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(NECN: Mike Cronin) - Hockey legend Bobby Orr spoke to the Worcester Chamber of Commerce's breakfast club on Thursday before flying to Toronto to continue NHL lockout negotiations. Orr and fellow former Bruin Derek Sanderson recalled Orr's clinching goal in the 1970 Stanley Cup.
“I'm really very glad I passed the puck to Bobby for that game-winning goal or else I would have been completely forgotten,” Sanderson joked to the audience.
“He had already taken three shots on net in 40 seconds. He only passed it to me because he had to,” joked Orr.
Veteran former sportscaster Bob Lobel was also in Worcester. He's confident the hockey lockout will end soon.
“I got to believe that they'll play anywhere between 30-50 regular season games and then go right to the playoffs, which of course is the strength of the league anyways. Nobody wants to see regular season games. They want to see the playoffs.”
Meanwhile the Worcester Sharks are preparing for their upcoming game against rival Providence Bruins.
If the lockout ends, team president Michael Mudd says the Sharks would lose two or three players, but the Sharks' rivals could take a bigger hit.
“Some teams are going to be losing upwards of six or seven players, which will significantly impact their roster. We still feel we have a very good hockey team even if we lose those two players because the level of play in the American league won't quite be at the same level as it is right now, so we should still be strong,” Mudd says.
He also says Worcester's attendance hasn't changed during the lockout but thinks the NHL's return would be beneficial.
“I would think with the NHL playing, I would argue that it creates more visibility for hockey and even more families will want to come watch American league hockey.”
Left wing and Captain John McCarthy says he has been paying attention to the lockout but playing every day in Worcester keeps him ready in case he gets a call from San Jose.
“Yeah, it's great to be able to play and as you said, get the legs under you and stuff like that and we got a good team here in Worcester and we're really excited about the season.”