Saturday, March 07, 2009

What Would Gary Roberts Do? Retire.

With no country for old men, there is no hockey team for old men either.

Gary Roberts, who's stature is now at mythic proportions thanks to The Pens Blog, had a chance to be claimed off wavers during the trade deadline, but when no other team was willing to take a chance on the aging vet, Roberts' season has unceremoniously ended. With that, Roberts is expected to retire.

Tampa Bay would be the last stop for Gary, but his last hurrah came in the 07-08 playoff run with the Penguins as his brutal fighting skills and scary stare downs were inspiration to a young core of future NHL stars.

Roberts had a first retirement during the spring of 1996 with a severe neck injury, but still won the Masterson trophy. But Roberts would return after a year later to the Carolina Hurricanes and continue a legacy of bad-assness.

21-years in the NHL are rare, so Gary is among good company among players like Messier, Gretzky, and Howe who all played well into their twilight years. But sometimes age can help when getting into the record books, as I didn't know about this recent milestone in his career.
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.
But overall, Gary Roberts solidified his own statistics and a Stanley Cup ring that should be enough to punch his ticket to the Hall of Fame.
The Toronto native has played in 1,224 career NHL games, picking up 438 goals, 471 assists and 2,560 penalty minutes.
[Via: The Hockey News & Wikipedia]
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