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Hockey legend Bobby Orr smiles at the unveiling of a statue depicting the famous scene of Orr flying through the air immediately after scoring 'The Goal' that clinched the NHL 1970 Stanley Cup Championship in Boston, Massachusetts May, 10 2010.


It wasn't a sight you see everyday.

Bobby Orr, hockey legend, skating through a pack of kindergartners while stickhandling - of all things - a rubber chicken.

And looking pretty good doing so.

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"It's easier than a puck," he said.

Orr was in Toronto on Tuesday as part of his work with the Chevrolet Safe and Fun Hockey program, which allows children ages 5 to 8 to skate with the former NHL great and learn about teamwork, fair play and safety.

There will be sessions in Halifax, Brandon and Oakville, Ont., over the next few months, but the news on this day was the announcement of a program put together by Hockey Canada, Bauer and Chevrolet that will give five year olds a free hockey helmet when they register to play the 2011-12 season.

Orr, however, fielded a few questions about the NHL - and specifically the Boston Bruins, who broke a 39-year drought in winning the Stanley Cup last month.

Now 63, Orr hadn't seen the local club win it all in his adopted hometown since he led the Bruins to the 1972 Stanley Cup as a 24-year-old from Parry Sound, taking home the Hart, Norris and Conn Smythe trophies in the process.

"I knew it would happen some day," he said of the Bruins finally winning again. "It was great. I was very proud of the team. They showed a lot of character all year long. They got by that Montreal thing and that Philadelphia thing.

"They played 25 out of a possible 28 playoff games which is incredible. And then the travel. It's unbelievable what they go through."

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Orr also operates a player agency and offered his thoughts on whether or not there'll be a lockout next fall.

"I think they'll work it out," he said. "What we're seeing now in the NFL and NBA ... Our CBA's not bad. I think it's pretty fair. Sometimes people look at it and think it's a little difficult to be operating under but it's what we've all agreed to.

"Where are [the owners]going to go? What do they want? What are they going to give and what are they going to take? There's not a lot. For that reason, I think they will work it out. I think. I'm not that close to it."

As for the rubber chickens all over the ice?

"That's part of our program," Orr said. "When we do our clinics, we use footballs, rubber ducks, chickens. It's a little easier for a kid to handle.

"Then in the second session they'll get to the pucks. But you can see they have fun. And we have fun."

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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