Larry Robinson once hit an opponent so hard the board broke; what he found out years later gives us the creeps

Larry Robinson once hit an opponent so hard the board broke; what he found out years later gives us the creeps

Larry Robinson is a legend of the game. He’s one of the greatest players ever, and he also made a mark as a coach and executive.

Robinson played 17 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and three with the LA Kings before retiring in 1992. Robinson was known for his size and toughness, and he even got the nickname ”Big Bird” for his physics and style of play. Unlike most big guys who played during the 70s and 80s, Robinson was mobile, and he recorded an impressive 958 points in 1,384 NHL games.

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)

Robinson could do it all on the ice, and with his size and skating ability, he was a nightmare to play against.

One of Larry Robinson’s most memorable moments in the Stanley Cup final in 1976. In a game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Robinson smashed Gary Dornhoefer into to board so violently that the boards broke.

It’s such a legendary moment—not many players in league history have been able to tackle so hard that boards actually break—and on Joe Tilley’s Great Canadian Sports Show, Robinson talked about the iconic moment.

”Well, you know what’s funny? I remember the hit, and it just kind of set up perfectly where Dorney was coming down with his head down, and he wasn’t expecting me,” Robinson said.

”When I made the hit, it was just right after where the penalty box is, and there’s a two-by-four that goes across that holds the boards, and I don’t know, maybe it was cracked a little bit. But when I saw the hit in later years, I’ve just been, ’Holy mackerel!’”

Guys had to come out and fix the boards, and that wasn’t a regular thing back then.

”The boards in the Forum… they don’t give. And those boards actually bent and came back, so I think it was a lot harder than I thought.”

Years later, the two of them met.

”I don’t know how the conversation came up, but he goes, ’Yeah, I wanted to get up right away, I didn’t want to show that you hit me that hard, but then he goes, ’That night, I went to the bathroom, and I was spitting up blood. I think it hit me a little bit harder than I thought.’

”This was years after, but I said to him, ’Dorney, I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry.’ And then we laughed and let it go.”

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