Gary R. Roberts (born May 23, 1966) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player who played 21 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL). He was the first round pick of the Calgary Flames, 12th overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. Roberts played the first ten seasons of his NHL career with the Flames, winning the Stanley Cup in 1989. A serious neck injury forced Roberts to miss most of the 1994–95 season as well as the first half of the 1995–96 season. He returned to the Flames late that year, and after scoring 42 points in 35 games, won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey. His neck did not get better, and he was forced to miss the entire 1996–97 season. One year later, Roberts made a comeback with the Carolina Hurricanes, where he played three seasons before finishing his career with stints playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Tampa Bay Lightning. Roberts played over 1,200 NHL games in his career, recording 438 goals and 910 points.
Playing career[edit | edit source]
Roberts grew up playing minor hockey for the Whitby-Brooklin Wildcats of the OMHA until 1981. Roberts played his bantam season with the OHA's Oshawa Legionnaires Jr.A. team in the 1981-82 season.
In May 1982, Roberts was selected in the 2nd round (30th overall) of the OHL Priority Selection by the Ottawa 67's.
Roberts played junior hockey for the Ontario Hockey League (OHL)'s Ottawa 67's beginning in 1982. In his second year, the 67's won the Memorial Cup. After the season, Roberts was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.
During his last season of junior, Roberts was traded by the 67's to the Guelph Platers in exchange for Guy Larose and Warren Rychel at the 1986 trade deadline. Roberts then went onto win the Memorial Cup a second time with the Guelph Platers in May 1986.
Roberts split the next season between the Calgary Flames of the NHL and their AHL affiliate, the Moncton Golden Flames. Roberts made his NHL stay permanent beginning with the 1987–88 season. In 1989 he helped the Flames win the Stanley Cup.
Injuries and early retirement[edit | edit source]
At the conclusion of the 1995–96 season, Roberts won the NHL's Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for his comeback. On June 17, 1996, at the age of 30, Roberts announced his retirement from hockey, before returning to hockey after the next season.
Return to hockey[edit | edit source]
In his first NHL season away from Calgary, Roberts scored 20 goals and added 29 assists for 49 points in 61 games. He played for Carolina for three seasons before signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In Toronto, Roberts was reunited with his childhood friend and old Calgary teammate, Joe Nieuwendyk. Roberts did not play his first game of the 2002–03 season until February 15, 2003, after missing most of the season following surgeries on both shoulders during the summer of 2002. Three days later, Roberts and the Maple Leafs agreed to a one-year contract extension through the 2003–04 season. On January 13, 2004, Roberts and teammate Tom Fitzgerald each played in the 1,000th games of their careers. Due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, he did not play in the 2004–05 NHL season. On August 1, 2005, both Roberts and Nieuwendyk signed $4.5 million (USD) contracts with the Florida Panthers.
During the second period of the Penguins game against the Buffalo Sabres on December 29, 2007, Roberts became tangled up with Tim Connolly and landed awkwardly, breaking his left fibula. Roberts refused to be carried off in a stretcher. He had been honored before the game for having scored his 900th career point. Roberts scored two goals against the Ottawa Senators on April 9, 2008, becoming the oldest player in the NHL to register multiple goals in one playoff game.
On June 28, 2008, the Tampa Bay Lightning acquired exclusive negotiation rights with Roberts and Ryan Malone from the Penguins for a third-round draft pick in 2009. Two days later, the Lightning signed Roberts to a one-year contract that pays him a minimum of $1.25 million, with $10,000 extra for every game played in the regular season, a possible bonus of $820,000. Malone had signed a seven-year contract one day earlier.
On February 16, 2009, Gary Roberts became the oldest player in NHL history to be the sole goal scorer in a game (1-0 Lighting over Islanders). This broke the mark set by Scott Stevens who, at age 39, had been the previous oldest sole single goal scorer.
On March 6, 2009 Roberts announced his retirement from the NHL after failing to be claimed on the NHL waiver wire.
On Thursday, April 8, 2010, Roberts attended the Pittsburgh Penguins final regular season home game at Mellon Arena (formerly the Civic Arena) and was part of the group of 50+ former Penguins players honored in a special pregame ceremony. Later in the game Roberts sat with Penguins owner Mario Lemieux in the owner's box.
Awards and achievements[edit | edit source]
- 1985 – Minto Cup winner - Whitby Warriors (lacrosse)
- 1985 – OHL Second All-Star Team
- 1986 – OHL Second All-Star Team
- 1989 – Stanley Cup winner - Calgary Flames
- 1992 – Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1993 – Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1996 – Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
- 2004 – Played in NHL All-Star Game
Career statistics[edit | edit source]
|1984–85||Moncton Golden Flames||AHL||7||4||2||6||7||—||—||—||—||—|
|1986–87||Moncton Golden Flames||AHL||38||20||18||38||72||—||—||—||—||—|
|1996–97||Did not play (Injury)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||82||29||24||53||109||11||2||9||11||0|
|2001–02||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||69||21||27||48||63||19||7||12||19||56|
|2002–03||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||14||5||3||8||10||7||1||1||2||8|
|2003–04||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||72||28||20||48||84||13||4||4||8||10|
|2004–05||Did not play||See 2004–05 NHL lockout|
|2008–09||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||30||4||3||7||27||—||—||—||—||—|
See also[edit | edit source]
- Power forward (ice hockey)
- List of NHL players with 1000 games played
- List of NHL players with 2000 career penalty minutes
References[edit | edit source]
- "Roberts returns from offseason shoulder surgery". 2003. http://static.espn.go.com/nhl/news/2003/0215/1509682.html. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
- "Roberts reaches new deal just days after return". 2003. http://static.espn.go.com/nhl/news/2003/0218/1511002.html. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
- "Gary Roberts NHLPA Player Bio". http://www.nhlpa.com/WebStats/PlayerBiography.asp?ID=4793. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
- "Both players receive two-year deals". 2005. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2121880. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
- "Panthers trade Roberts to Penguins". 2007. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=197768&hubname=nhl. Retrieved 2007-11-20. [dead link]
- McKenzie, Bob (2007). "Penguins re-sign Roberts, Recchi". Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. http://web.archive.org/web/20071006171502/http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=211557&hubname=nhl. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
- "Conklin, Pens blank Sabres; Roberts breaks leg". 2007. http://www.sportsnetwork.com/default.asp?c=sportsnetwork&page=nhl/news/adn4119409.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
- "Penguins' forward Gary Roberts breaks left leg, out indefinitely". 2007. http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5h_1Vk0zJy5NqHtEmKOpEKRUceLPQ. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
- Hodge, Dave (2008-04-10). "Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down". TSN. http://watch.tsn.ca/featured/clip45082#clip45082. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
- "Malone and Roberts sign on with Lightning". TSN.ca. 2008-06-30. http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=242037&lid=sublink01&lpos=headlines_nhl. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
[edit | edit source]
|Calgary Flames' first round draft pick
|Bill Masterton Trophy Winner