1971 NHL Entry Draft Pick
Round Overall
2 20
Larry Robinson
Selected by Montreal from Kitchener (OHA)
Montreal Canadiens Kitchener Rangers
Larry Robinson
 

6-foot-4, 195 pounds

Left-hand shot

Defense

Pre-Draft Statistics

Year Team League GP G A TP PIM
1968-69 Brockville CJAHL -- 8 21 29 --
1969-70 Brockville CJAHL 40 22 29 51 74
1970-71 Kitchener OHA 61 12 39 51 65

Pre-Draft Notes

Also played LW, center. ... 1969-70 CJAHL Best Defenseman, All-Star First Team.
Canadian • Born June 2, 1951 in Winchester, Ontario • Hometown: Marvelville, Ontario
HOCKEY HALL OF FAME: Inducted 1995

Hockey's Larry Legend

Although he had played only one season of major-junior hockey at the time he was drafted, Larry Robinson would emerge as perhaps the greatest second-round draft choice of all time. After one and a half years in the AHL, he burst onto the NHL scene in 1973 and established himself as the first superstar defenseman of the post-Bobby Orr era. Robinson was a rock for Montreal, helping the team win a remarkable six Stanley Cup championships between 1973 and 1986 and being named to an NHL postseason All-Star First Team in five consecutive seasons. What he did as a player was the stuff of legend, but he was able to take that a step further in becoming a Stanley Cup-winning coach. Few elite players make the transition to coaching as well as Robinson did. He learned so much from Jacques Lemaire, the man who gave him his first coaching job. In Montreal, Robinson had played with Lemaire and had him as a coach -- a unique relationship that helped mold Robinson into a star coach, too.

Video from NHL.com

ABOVE: Robinson talks about how difficult it is to win the Cup.

MORE ROBINSON VIDEO
On How Winning Feels Larry Robinson NightOn His Retired Number
Legends of Hockey On NHL's Evolution2010 Interview
Fighting with BruinsThe End-to-End Rush Tribute Video

Career Vitals

First contract: August 16, 1971
Debut: January 8, 1973
(Montreal vs. Minnesota)
Final NHL game: April 20, 1992 (playoffs)
(Los Angeles vs. Edmonton)
Retired: April 29, 1992
Stanley Cup: 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1995, 2000, 2003
Numbers worn: 19 (Montreal) (number retired),
19 (Los Angeles)

Career NHL Statistics

Teams: Montreal, Los Angeles
Years: 1973-1992. Playoffs: 1973-1992

Regular Season
  GP G A TP PIM
20 years 1,384 208 750 958 793
 
Stanley Cup Playoffs
GP G A TP PIM
20 years 227 28 116 144 211
 
Complete statistics available at NHL.com 

NHL Awards and Honors

(with Montreal)
1973-74:All-Star Game
1975-76: Sport Magazine Playoffs MVP, All-Star Game
1976-77:Norris Trophy, All-Star First Team, All-Star Game, Plus-Minus Leader (plus-120)
1977-78:Conn Smythe Trophy, Sport Magazine Playoffs MVP, All-Star Second Team, All-Star Game, Playoffs Points Leader (21, tie), Playoffs Assists Leader (17)
1978-79:All-Star First Team, Challenge Cup NHL All-Stars
1979-80:Norris Trophy, All-Star First Team, All-Star Game
1980-81:All-Star Second Team
1981-82:All-Star Game
1985-86:All-Star Second Team, Hockey News Comeback Player of Year (shared), All-Star Game
1987-88:All-Star Game
1988-89:All-Star Game
(with Los Angeles)
1991-92:All-Star Game

Team Awards and Honors

(with Montreal)
1977-78:Playoffs Points Leader (21, tie), Playoffs Assists Leader (17)
1980-81:Molson Cup (Three-Stars Leader),
1982-83:Assists Leader (49, tie)
1984-85:Playoffs Points Leader (11, tie), Playoffs Assists Leader (8, tie)
1985-86:Playoffs Assists Leader (13)
1986-87:Playoffs Assists Leader (17)
(with Los Angeles)
1990-91:Most Inspirational Player Award

Milestones

1,000th Game:March 19, 1986
(Montreal at Winnipeg)
200th Goal:December 6, 1989
(Los Angeles vs. Vancouver)
500th Assist:November 19, 1984
(Montreal vs. Toronto)
600th Assist:December 11, 1986
(Montreal vs. N.Y. Rangers)
700th Assist:November 22, 1989
(Los Angeles vs. Chicago)
100th Playoff Game:April 7, 1982
(Montreal vs. Quebec)
100th Playoff Point:April 8, 1987 (goal)
(Montreal vs. Boston)
100th Playoff Assist:April 7, 1988
(Montreal vs. Hartford)

League/Team Records

NHL Records
Most consecutive
seasons in playoffs:
20 (shares record)
(1973 to 1992)
Highest career
plus-minus rating:
plus-730
Montreal Canadiens Records
Most career games
played by a defenseman:
1,202
Most career seasons
by a defenseman:
17
Most career goals
by a defenseman:
197
Most career points
by a defenseman:
883
Most career assists
by a defenseman:
686
Most points by
a defenseman in one season:
85 in 1976-77
Most assists by
a defenseman in one season:
66 in 1976-77
Longest point-scoring
streak by a defenseman:
16 games (twice)
(2/23/77 to 3/27/77)
(6 goals, 17 assists)
(12/29/79 to 2/7/80)
(4 goals, 17 assists)
Most career playoff games:203
Most career playoff games
by a defenseman:
109
Most consecutive
seasons in playoffs:
17
(1973 to 1989)
Most career playoff assists:109
Most career playoff
points by a defenseman:
134
Most career playoff
goals by a defenseman:
25
(shares record) 
Most career playoff
assists by a defenseman:
109
Most career playoff penalty
minutes by a defenseman:
186
(shares record)
Most assists
in one playoff year:
17 (twice) (1978, 1987)
(shares record)
Most points by defenseman
in one playoff year:
21 in 1978
(4 goals, 17 assists)
Most goals by defenseman
in one playoff year:
6 in 1979
(shares record)
Most assists by defenseman
in one playoff year:
17 (twice)
(1978 and 1987)
Most points by  defenseman
in one playoff series:
10 (2 goals, 8 assists)
(1987 vs. Philadelphia) 
Most assists by defenseman
in one playoff series:
8 (twice)
(1987 vs. Quebec)
(1987 vs. Philadelphia)
Most points by defenseman
in one playoff game:
4 (shares record) (1g, 3a)
(5/12/87 at Philadelphia)

Transaction History

July 25, 1989 -- Signed with Los Angeles as an unrestricted free agent.

Life Outside the NHL

Full Name: Larry Clark Robinson
Nickname: "Big Bird"

Other Post-Draft Teams: Nova Scotia (AHL)

Career Beyond Hockey: Spent the first full year after his retirement serving as Bridgestone Tire Company's Canadian national spokesman.

Family: Older brother of former NHL player Moe Robinson. ... Father of former college baseball player Jeffrey Robinson.

Career Highlights

Also played left wing during his pro career. ... Won AHL Calder Cup with Nova Scotia in 1972. ... Scored his first NHL goal against Kings netminder Rogie Vachon in Montreal's 7-3 win at Los Angeles on Feb. 3, 1973. ... Scored at 6:45 of overtime to give Montreal a 4-3 win in Game 2 of Stanley Cup semifinals series vs. Philadelphia on April 17, 1973. ... Scored the 10,000th goal in Montreal Canadiens' NHL history on Jan. 23, 1975, at Minnesota. ... Scored at 4:14 of overtime to give Montreal 5-4 win over Toronto and 4-0 sweep of Stanley Cup quarterfinals series on April 22, 1979, at Toronto. ... Scored the first goal of Montreal's 1980-81 season at 4:13 of first period on Oct. 11, 1980, vs. Chicago. ... Won Directorate Award as Best Defenseman at 1981 IIHF World Championship tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden. ... Named to IIHF World Championship All-Star Team with Canada at 1981 turnament in Gothenburg, Sweden. ... Scored his lone NHL hat trick for Montreal on Dec. 19, 1985, in a 5-4 loss at Quebec. ... Scored the 14,000th NHL goal in Montreal Canadiens' NHL history on Dec. 22, 1986, vs. Pittsburgh. ... Scored the first goal of Montreal's 1987 playoffs on a power-play at 4:37 of the opening period on April 8, 1987, vs. Boston. The goal was also his 100th career playoff point. ... Became NHL's all-time leader in playoff games played when he appeared in his 186th playoff game for Montreal on April 9, 1989, at Hartford, passing Denis Potvins' previous mark of 185 games. ... Left Montreal in 1989 ranked No. 2 behind Henri Richard on team's all-time games played list (1,202 games) and as one of only five players to have played in 1,000 games wiht the Canadiens. ... Left Montreal in 1989 ranked No. 4 on team's all-time assists list (686) and No. 5 on all-time points list (883). ... Played on Montreal team that lost to Calgary in 1989 Stanley Cup Finals. ... Retired with NHL record (since broken) for career playoff games (227) and share of NHL record (since broken) for most years in playoffs (20). ... Retired ranked No. 3 on the all-time list for games played by a defenseman with 1,384 games. At the time of Robinson's retirement, only Tim Horton and Harry Howell had played more games as a defenseman. ... Was fourth-highest scoring defenseman in NHL history when he retired with 958 points. Only Paul Coffey, Denis Potvin, and Ray Bourque had more career points than Robinson at the time. ... Was the runner-up to Pat Burns in voting for Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year with Los Angeles in 1997-98. ... Became only third coach in NHL history to take over a team in mid-season and lead it to Stanley Cup when he won Cup with New Jersey in 2000 -- just three months after being promoted to head coach. ... Inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. ... Was head coach of New Jersey team that lost to Colorado in 2001 Stanley Cup Finals. ... Inducted into Canadian Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 1, 2004. ... Honored as the greatest defenseman in Montreal Canadiens history as part of the team's 100th anniversary celebration on Dec. 4, 2009. ... Was assistant coach of New Jersey team that lost to Los Angeles in 2012 Stanley Cup Final.
 

Retired Sweater Number

On Nov. 19, 2007, more than 18 years after his last game with the Canadiens, Robinson's No. 19 was retired by the team in a special ceremony prior to the Habs' home game vs. Ottawa. Although it took nearly two decades for the number to be officially retired, no Montreal player had ever worn No. 19 after Robinson's final season with the Canadiens in 1988-89, and everyone knew it was just a matter of time before the number went to the Bell Centre rafters. Robinson became the 13th former Canadiens player to have his number retired. During his speech at the ceremony, Robinson thanked the fans from the bottom of his heart. "You warmly welcomed an anglophone farm boy from Marvelville and made him fall in love with this city," he said to the capacity crowd of 21,273.
 

The 1987 Polo Injury

During off-seasons of his playing days in the mid-1980s, Robinson developed a passion for the game of polo. He took part in games at the Hudson polo fields outside of Montreal. In fact, the main reason he opted not to play in the 1987 Canada Cup tournament was his desire to compete in polo. On Sunday Aug. 9, 1987, Robinson's love of polo led to the most serious injury of his NHL career. While riding his horse at top speed, he swerved around an opposing horse, but crashed into the side of another. Robiinson's right leg was caught between the body of his own horse and the body of the horse he had hit. The leg was crushed, although Robinson continued to play in the polo match, which was part of a tournament. After the game, X-rays showed that Robinson had broken his right tibia in the area just below his knee. Surgery was required to place two metal screws into the broken bone, and Robinson spent some time in the hospital after that. His rehab began in late August, but he was unable to take part in any of Montreal's 1987 training camp and missed the first 21 games of the 1987-88 season. Ironically, there had been talk of Robinson's potential retirement just before the injury, but once he got hurt in the polo match, some controversy arose among fans and the media because there was a sense that Robinson had valued polo more than his obligation to Team Canada or the Canadiens. That controversy eventually blew over, as the Canadiens barely felt Robinson's absence. The team was 11-5-5 and leading the Adams Division at the time of his return to the lineup. When he returned, he told reporters he was as nervous as he had ever been before any game, including his NHL debut.
 

Robinson Leaves Montreal

At the end of the 1989 Stanley Cup Finals, after Montreal had lost to Calgary in a thrilling, seven-game series, a 37-year-old Robinson was due to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his Hall of Fame career. He had played out his option with the Canadiens, but the idea of him playing anywhere but Montreal still seemed incredible. By June of 1989, however, it seemed like Robinson might be on his way out. He had failed to reach agreement on a new contract with Canadiens general manager Serge Savard. The Canadiens were willing to give Robinson a minimum 15 percent raise on a one-year contract, but Robinson wanted bigger money and more term. By mid-July, Robinson told the Canadiens he would make a decision about re-signing by the end of the month. The team's final offer of one year at $500,000 was submitted to Don Cape, Robinson's business partner who was acting as his agent. "As far as negotiating goes, I have nothing to do with it, and that's the way I wanted it," Robinson said at the time. During this time period. Robinson's longtime teammate, Bob Gainey, retired from the NHL for an opportunity to coach in Europe. With Gainey gone, Robinson's departure became even more likely. On July 25, 1989, Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall, who had traded for Wayne Gretzky a year earlier, announced that the team had reached an agreemeent in principal with Robinson. The result was a two-year deal with a one-year club option. Robinson would receive a total of $1.5 million, or $500,000 per season. The Kings structured the deal to top Montreal's offer, since the Canadiens were expected to give a full year salary bonus if Robinson were to retire after the 1989-90 season. The Kings were guaranteeing an additional $500,000 if Robinson wanted to play for three years. McNall made Robinson the eighth Kings player with a contract whose total value topped $1 million. The others were Gretzky, Bernie Nicholls, Dave Taylor, Luc Robitaille, Kelly Hrudey, Steve Duchesne and Mike Krushelnyski.
 

International Tournaments

1976:Canada Cup (won championship)
1981:World Championships at Gothenburg, Sweden (fourth place); Canada Cup (second place)
1984:Canada Cup (won championship)

Significant Injuries

Missed part of 1978-79 season with broken nose, suffered in Montreal's Jan. 6, 1979, game vs. Vancouver. He did not return until Montreal's Jan. 16, 1979, game at Vancouver. ... Missed part of 1978-79 season with water on the knee, suffered in Montreal's March 3, 1979, game vs. Detroit. He did not return until Montreal's March 22, 1979, game vs. N.Y. Islanders. ... Missed part of 1979-80 season with pain in abdomen, diagnosed on Dec. 13, 1979. He did not return until Montreal's Dec. 18, 1979, game at St. Louis. ... Missed part of 1979-80 season with separated right shoulder, suffered when checked by Colin Campbell in third period of Montreal's March 6, 1980, game vs. Edmonton. He did not return until Montreal's March 22, 1980, game vs. Hartford. ... Missed part of 1980-81 season with groin injury, suffered during Montreal's Oct. 11, 1980, season-opener vs. Chicago. He did not return until Montreal's Oct. 21, 1980, game at St. Louis. ... Missed part of 1980-81 season with separated left shoulder, suffered in Montreal's Nov. 14, 1980, game at Vancouver. He did not return until Montreal's Dec. 11, 1980, game vs. Toronto. ... Suffered broken nose in Montreal's Jan. 8, 1981, game vs. Pittsburgh, missing second half of the game. ... Missed part of 1981-82 season with torn muscle near hip, an injury suffered during Montreal's Jan. 5, 1982, game vs. Boston. He did not return until Montreal's Jan. 23, 1982, game vs. Calgary. ... Missed part of 1981-82 season with strained groin, an injury suffered during Montreal's March 21, 1982, game at Buffalo. He did not return until Montreal's March 30, 1982, game vs. Hartford. ...  Missed part of 1982-83 season with aprained left shoulder, an injury suffered during Montreal's Oct. 14, 1982, game at New Jersey. He did not return until Montreal's Oct. 23, 1982, game vs. Quebec. ... Missed part of 1982-83 season with re-aggravation of left shoulder injury, suffered during Montreal's Dec. 4, 1982, game vs. Boston. He did not return until Montreal's Dec. 18, 1982, game at Calgary. ... Missed part of 1983-84 season with skin infection behind right knee, diagnosed on Oct. 14, 1983. He did not return until Montreal's Oct. 19, 1983 game at Winnipeg. ... Missed part of 1983-84 season with pulled hamstring, suffered during Montreal's Oct. 22, 1983, game at Toronto. He did not return until Montreal's Nov. 1, 1983, game vs. Hartford. ... Missed part of 1984-85 season with hyperextended left elbow, suffered during Montreal's Feb. 20, 1985, game at Chicago. He did not return until Montreal's March 4, 1985, game at Minnesota. ... Missed part of 1984-85 season with bruised bicep, suffered in collision with Scott Arniel during Montreal's March 6, 1985, game at Winnipeg and re-aggravated during team's March 7, 1985, practice. He did not return until Montreal's  March 14, 1985, game vs. Winnipeg. ... Missed Montreal's 1986-87 season-opener with pulled groin, an injury suffered during Montreal's 1986 training camp. ... Missed part of 1986-87 season with heel injury, suffered during Montreal's Dec. 11, 1986, game vs. N.Y. Rangers. He did not return until Montreal's Dec. 20, 1986, game vs. New Jersey. ... Missed part of 1986-87 season with back spasms, suffered during Montreal's Jan. 31, 1987, game vs. Los Angeles. He did not return until Montreal's Feb. 7, 1987, game at Hartford. ... Missed part of 1986-87 season with strained ligaments in right ankle, suffered when his skate got caught in a rut as he was defending 1-on-1 vs. Dennis Maruk in third period of Montreal's March 9, 1987, game at Minnesota. He did not return until Montreal's March 20, 1987, game at Buffalo. ... Missed start of 1987-88 season with broken right leg, suffered while playing polo on Aug. 9, 1987. He did not make his 1987-88 debut until Montreal's  Nov. 18, 1987, game vs. N.Y. Islanders. ... Missed part of 1987-88 season with sprained right wrist, suffered in Montreal's Dec. 23, 1987, game vs. Washington. He did not return until Montreal's Jan. 13, 1988, game vs. Boston. ... Missed part of 1988-89 season with sinus problem, diagnosed on Nov. 8, 1988. He did not return until Montreal's Nov. 13, 1988, game at Winnipeg. ... Missed part of 1988-89 season while on team-sanctioned vacation in Florida from Feb. 14-21. He did note play again until Montreal's Feb. 25, 1989, game vs. Buffalo. ... Suffered hyperextended knee in Montreal's May 25, 1989, Stanley Cup Finals game at Calgary, causing him to miss remainder of Game 6, which ended with Calgary eliminating the Canadiens to win the Cup. ... Missed part of 1989-90 season with the flu, an illness diagnosed on Jan. 26, 1990. He did not return until Los Angeles' Jan. 30, 1990, game vs. New Jersey. ... Missed part of 1989-90 season with food poisoning, suffered on March 5, 1990. He lost 10 pounds due to the illness and did not return until Los Angeles' March 18, 1990, game at Philadelphia. ... Missed part of 1990-91 season with back injury, suffered during Los Angeles' Feb. 2, 1991, game vs. Vancouver. He did not return until Los Angeles' 12, 1991, game vs. Calgary. ... Missed part of 1991-92 season with lacerated left eye, suffered when he was cut by Glenn Anderson's stick during Los Angeles' Nov. 26, 1991, game vs. Toronto. He did not return until Los Angeles' Dec. 3, 1991, game at San Jose.

Non-Playing Career

COACHING CAREER
Named New Jersey assistant coach on June 30, 1993, and remained in position until July 26, 1995. ... Named Los Angeles head coach on July 26, 1995, and remained in position until April 19, 1999, when the team said it would not renew his contract. ... Named New Jersey assistant coach on May 26, 1999, and remained in that position until March 23, 2000. ... Named New Jersey head coach on March 23, 2000, and remained in that position until Jan. 28, 2002. ... Named New Jersey interim assistant coach on Feb. 25, 2002, and remained in that position until August 2002. ... Named New Jersey special-assignment coach in August 2002 and remained in that position until July 14, 2005. ... Named New Jersey head coach on July 14, 2005, and remained in that position until he resigned due to stress and headaches on Dec. 19, 2005. ... Named New Jersey
assistant coach on July 25, 2007, and remained in that position until July 22, 2008. ... Named New Jersey special-assignment coach on July 22, 2008, and remained in that position until June 17, 2010. ... Named New Jersey assistant coach on June 17, 2010, and remained in that position until July 1, 2012. ... Named San Jose associate coach on July 8, 2012, and currently holds this position.
 
 
MANAGEMENT CAREER

Named San Jose Director of Player Development on May 22, 2014, and currently holds this position.

SCOUTING CAREER
Named New Jersey special-assignment scout on Dec. 19, 2005, and remained in that position until July 25, 2007.

Miscellaneous:

Selected by Ottawa Nationals in 1972 WHA Draft, the first-ever WHA Draft, in February 1972. Selected by Quebec Nordiques in 1973 WHA draft of established professional players. Played four games for Hull Castors (CJAHL) during 1968-69 season. Was a left wing prior to 1969, when Brockville Braves (CJAHL) converted him to defense.
Grew up as a Chicago fan because he "liked their sweaters" and idolized Bobby Hull. Joined Ottawa M&W Rangers (COJHL) for 1970 Centennial Cup tournament. Was part of Montreal's "Big Three" on defense with Serge Savard and Guy Lapointe. Paired on defense with Rod Langway for Montreal during 1979-80 season.
Was able to wear No. 19 in L.A. because Jim Fox gave it up to him when he signed with team. Was oldest active player in the NHL (40 years, 10 months, 27 days) at time of his retirement. Never played on a team that failed to make the playoffs in any of his 20 NHL seasons. Turned down 3-year coaching contract extension from Los Angeles in September 1998.x
Named to one of two defense positions on All-Time Canadiens Dream Team in 1989. Named sixth-greatest player in Montreal history by columnist Red Fisher in January 2009. Avid polo player who has owned several polo ponies and some thoroughbreds during career. Ranked by The Hockey News in 1997 as the 24th greatest NHL player of all time.
SNAPSHOT '71
Total Selected: 117
Forwards: 63
Defense: 45
Goaltenders: 9
Major Junior: 84
College Players: 19
Canadian: 107
Euro-Canadian: 2
American: 8
European: 0
Reached NHL: 50
Won Stanley Cup: 5
Hall of Fame: 3
All-Star Game: 10
Year-end All-Star: 5
Olympians: 4
Picks Traded: 18


OTHERS DRAFTED IN 1971



About This SiteHelp Support HDCPrivacy PolicyContact InfoFeedback