There was a lot of attention paid to Colton Orr in January. Did he deserve a place on the Leafs 23-man roster? Was there room for someone like him? Someone who wasn’t able to prove himself at the NHL level last season? Someone who had sat out for the majority of the 2010-11 season recovering from a concussion suffered in a battle gone wrong?
Indeed, following the 2011 fight with George Parros which ended with him landing face first on the ice underneath his opponent, he had sat out for 244 days before starting the 2011-12 season. He had been cleared by doctors, he was ready to go. But he didn’t get too much of a chance to prove it at the NHL level before being sent down to the Toronto Marlies and coach Dallas Eakins.
“Even though it was probably a great disappointment for him to be sent to the American League, it was almost a necessary thing to happen for him because it let us basically pull down that reset button for 10 seconds and this hockey player restarted himself and a new guy popped out,” Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins told TSN.” (tsn.ca)
Indeed, Orr’s reset button was flipped and by the start of training camp this past January he looked like an entirely different hockey player.