Robson speaking before the 2014 Heritage Classic
Robson started his career at the age of 17 covering senior men's basketball for CJAV radio station in Port Alberni. In 1955, Robson started working for CHUB radio in Nanaimo, where he covered the Mann Cup lacrosse finals.
When the Vancouver Canucks became an NHL expansion team in 1970, Robson moved to CKNW to announce the team's games; he was popularly known as the "Voice of the Canucks" for nearly three decades. For the first seven years, he usually worked alone. For road games, he broadcast the game without a colour commentator and provided the pre-game, intermission, and post-game shows. In 1977–78, he was joined by former BC Lions player and broadcaster Tom Larscheid. From 1983–84 to 1987–88, his broadcasting partner was ex-Canuck Garry Monahan. Larscheid rejoined him in 1988–89.
He also covered the Vancouver Canucks on television broadcasts on BCTV, CHEK-TV and VTV from 1985–86 through 1998–99. From 1987–88 to 1993–94, Robson provided both radio and television play-by-play for the Canucks on simulcasts, alongside colour commentators Monahan and Larscheid.
Robson stepped down as the radio announcer for the Canucks in 1994 and moved to television full-time. His last radio broadcast was game seven of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals between the Canucks and the New York Rangers. Robson served as the Canucks' TV announcer for five more seasons, working alongside colour commentators Darcy Rota (1994–95 to 1995–96) and Ryan Walter (1996–97 to 1998–99). His replacement on radio was Jim Hughson, who later moved to Rogers Sportsnet, and then to CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. In his final year, Robson split television play-by-play duties with rookie John Shorthouse, who is now the announcer for the Canucks on TV and radio.
Jim Robson also worked for CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, mostly covering games in western Canada. It was for HNIC that he broadcast the Canucks' first NHL game, a 3–1 home loss to the Los Angeles Kings on October 9, 1970. His reputation as one of the top broadcasters in the business earned him assignments to cover the Stanley Cup Finals in 1975, 1980, 1982 (in which the Canucks faced the New York Islanders), and 1983.
He also covered the NHL All-Star Games in 1977 (Vancouver), 1981 (Los Angeles), and 1983 (Long Island). He left HNIC after the 1984–85 season, but had a couple of national TV assignments afterward; for CBC in the 1987 playoffs and CanWest Global for the 1988 Smythe Division Final between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames.
Nationally, Jim Robson is probably best remembered for his call of Bob Nystrom's Cup-winning overtime goal for the Islanders in 1980. Locally, his voice is linked to every significant Canucks moment in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, particularly the 1982 and 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Robson was also well known for taking time to say "a special hello to all the hospital patients and shut-ins, those of you who can't make it out to the game", during each of his broadcasts, both on radio and TV. On Hockey Night in Canada, he also used to make a statement prior to the opening face-off regarding team uniform colors, for example, "tonight it's the Vancouver Canucks at the Calgary Flames, the Flames in home jerseys- trimmed in gold & white; the Canucks in road jerseys- trimmed in black & yellow". The notion of 'trimmed' was Robson's unique quote among HNIC play-by-play announcers.
Off-the-air, Jim was involved in the community being in-demand as a guest speaker for numerous fund-raising dinners and banquets throughout the province of British Columbia. He served as a Director of the BC Benevolent Hockey Association and the Canucks Alumni.
The broadcast booth at Rogers Arena is named after him.
The pass, right on the stick of Tonelli. Coming in with Nystrom, Tonelli to Nystrom, HE SCORES! Bob Nystrom scores the goal! The Islanders win the Stanley Cup!— The overtime goal that won the Stanley Cup for the New York Islanders in 1980
Babych, long shot. Potvin has trouble with it. Adams shoots, SCORES! Greg Adams! Greg Adams! Adams gets the winner fourteen seconds into the second overtime! The Vancouver Canucks are going to the Stanley Cup Final!— The double overtime goal that advanced the Vancouver Canucks to the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals
He'll play, you know he'll play. He'll play on crutches. He will play, and he'll play on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden; the game is over!— The call as the final seconds ticked off the clock of Game 6 in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. He was referring to Trevor Linden, who was very bloody after taking a high stick, which led to the one of the most famous photos in Vancouver Canucks history, of Linden hugging Canucks goaltender Kirk McLean, with blood on Linden's jersey.