April 05, 2016

Bert Robertsson

Through little more than toughness and determination, Bert Robertsson over came long odds to play in the National Hockey League.

Robertsson was far from your prototypical Swedish player. He was tough and rugged, but anything but speedy. He handled the puck like it was grenade at times.

Sometimes a forward, sometimes a defenseman, Bert Robertsson was able to be a solid depth player. He did whatever the coach asked of him, and was popular among his teammates.

Not too many players drafted 254th overall go on to play over 100 games in the NHL. But the Canucks found the exception to the rule in Robertsson in 1993.

The Canucks drafted him as a defenseman, the position that he played most of his youth and the first three seasons as a pro in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch.

But once Robertsson got his call up to the Canucks, he found himself able to hang on to a NHL paycheck by playing mostly as a forward, hustling up and down his wing and hitting anything wearing the opposition's colours. He was clean about it, only picking up 75 penalty minutes in 123 career games. He was an effective utility forward.

Over two seasons (1997-98 and 1998-99) Robertson played a total of 69 games with the Canucks, scoring four goals and six assists.

In 1999-2000 he moved to Edmonton where he went scoreless in 52 games with the Oilers.

Aside from two games with the New York Rangers, Robertsson spent the next two seasons bouncing around the minor leagues. He played with no fewer than six teams in three leagues in that span.

Robertsson returned to Europe in 2002, playing there until 2008. He later stepped behind the bench to become a coach.

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