Big Bird speaks on his emotional night

Larry Robinson, with his wife, Jeannette (left), and daughter Rachelle, son Jeffrey and grandson Dylan watch his banner being raised tonight at the Bell Centre.
Shaun Best, Reuters

There’s no team that recognizes its history quite the way the Canadiens do. It probably doesn’t hurt that the 98-year-old Canadiens have more history than any other NHL team.

Tonight, one of the game’s all-time great defencemen, Canadiens Hall of Famer and six-time Stanley Cup champion Larry Robinson, saw his No. 19 hoisted to the rafters of the Bell Centre in an emotional pre-game ceremony.

Robinson’s family and many of his friends were on the carpeted ice with him, or in the arena stands, and both the Canadiens and Ottawa Senators were on their benches to watch the event. Robinson made a point of thanking the Senators for their presence, when they could have camped out in the dressing room, and shook each player’s hand after having done likewise with the Canadiens, lined up along their blue line.

A photo gallery is here.

And you’ll find a Gazette audio slideshow on Robinson here.

Big Bird met with the media for 20 minutes after tonight’s first period. Here is Larry’s full, bilingual chat with journalists, during which he describes the plentiful emotions of an evening that won’t be forgotten by Robinson, or anyone who witnessed it in person or on television.

Find a little time to read this excellent piece by Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun.


  1. Chuck says:

    I had the opportunity to take this in live Monday night. Not too many dry eyes in the house (including mine!)

    Classy ceremony, classy organization, with the crowd intent on letting Larry know exactly how much he meant to them and what he brought to the team.

    And some people wonder why I’m a Habs fan… you think that Gainey’s won’t me more than a little emotional?

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  2. Scotty90 says:

    Great ceremony, great crowd, great man. Lamoriello only made one lilttle mistake when he mentionned ‘who can forget Larry’s hit on Schultz’!

  3. 7677habs says:

    Sure would have loved to watch the ceremony tonight, but we don’t get the Habs on TV here in Toronto :( TSN has U.S. football, Sportsnet has a junior game. I am sure poker will be on soon!

  4. Naila Jinnah says:

    The game was supposed to be on Sportsnet East. And if you get Sportsnet Ontario, you should also have access to Sportsnet East. At least, that’s the way it works in Quebec. You get all 4 channels, with some blackouts.

  5. nightmare_49 says:

    Go to RDS.CA ( zone video ) and you’ll catch the ovation,

  6. lcpservices says:

    Hello 7677habs,

    You could off watch the ceremony like I did on – habs tv.

    It was amazing. Very Classy



  7. hyfyarse says:

    I agree with 7677habs would have loved to watched it but thank god for cjad I can listen. All Canadian games should be televised all over Canada its our national sport, but at least Montreal is not greedy like Toronto and make you pay to watch games i.e. Leafs TV God I hate Toronto its all about money money money…..

  8. Spider-Man NL says:

    here in Newfoundland we can see the game on RDS and Sportsnet.

    btw, congrats to Mr. Robinson.

  9. Naila Jinnah says:

    Thank you for the audio :)

  10. The Ian Cobb says:

    They were the days!!! With the people that we have now in place, we will see these days again shortly.

  11. Da Hema says:

    In Robinson’s entire career he was plus 730. Plus 730! I am happy now when a Hab ends the season at plus one. Robinson spoiled us fans who can remember how he played.
    “Play every game as if it is your last one.”
    –Guy Lafleur
    “All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
    –Gordie Howe

  12. lcpservices says:

    to 7677habs fan, you could of watch the ceremony on – habs tv.

    I saw all 45 minutes of it. Very emotional, a touch of class, lots of memories that I re-counted.

    Let me just say a few things, I will always remember Larry Robinson for his defensive body checks to opponent players up against the board. Just when you think the offensive player has past the defense, their is Larry telling you otherwise. And what can you say about that blazing slapshot from the blue line.

    It was a touch of class on the part of Robinson to shake the hand of every habs and senators player before he left the ice. I loved that moment. This was truly having much respect for his fellow players.

    As I looked back at some of the stats that Robinson put up in his nhl career, some that really stand out are the 6 stanley cups, +120 plus/minus and 20 consecutive playoff appearances. I wonder how many future NHL players will accomplish these numbers today?

    One thing that upsetted some fans in Montreal and within the media, was why Lou Lamoriello was their introducing Larry, instead of perhaps Serge Savard. As Mitch Melnick from the team 990 mention yesterday, this was Robinson’s night and he had the right to choose whom ever he wished to introduce him. You have to respect this.

    They don’t make any classy players like Larry Robinson these days, both on and off the ice. May you enjoy this honor, Larry, you deserve it.

    All the best in your present work with New Jersey and your retirement


  13. Guy21 says:

    My all time favorite Hab….he is the greatest d man we ever had. Pretty nice ceremony, Scotty said that Larry and Serge were the best defense duo that ever played the game.I think Scotty knows hockey.Great to see # 19 where it belongs….

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