’re compared to somebody like that, obviously, you’re humbled. But at the same time, I just feel like I’ve almost done nothing yet here. I’m still so young.”
During Colorado’s Stanley Cup run in 2022, Wayne Gretzky said Makar is the closest player the league has seen since Orr. This past summer, Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy shared the same opinion.
Makar’s point production through his first four seasons has been similar to Orr’s. However, the Boston Bruins legend was more decorated at the same stage of his career and set a ridiculously high bar with his body of work afterward.
Makar (Ages 21-24)
Orr (Ages 18-21)
Orr went on to play five more full seasons before debilitating knee injuries kept him off the ice for much of his final three campaigns. From age 22 to 26, he collected the Norris Trophy each year, two more MVPs, and one more Cup and Conn Smythe, as well as an additional Art Ross. Orr also eclipsed 100 points in all of those seasons, including 139 in 1970-71 – an NHL record by defensemen.
Orr is the all-time leader in points per game by a defenseman (1.39) and ranks fifth overall behind only Gretzky (1.92), Mario Lemieux (1.88), Mike Bossy (1.49), and Connor McDavid (1.49). The only other blue-liner above the point-per-game threshold is Paul Coffey (1.09), but Makar (1.03) is on track to this point.
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