Bobby Orr thinks defensemen need more protection from forecheckers

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Bobby Orr knows what it feels like to skate back and retrieve the puck on a shoot-in with an opposing forward in hot pursuit; however, the Hall of Fame defenseman sounds glad he doesn’t have to do it in today’s NHL.

In an interview with Sportsnet.ca, Orr — who now owns a player agency that represents the likes of Jason Spezza and Taylor Hall — suggests the league should ease up on calling interference on puck retrievals. Not only will it cut down on all the penalties that disrupt the flow of the game, it will keep defensemen safer.

“I think the (referees) are a lot better now than they were, but it was power play, power play, power play for it felt like a lot of games, and I don’t think that’s right,” he said. “I think I should be able to help my defense partner by at least getting in someone’s way — too many guys are being run — but I can’t do that.”

Orr’s not the first to say as much. And we’d argue fewer and fewer interference penalties have been called since the stringent enforcement that followed the 2004-05 lockout. (The NHL will deny this.) But defensemen are still getting run more than they were during the clutch-and-grab era.

Orr also thinks goalies should be allowed to help their defensemen more instead of being held up by the trapezoid.

Other issues are addressed in the interview, too. Worth a read.

Related: “It would be outrageous not to have a season,”says Orr