Bobby Orr's 1976 Canada Cup jersey is about to go on the auction block. The red and white Team Canada shirt has been consigned to Classic Auctions and will be sold at auction next month.
"We believe that this photo-matched, game-worn Bobby Orr Team Canada 1976 Canada Cup jersey, with unwavering provenance, most certainly represents the second-most significant Team Canada uniform find in the history of the game and the hobby," said Mathieu Morin of Classic Auctions.
After a stellar career with the Boston Bruins had ended, Orr was selected to represent his nation for the first time at the 1976 Canada Cup tournament. Orr's knee, ravaged by operations every summer, was virtually without cartilage. He had played only 10 games with the Bruins the previous season before requiring more surgery and rehabilitation, but he refused to allow injury to prevent him from playing in the inaugural Canada Cup, the first best-on-best, featuring Canada and Europe.
Orr was named the series MVP after Canada's two games to none victory over Czechoslovakia. Darryl Sittler scored the game-winner in front of an appreciative crowd.
After Canada's historic victory, the players on both sides traded jerseys, as per international custom. Orr swapped shirts with Czech star Oldrich Machac (click here to watch some of Oldrich famous body checks) and this jersey remained in Machac's collection from that day to this. Certainly proud of this memento, Oldrich marked his name and address on the neck tagging, as noted above, and also marked his name in blue ink inside the lower front hem, adding a label in the inner tail that reads: "Orr (Machac) (Sin Slavy)".
The jersey was loaned at one point to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and comes complete with a copy of a letter from Orr and officials of the Hall attesting to its display in the Hall of Fame. The jersey was consigned to Classic Auctions in 2011 by Machac who passed away soon after. It will come with a letter of authenticity from Classic Auctions and another letter of provenance from Machac's family.
The white knit jersey with the heavily-screened rubberized red name, numbers and Team Canada demi-leaf design was worn by Orr throughout the international tourney. The shirt is tagged in the neck by Athletic Knit, in size 46 with Orr's surname across the back shoulders above his famed number "4". Blue ballpoint ink on the backside of the neck tag reads: "Oldrich Machac, Heydukova 21, 62800 Brno Ceska Republika". This example has the cross-over style neck and reinforced elbows.
Bidding begins next week.