In 2009, then-new general manager Brian Burke gave one of the NHL’s most fearsome fighters a four-year, $4 million contract.
Today, Colton Orr is on waivers.
The 29-year-old has only played five games this season, a victim of both injuries and the game’s evolution away from enforcers that do little besides enforce.
“He knows what’s going on,” Leafs coach Ron Wilson said back in December, as per the National Post. “He’s an intelligent guy. He sees most of the teams we’re playing don’t have toughness in their lineup, and for us to be successful, our fourth line has to play 10, 11, 12 minutes and use their speed. And the set of skills they have right now is to be good penalty killers, as well.”
Burke, who loves toughness more than anyone, also acknowledged the game was changing.
“The game has evolved, and general managers can’t be the last ones to figure that out,” Burke told TSN Radio 1050 in November. “If you’re a GM, and you’re the last one to figure out that this game is evolving and changing, then you’re not going to be able to keep up.”