Colton Orr was getting into hockey tilts at the age of 16. When he was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1997 WHL Bantam Draft (by Moose Jaw), he knew what his role was going to be with the team.
“It was never said. I knew going in. I always knew the kind of role I played. I would always get into fights anyway,” said Orr. “I had 20-something fights when I was 16. That’s what they liked.”
Now Oilers head coach Todd McLellan was his coach in Swift Current. First, he coached Orr and then he coached Connor McDavid. What did he learn from coaching Orr that he could use with McDavid?
“I think he learned, don’t let him fight,” he laughed. “You don’t want him breaking his hand or something (McDavid did injure his hand in 2014 during a fight while playing for Erie). I’ve been very fortunate to have such great coaching along the way and starting with Todd. He was a big influence in my career.”
He broke in with the Boston Bruins at the age of 20 in 2003-2004. He played one game that season and 20 in 2005-06 for Mike Sullivan. This was the pugilists first season. Little did he know that coach would be a future Stanley Cup winning coach.
“For me it was tough. I went to a couple of Bruins camps before they signed me. I went through the draft a couple of times. I never thought I was going to get drafted. So, when I signed as a free agent it was unbelievable. Especially since I didn’t start playing hockey until I was 11. It was something I never expected. It was a hard road I took to get there. I was always a hard-checking forward,” he revealed.
The New York Rangers claimed him off waivers in November 2005. He was utilized a lot more in the Big Apple culminating with an 82-game campaign in 2008-09 for Tom Renney. Renney and later John Tortorella had him suit up in 12 playoff games during his time with the Blueshirts. He was a fan favorite.
“You can’t beat the atmosphere at MSG and all the history,” he recalled. “I just remember the crowds we used to have and I go back to getting into fights or making a big hit. I’d hear the fans roar or see them stand to their feet. You couldn’t beat the adrenaline rush.”
In “Goon: Last of The Enforcers”, fighting was a big part of the movie and Orr had a chance to have a very memorable scene. He was fighting George Parros, someone he was very familiar with and it was hard to keep a straight face while saying this line:
Orr was hitting Parros. Orr asked, “What the f*ck are we doing here?” Parros then chirped back, “I don’t know. I went to f’in Princeton.”
“Oh yeah, after repeating the line we couldn’t stop laughing. The fact they had me and Parros fighting in the film was pretty funny to begin with,” Orr said. “We spent a lot of time on set together. It was a good experience. We had seven fights. We had a couple of memorable ones and a few we don’t want to remember. I think he got the better of one time. I got the better of him a couple of times. The bad one he hit his head on the ice and that was kind of scary to see that. He kind of frustrated me. He was taller than me (Orr 6-3, Parros 6-5) and his reach. It was hard to get my right free. He was a very technical fighter.”
In 2009-10, while playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, he scored four goals. A career high and 1/3 of his NHL output. One of them still stands out.
“My most memorable goal happened in my 300th NHL game. It was in New Jersey and we were playing against the Devils. I happened to be sprung on a breakaway on Martin Brodeur. I shot low blocker. It went in and I remember Mark Fraser going over to Brodeur and selling it like I’d done it 100 times before,” he chuckled.
“Scoring on a Hall-of-Famer. You can’t beat it. My wife and family were there for my 300th NHL game so it’s a very big memory.”
Making movies isn’t a thrill a minute. It takes time.
“I just remember being in my gear all day long. We’d fight a little bit and then we’d be in the dressing room. I can’t imagine in a whole movie how much work goes into it. It was quite astounding,” he said honestly.
What’s next for him?
“I heard voice overs are great for kids movies or cartoons,” he joked.
Check out this movie. It’s fantastic. Read my review here:
Listen to my interview with actor Kim Coates for more information: