Larry Robinson

Larry Clark Robinson (born June 2, 1951) is a Canadian former ice hockey coach, executive and player. His coaching career includes head coaching positions with the New Jersey Devils (on which he held on two separate occasions), as well as the Los Angeles Kings. For his play in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Montreal Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings, Robinson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995. He was also inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.[1] In 2017, Robinson was named one of the "100 Greatest NHL Players".[2] Larry is the brother of Moe Robinson.

Larry Robinson
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1995
Robinson as part of the 2008 Legends Classic game.
Born (1951-06-02) June 2, 1951
Winchester, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 225 lb (102 kg; 16 st 1 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Played for Montreal Canadiens
Los Angeles Kings
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 20th overall, 1971
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 19731992

Playing career

Larry Robinson played Junior 'A' hockey with the Brockville Braves of the CJHL and Juniors with the Kitchener Rangers then turned professional, spending 1971 to 1973 with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs of the American Hockey League before making it to the National Hockey League with the Montreal Canadiens.

Nicknamed "Big Bird" in part for his size (6'4" and 225 pounds), Robinson was a big and strong yet highly mobile defenceman. He played 17 seasons for the Montreal Canadiens and another three seasons for the Los Angeles Kings, until his retirement after the 1992 season. He won the James Norris Memorial Trophy twice (1976-77 and 1979-80) as the league's most outstanding defenceman and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the 1978 playoffs. He was named to the league's first all-star team thrice and the second all-star team also thrice. His peak years were 1976-77 to 1980-81, although he had a strong comeback season at age 34 in 1985-86 when he was again named to the second all-star team and scored 82 points, just three shy of his career high of 85 (1976-77). Robinson was a dominant player whose talent and leadership helped lead the Canadiens to six Stanley Cups.

Robinson was a member of Team Canada in the 1976, 1981 and 1984 Canada Cup tournaments and was an international All-Star team selection in the 1981 IIHF World Championships. During his career, he played in ten of the league's All-Star games and ended his 20-year career having scored 208 goals, 750 assists and 958 regular-season points as well as 144 points in 227 playoff games, a remarkable achievement for a defenceman. He holds an impressive career plus-minus rating of +730, the NHL career record, including an overwhelming +120 in 1976–77 (second only to Bobby Orr's record plus-124 in 1970–71, and with Orr, the only two players to have a plus-minus rating of +100 or greater for a season). He won the Stanley Cup six times with the Canadiens, in 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1986. Together with Nicklas Lidstrom, Robinson holds the NHL record for most consecutive playoff seasons with 20, 17 of them with the Canadiens.[3][4]

Robinson has been honoured for his playing career. In 1995, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In 1998, he was ranked number 24 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players. In 2000, he was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame. On November 19, 2007, the Canadiens retired Robinson's No. 19 jersey before a loss against the Ottawa Senators.[3] Larry Robinson's name appears on the Stanley Cup ten times, six as a player, three as a coach and once as a scout.

Coaching career

Following his retirement, Robinson was hired as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils in 1993. After winning the Stanley Cup in 1995 with the Devils, he was hired as head coach of the Los Angeles Kings, the same year he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He left the Los Angeles team at the end of the 1998–99 season and signed on as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils once again. Named interim head coach of the New Jersey Devils on March 23, 2000, Robinson guided his team to win the 2000 Stanley Cup. With the victory, Robinson became the first interim head coach in NHL history to guide a team to the Stanley Cup. The feat would later be accomplished by Craig Berube in 2019. Robinson recounted to journalist Scott Morrison:[5]

He stayed on as head coach for the next year and again guided the Devils to the Stanley Cup finals, where they lost against the Colorado Avalanche in seven games.

Robinson was fired during the 2001–02 season, but returned as an assistant coach just before the 2002–03 season to win his 9th Stanley Cup in 2003.

When Pat Burns suffered a recurrence of cancer, Robinson again assumed the mantle of head coach on July 14, 2005. This stint came to an end on December 19, 2005, when Robinson resigned, citing stress and other health problems.[6]

Robinson returned to the Devils prior to the 2007–08 season as an assistant coach under Brent Sutter. Prior to the 2008–09 season, Robinson left from behind the Devils' bench to become a special assignment coach between the organization's prospects in Lowell, Mass., and the Devils.[7]

Robinson's contract ended with the New Jersey Devils in the summer of 2012. He indicated he was interested in becoming an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens, however that post was filled with former Hab J.J. Daigneault soon after. Robinson then was appointed an associate coach with the San Jose Sharks on July 10, 2012.[8] On May 23, 2014, the Sharks added director of player development to Robinson's role.[9] In 2017, at the end of his five-year contract with the Sharks, Robinson left the organization.[10] He is currently a Senior Consultant to Hockey Operations for the St. Louis Blues.

With the St. Louis Blues defeating the Boston Bruins in the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals, Robinson won his tenth Stanley Cup championship.[11]

Polo and horse racing

Robinson was raised on a Marvelville, Ontario farm and as a boy, he grew up with a love of horses. While living in the rural area of St-Lazare outside of Montreal, Robinson became a co-founder with former teammate Steve Shutt, Michael Sinclair-Smith and local veterinarian Dr. Gilbert Hallé of the Montreal Polo Club at Sainte-Marthe, Quebec.

While playing in Los Angeles, Robinson became involved in the sport of thoroughbred horse racing through a partnership with Kings owner Bruce McNall's Summa Stable.[12] Among their racing successes, Down Again won the 1990 Monrovia Handicap at Santa Anita Park.[13]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1969–70Brockville BravesCJHL4022295174
1969–70Ottawa M&W RangersCJHL52132
1970–71Kitchener RangersOHA-Jr.611239516541235
1971–72Nova Scotia VoyageursAHL7410142454152101231
1972–73Nova Scotia VoyageursAHL386333933
1972–73Montreal CanadiensNHL3624620111459
1973–74Montreal CanadiensNHL786202666601126
1974–75Montreal CanadiensNHL80144761761104427
1975–76Montreal CanadiensNHL80103040591333610
1976–77Montreal CanadiensNHL7719668545142101212
1977–78Montreal CanadiensNHL801352653915417216
1978–79Montreal CanadiensNHL67164561331669158
1979–80Montreal CanadiensNHL7214617539100442
1980–81Montreal CanadiensNHL651238503730112
1981–82Montreal CanadiensNHL711247594150118
1982–83Montreal CanadiensNHL711449633330002
1983–84Montreal CanadiensNHL7493443391505522
1984–85Montreal CanadiensNHL76133447441238118
1985–86Montreal CanadiensNHL7819638239200131322
1986–87Montreal CanadiensNHL701337504417317206
1987–88Montreal CanadiensNHL536344030111454
1988–89Montreal CanadiensNHL74426302221281012
1989–90Los Angeles KingsNHL6473239341023510
1990–91Los Angeles KingsNHL6212223161214515
1991–92Los Angeles KingsNHL56310133720000
NHL totals 1384 207 751 958 793 227 28 116 144 211

International

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1976 Canada CC 7 0 0 0 0
1979 NHL All-Stars Exhib. 3 1 0 1 0
1981 Canada WC 6 1 1 2 2
1981 Canada CC 7 1 0 1 2
1984 Canada CC 8 1 2 3 2
Senior totals 31 4 3 7 6

Coaching career statistics

TeamYearRegular seasonPost season
GWLTOTLPtsFinishWLWin %Result
LA1995–96 82244018666th in PacificMissed playoffs
LA1996–97 82284311676th in PacificMissed playoffs
LA1997–98 82383311872nd in Pacific04.000Lost in Conference Quarterfinals
LA1998–99 8232455695th in PacificMissed playoffs
LA total32812216145.44104.0001 playoff appearance
NJ1999–2000 84400(103)2nd in Atlantic167.696Won Stanley Cup
NJ2000–01 8248191231111st in Atlantic1510.600Lost in Stanley Cup Finals
NJ2001–02 51212073(95)(fired)
NJ2005–06 32141305(101)(resigned)
NJ total17387561911.5903117.6462 playoff appearances
1 Stanley Cup
Total5012092176411.4923121.5963 playoff appearances
1 Stanley Cup

See also

  • Notable families in the NHL

References

  1. "Larry Robinson". oshof.ca/. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  2. "100 Greatest NHL Players". NHL.com. January 27, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  3. "Larry Robinson joins Canadiens legends with retirement of his No. 19 jersey". The Canadian Press. 2001–2007. Retrieved November 22, 2007.
  4. "Numbers help tell story of Lidstrom's brilliance". NHL.com. May 31, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  5. Morrison, Scott (2008). Hockey Night in Canada: My Greatest Day. Toronto: Key Porter Books. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-55470-086-8.
  6. CBC Sports (December 21, 2005). "Larry Robinson resigns as Devils coach". CBC News. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  7. Rich Chere/The Star-Ledger (July 22, 2008). "Robinson won't be behind N.J. Devils' bench this season". Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  8. Montreal Gazette (July 10, 2012). "Larry Robinson finds his way to San Jose". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  9. "Sharks Name Larry Robinson Associate Coach & Director of Player Development". San Jose Sharks. May 23, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  10. "Director of player development Larry Robinson won't return to Sharks". ESPN. May 26, 2017.
  11. "Robinson basks in Stanley Cup title as Blues senior consultant". NHL.com. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  12. "HIGH WEIGHT MAY CAUSE BAYAKOA TO SKIP SANTA MARGARITA 'CAP". Daily News of Los Angeles. February 15, 1990.
  13. "Down Again Lauded After Victory". Los Angeles Times. February 15, 1990.
Preceded by
Guy Lafleur
Winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy
1978
Succeeded by
Bob Gainey
Preceded by
Denis Potvin
Winner of the Norris Trophy
1980
Succeeded by
Randy Carlyle
Preceded by
Denis Potvin
Winner of the Norris Trophy
1977
Succeeded by
Denis Potvin
Preceded by
Rogatien Vachon
Head coach of the Los Angeles Kings
199599
Succeeded by
Andy Murray
Preceded by
Robbie Ftorek
Head coach of the New Jersey Devils
2000–02
Succeeded by
Kevin Constantine
Preceded by
Pat Burns
Head coach of the New Jersey Devils
2005
Succeeded by
Lou Lamoriello
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