Leafs' Colton Orr scratched against Sabres
LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
|It would appear there is still a place in the NHL, specifically the Maple Leafs, for toughguy Colton Orr. (VERONIC HENRI/TORONTO SUN)
TORONTO - A year ago, Colton Orr getting scratched from a game would not have been a huge deal.
But when the big winger played a significant role in the Maple Leafs’ good start this season, checking, fighting and talking it up on the bench and dressing room, then he is missed.
Orr departed the ice midway through Thursday’s morning skate prior to the game against the Buffalo Sabres and coach Randy Carlyle said he’d skip the match with a lower body injury. Carlyle added Orr would be visiting a doctor in the afternoon.
The news caught many by surprise as Orr did not look the worse for wear after Tuesday’s game in Tampa Bay. The night before in Sunrise, Fla., he had a satisfying bout with the Panthers’ George Parros, who’d concussed him a couple of years earlier in a fight and derailed his career.
Orr is averaging 6:29 of ice time this year and was a plus one, leading the Leafs with 55 penalty minutes. Speaking to Toronto reporters on Tuesday, Leaf general manager Dave Nonis said Orr had been helping the young team in many aspects.
“I’ve never seen him happier,” Nonis said. “He’s a positive influence on the whole room.”
Nonis said Carlyle challenged Orr to come to camp in better shape and earn his job back after previous coach Ron Wilson marginalized him, which eventually saw him demoted to the Marlies. Orr shed the weight the team asked and was even playing some third line minutes this year. David Steckel comes back in the lineup for Orr which will likely mean Jay McClement gets third-line duties with Nazem Kadri and another winger.