Burton 40: Lee Orr
For ten seasons, we've been witness to superlative efforts from a superlative being. A man who fought his way into Burton United Socialist Hockey through injury and was beaten back time and time again, only to take control of the reins and become its primary exemplar, eventually leading the drive to take Burton Hockey, and himself, to new heights, new achievements, and new moments of greatness. Every time we think that we cannot possibly exceed the levels of accomplishment that we have reached, it is Glenbank's Lee Orr who not only helps us surpass those benchmarks, but obliterate them. Oliver Koth-Kappus is the soul of Burton Hockey; Lee Orr is the rapidly-beating heart of Burton Hockey.
You can name three different times that Lee Orr has saved BUSH, or at the very least provoked it out of complacency. One of the Burton Hockey originals, Lee's 2000 season was cut short before it even began by another in a long line of severe knee injuries. It was truly a crushing blow. But these blows always seem to give Lee something to rail against and overcome, which is what he's been doing his entire life. Lee is always at his best when he's given a seemingly burdensome task. That mission, that sense of purpose, is what drives him.
When Lee returned in 2001, BUSH hwas overcome with complacency. There weren't many sessions played in '01-02, but Lee was at the forefront with two first team nods, and a scoring title and MVP honours in 2002. It was 2003, though, when Lee returned to Nakusp full-time, that his legend truly began to be made. The inagural season of 2000 set such a lofty standard that it was thought impossible to beat. Lee came as close as anyone had since, making a giant leap into elite status with 239 points, organising every seassion and entrenching the league's permanency. The next season, when statistician Kyle Kusch left for the north, it was Lee who proved that stats were possible without him (an important lesson for the VRH gang that got together the next year). His season, unfortunately, was wiped out by another knee catastrophe. He returned, and it all came together in 2006. Lee was quite open about his mission to depose Lorne Bilinski's record 325 points season from the charts, and anything other record within his reach. Like a slavemaster, he drove BUSH into the heart of the summer right through to autumn for the first time with an amazing 375 points in 116 games, easily taking the record. He also became the first player to take 1,000 shots on goal in a year, averaging an amazing 9.25 per game (if there's a knock on him, it's that his shooting percentage is frequently horrible; he deals in volume). By this point, Lee was a 3.00 PPG player, not necessarily excelling at one thing but doing lots of thing well; a complete package of speed, passing, and positional play. He was now openly talking about taking the all-time scoring lead, a feat which seemed laughable to most but not to Leeroy. So how did he follow that season up? Another knee injury and a move to Victoria which killed his entire 2007 season, followed by a move to Castlegar which did the same thing for 2008.
But Lee has BUSH in his blood, and could not stay away. He relocated back to the Arrow Lakes at the beginning of 2009 and immediately began scheming the resurrection of BUSH. Not even he had any idea what he would unleash: a 242-game BUSH season in which Lee helped introduces dozens of rookies, pushed the intraleague rivalry between BUSH and VRH to new heights, and basically became the main reason for Burton Hockey's greatest season ever. His goal was 400 points. He not only reached that mark; he reinvented the entire concept of what kind of statistics a player could acheive in Burton. When all was said and done, he had scored 373 goals, 355 assists, and 728 points on a ridulous 2,093 shots. By the final months of the year, he had deposed Oliver Koth-Kappus as the all-time scoring king. Lee had taken BUSH from March straight through December without a break.
Other than assists, he now owns every single all-time offensive total category. He's the only quadruple scoring champion and MVP in history. He's not necessarily the best player each session, but he's always close, and he's always there. His friendly rivalries over the years with Lorne Bilinski, Seamus O'Connor and Justin Gordon have always been entertaining. Regardless of any other statistics, it's simply impossible to quantify the love and dedication Lee Orr has for this particular game. As others take Burton Hockey session-to-session, Lee has entire seasons and all-time glory envisioned in his head. And he's (relatively) humble about it. No disrespect to anyone else, but without Lee, BUSH just would not be around. As both the highest scorer and most dedicated figure in the history of the game, Lee Orr completes the Burton 40.
Awards: Scoring Champion - 2002, 2003, 2006; Most Valuable Player - 2002, 2003, 2006; Most Outstanding Player - 2006; Ironman of the Year - 2006 (tie); Comeback Player of the Year - 2004, 2008; 1st All-Star - 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006; 2nd All-Star - 2004, 2008; Most Dedicated Team - 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.
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