Larry Robinson has joined the St. Louis Blues.
Unfortunately for the Blues, the Hall of Famer can no longer play at age 66, but Robinson can surely still teach the team’s defencemen a thing or two about the game.
The Blues announced Thursday that Robinson will have the title of Senior Consultant to Hockey Operations. Robinson will be working along with general manager Doug Armstrong, assistant GM Martin Brodeur and the coaching staff headed by Mike Yeo.
“He’s been on the phone every day with these guys for a week, saying: ‘What about this? What about this guy and that guy?'” said Robinson’s longtime agent, Donnie Cape. “Larry said he hasn’t been so involved in three years.”
Robinson spent the last five seasons with the San Jose Sharks as an associate coach and director of player development. His contract with the Sharks expired on July 1 and the Hall of Famer was looking for a new consulting job that would allow him to work with young defencemen. Cape said there were four teams that expressed interest in Robinson’s services and that the Canadiens were not among them.
“He’s got to stay in the game,” Cape said. “I told him don’t ever retire. He loves it too much.
“He’ll work when he wants, but knowing Larry he’ll work a lot,” the agent added about Robinson’s deal with the Blues. “But he doesn’t have to.”
Cape said Robinson would probably work about two weeks out of the month and the fact St. Louis is only a two-and-a-half hour flight from his Florida home was a big selling point. Cape said Robinson will go on a few road trips with the Blues during the regular season, but plans to be around the team full-time during the playoffs.
“That’s the biggest point,” Cape said. “I’d want a guy like Larry there for the playoffs, but that’s me. The Blues are a team that makes the playoffs, but hasn’t been able to get to the final dance. They want to get to the final dance and they think Larry can help them.”
Robinson has been part of nine Stanley Cup champions, six as a player with the Canadiens and three with the New Jersey Devils in three different roles: head coach, assistant coach and consultant.
“Bringing someone like Larry in I just think helps our hockey operations from top to bottom,” Blues GM Armstrong said during a video interview on the team’s website. “His ability to talk to Mike Yeo about coaching — that’s one area that we don’t have on our staff is a former head coach. You can think you know what Mike’s going through, but I don’t know what Mike’s going through. Larry does, so he’s going to be able to relate to him on a lot of the things that he goes through.”
Armstrong added that he could also learn a lot as a GM from Robinson.
“There’s not any area of our hockey operations he can’t touch to make us a better group,” Armstrong said.