By Carter Brooks
Photo by Graig Abel
Colton Orr is coming out of retirement and has found himself back in the game.
Well, he's not planning on lacing up, or dropping the mitts any time soon, but the Winnipeg native has found his way back into the hockey scene following his official retirement from the NHL in late April of 2016.
After nine seasons suiting up for the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs, Orr has shifted his focus to junior hockey, and the Danbury Colonials of the North American Tier III Hockey League. This past week it was announced that Orr has joined arms with the recently re-located Colonials, who have shifted back to Connecticut for the 2019-20 NA3HL season.
“I am really looking forward to being part of the Danbury Colonials and the North American Hockey League platform in Danbury,” Orr said in a press release. “I was fortunate in my Junior Hockey career to have an ex-NHL player (Mike Ridley) to mentor my team in Winnipeg with the St. Bonifice Saints, and it was an unbelievable experience for the guys in the room. Being part of building this program from the start is a very exciting opportunity. I can’t wait to get on the ice with the boys.”
After playing out of Niagara for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, the Colonials will return to their original stomping grounds this fall, where Orr will serve as the junior hockey team's Managing Partner. In addition, the Colton Orr Hockey Academy will have a new official home at the Danbury Ice Arena. The Colton Orr Hockey Academy aims to train young hockey players with the appropriate strategies and techniques to help develop full contact preparedness and strength/balance training.
In 477 NHL games, Orr registered 12 goals and 24 points, but his true level of expertise came in the fisticuff department. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound enforcer picked up 1,186 penalty minutes in the regular season, to go along with 48 minutes in 19 postseason contests. The 2019-20 NA3HL season is set to begin in early October.