For the month of August, Editor In Leaf will take a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs roster, previewing what could happen in the 2014-15 NHL season. Next up is Toronto Maple Leafs tough-guy Colton Orr.
Position: Right Wing
Years with Leafs: 5
It’s been a season of adjustments and overhaul for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The team has parted ways with half of their blueliners from last season—Carl Gunnarsson, Paul Ranger, Tim Gleason—and has also brought in a host of players to fill in the third and fourth forward lines.
One depth guy who is still on the Leafs’ roster—for now, at least—is enforcer Colton Orr.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba native has made a name for himself as a fighter in his five years with the blue and white. Since arriving in Toronto for the 2009-10 season, Orr has laced up his skates for 231 regular season contests, registering a grand total of 14 points (over half his career total of 24), while amassing 637 penalty minutes.
His time at the Air Canada Centre may have come to an end though, especially considering the kind of moves the team has made this offseason.
The organization has moved away from depth forwards who specialize in a single aspect of the game—think Orr and Frazer McLaren as fighters and a guy like Jay McClement as a penalty killer—in favour of guys who can contribute in several ways.
Mike Santorelli, David Booth, Leo Komarov and Daniel Winnik may not lead the league in points anytime soon, but all of them are more productive offensively than the likes of Orr, McLaren and McClement.
Within that group, Winnik and Komarov can also kill penalties. Komarov is a physical presence and avid forechecker. While Santorelli and Booth should help the team in the possession department.
It seems that the club is fairly adamant against keeping players that can only be counted on in specific, and rare, situations (to be fair to McClement, penalty killing was never a rare occurrence during his tenure with the Leafs).
That philosophy should also help the team relieve some of the pressure that has been forced on the top two lines to score.
Unfortunately for Orr, that change in philosophy will probably cost him his position with the team.
Barring serious injury problems, the likelihood of Orr playing more than a handful of games is very low. How many games will Orr see? Will he be dealt to a team that still likes the idea of an enforcer? Can he help bring leadership to the Toronto Marlies?
These are all questions surrounding Orr heading into the 2014-15 campaign.