Chris Chelios has one of the most impressive resumes of any American defenseman. He might have the most impressive resume. So the question isn’t so much whether or not he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but where does he rank among the greatest NHL defenders ever.
If you judge strictly on the basis of Norris Trophy wins, Nicklas Lidstrom is the second best NHL defenseman of all time. Obviously Norris wins are not the only criteria we should use when evaluating NHL D, so in this episode we look at his entire career and try to figure out where he ranks all time.
NHL: 1966-79; 12 seasons, 9 quality[1. By Defensive Point Shares]
270G (1st All Time among D at his retirement[2. Orr was ahead by over 100 goals]), 645A (1st D[3. Orr was ahead by nearly 200 assists]) for 915P (1st D[4. Orr was ahead by 299 points]), +597 (2nd All Time[5. All skaters]) in 657 games; 152 PS (3rd All Time[6. 1st All Time among D] at his retirement)
At his retirement, Orr was 25th All Time in GPG, 1st in APG[7. Orr is now 3rd All time in APG] and PPG[7. Minimum 500 games][8. Orr is now 4th All Time in PPG]
Orr was 11th All Time in OPS[9. 1st Defenceman] and 13th All Time in PS[10. 12th Defenceman] at his retirement
Era: Orr is 20th in Goals, 10th in GPG, 4th in Assists and Points, 1st in APG,[10. Orr is ahead by .21 APG] PPG and PS, 2nd in OPS, 3rd in DPS despite being 79th in Games[11. Of the 82 skaters to play in at least 650 games between 1966 and 1979]
82-game average: 34G, 80A for 114P, +75
3-year peak (1969-72): 82-game average of 38G, 96A for 134P
Playoffs: 26G, 66A for 92P in 74 games
Adjusted: 255G, 623A for 878P
Adjusted 82-game average: 32G, 78A for 110P
Orr is 16th All Time in Adjusted PPG if the qualifier is set at 500 games