Gary Roberts in his prime
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11-29-2012, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Originally Posted by
Roberts played for Canada at the 1986 WJC. As far as best on best tournaments go, he was just never good enough to be a realistic consideration. Healthy issues made him even less likely. Canada always had better scorers to choose from, and he wasn't exactly an elite defensive role player either. If he wanted to play at the World Championships in a year like 1992 I'm sure Canada would have taken him.
well, not any of the actual canada cup/olympic years. but if there had been a best on best tournament the summer of '92, i can't imagine they wouldn't have taken roberts.
he was the highest goal scoring canadian-eligible player in the league (weirdly, the other guys in the top five were all team USA guys-- hull and kevin stevens finished ahead of roberts, roenick tied him, lafontaine was fifth). yzerman was #6 and he was a distant 8 goals behind roberts, robitaille 9 goals behind.
that would have been a year where you almost had to have put robitaille on the team too, even if it was keenan picking. but oates probably doesn't make the cut yet again.
in terms of LW, you'd have probably gone with roberts (50 goals/200 PIMs), robitaille, claude lemieux (career 40 goal season), and then a converted center or a guy who played center and wing (say, damphousse). i mean, roberts had 38 even strength goals, behind only hull in his last 70 goal year and three goals ahead of the next guy (stevens).
for a brief spell, roberts was one of the best power forwards in the game. behind kevin stevens and, when healthy, neely. but at that point he was above shanahan and nolan, who were both still emerging, and i'd put that brief peak roberts up there with the second tier of power forwards of the 90s, alongside peak tocchet, behind guys like shanny, nolan, tkachuk, neely, and stevens. everything went right for him, and he led the league in shooting percentage with an anomalous 27%. but when a guy in a roll like that, you put him on team canada (see: iginla in '02).
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