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.”
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.