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Hockey History: The "Savardian Spin-o-rama" and its true inventor

Thanks to Danny Gallivan, whenever a defender spins on the offensive blue line we are reminded of the iconic Serge Savard technique, but he wasn't the first defender pull off this move.

In recent years, the blue line spin-o-rama move, also called the "Savardian Spin-o-rama" is often wrongly attributed to Denis Savard. Although he was perfectly adept at making the move, he was definitely not the creator, nor was he even the Savard that inspired the name.

Danny Gallivan coined the term "Savardian Spin-o-rama", and he was of course talking about Habs legend Serge Savard. He was one of the first d-men to truly utilize the move as an effective way to maintain possession, all the while creating an offensive zone scoring chance.

Here's Serge Savard terrorizing Boston's defense circa 1970. Gifs created thanks to reddit user Lostcanuck:


Savard was not the only player who could pull of this aesthetically pleasing move. There was a certain unknown defenceman from Parry Sound that used it to become one of the best players in hockey history.

Bobby Orr could do almost anything he wanted on the ice, including the spin-o-rama:


However, to find the person who first used the move, we have to dig a little deeper. It is actually Doug Harvey who is credited with the invention of the blue line spin-o-rama, which he perfected in the 1950s.


Not only did he revolutionize the defenceman position, he added this highlight trick to the NHL defender repertoire, which is just another one of Harvey's fantastic NHL accomplishments.

Next time someone mentions that Serge Savard is the creator of the blue line spin-o-rama, you'll be able to correct them with the actual original athlete who applied the move. Although if we're being honest, "Harvian Spin-o-rama" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.