Hall of Famer Larry Robinson names his toughest-ever opponent, and shocker: It’s NOT Wayne Gretzky

When talking about legendary NHL players, you can’t forget about Larry Robinson. ’Big Bird’ is a cult hero in Montreal after playing 17 seasons with the Canadiens, but he also spent three years with the LA Kings before retiring in 1992.

Larry Robinson is a two-time Norris Trophy winner and is mostly known for his impressive physical play. Robinson was a tough guy during the NHL’s toughest era, but he also scored a ton of points, and in many opinions, he has one of the most unbreakable NHL records.

Robinson was a whopping +722 in the plus/minus. The second on the plus/minus list, Wayne Gretzky only had a +582.

For active players, Brad Marchand tops the list with a +293, so it’s fair to say that Robinson’s incredible records will live on for a long time, if not forever.

Robinson could just about do it all. He was tough but also an offensive force and could definitely fight.

During his 20 seasons in the NHL, Robinson played against some of the best players the sport has ever seen.

MONTREAL, QU – CIRCA 1979: Larry Robinson #19 of the Montreal Canadiens warms up prior to the start of an NHL Hockey game circa 1979 at the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec. Robinson’s playing career went from 1973-92. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

One time, Robinson was asked who was the toughest player he had ever played against, and to everyone’s surprise, he didn’t mention Wayne Gretzky.

”In later years, it would have been Mario Lemieux, just because of his size and very deceiving speed,” Robinson once told The Hockey News.

”He was a lot faster than you thought just because of his size and those long legs. He was big, he was strong and had great moves and everything else.”

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – CIRCA 1983: Larry Robinson #19 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on against the New Jersey Devils during an NHL Hockey game circa 1983 at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Robinson’s playing career went from 1973-92. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

But Robinson also mentioned another Hall of Famer.

”During my prime time, the one that I thought was the hardest was Gilbert Perreault,” Robinson said.

”I loved to watch him play. I saw him as a junior, and I was just in awe and knew, even then, that this guy was going to be one of the best hockey players to play, and he didn’t prove me wrong.”

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