If you had to build your team's blue line around your choice of one defenseman in NHL history, you certainly couldn't go wrong selecting Larry Robinson.
Big Bird, as he became known as, made great first impressions with his size and desire to use it. When he was drafted he was a bit of a diamond in the rough with great potential. I think even the biggest Robinson supporters were surprised that all of that potential was reached and then some.
Robinson became an almost flawless defender. Blessed with a near perfect understanding of positioning, an amazingly long reach, and physical prowess combined with a frequent mean streak, Robinson became the pre-eminent defenseman in the modern era. Every team covets a monster on the blue line who can control the games power forward by installing fear in the minds before the game even starts, yet add an offensive level that is well above average. Modern day warriors like Rob Blake, Chris Pronger, Scott Stevens and Derian Hatcher do their best to imitate Robinson, an intimidating devastator who almost never made a defensive mistake.
Robinson developed into an offensive threat as well. He was a catalyst on the power plays as he was a strong puck carrier and brilliant passer. In his younger days he was a frequent puck rusher. . . . . | Read the full Larry Robinson biography |