Mike Robitaille

Michael James David Robitaille (born February 12, 1948) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey defenceman and commentator. He played in the National Hockey League with the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks in a career that lasted from 1968 to 1977.

Mike Robitaille
Born (1948-02-12) February 12, 1948 (age 72)
Midland, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Right
Played for New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings
Buffalo Sabres
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 1968–1977

Playing careerEdit

Robitaille played in 382 regular season NHL games, scoring 23 goals and adding 105 assists. He was most well known for his punishing hip checks. He also appeared in 13 playoff games, six with Buffalo and seven for Vancouver, tallying one assist. His career ended pre-maturely in 1977 when he was blind-sided by Dennis Owchar of the Pittsburgh Penguins, which caused nerve damage in his neck. He would later win a lawsuit against the Canucks for mistreating his injuries.

Post-playing careerEdit

After retiring Robitaille joined the Sabres' broadcasting arm in 1989. He was one of the founders of Hockey Hotline, the Buffalo Sabres' postgame show on Empire Sports Network, in 1991 and worked for the Sabres and various sister outlets until his retirement from television in 2014. He is known for his colorful analogies and exaggerations.

During the 2000s, Robitaille was the fill-in commentator whenever play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret and former color commentators Jim Lorentz or Harry Neale couldn't fulfill their duties on a game day broadcast.

In February 2010, Robitaille was injured in a car accident suffering a spinal cord injury with neurological damage. Robitaille’s injuries from the accident resulted in him missing broadcast duties for the remainder of the 2009-2010 NHL season. Through months of rehabilitation from the time of accident through September of that year, doctors and Robitaille said that he was not at 100% yet. However he felt ready and returned to his broadcast duties in time for the start of the 2010-11 NHL season with the Sabres.[1] On October 3, 2013, it was announced that Mike Robitaille would be partially retiring after the season and that former Sabres forward Brad May would join the crew on a limited basis before moving into Robitaille's slot in a full-time role the following year. Robitaille continued his radio work and some limited television work during his retirement.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Robitaille was born in Midland, Ontario. He lives with his wife, Isabel, in the Buffalo area; the couple also has a second home in Mexico. When not working with the Sabres, Robitaille is the vice president of development and community affairs for his wife's company, Robitaille Real Estate.[3] He has two daughters—Sarah, a salesperson with her mother's company,[4] and Anique, a recording artist in Toronto. Despite having the same last name, Mike Robitaille is not related to former NHLer Luc Robitaille.

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1963–64 Kitchener Greenshirts CJBHL
1963–64 Kitchener Rangers OHA 1 0 0 0 0
1964–65 Kitchener Greenshirts CJBHL
1964–65 Kitchener Rangers OHA 37 2 8 10 83
1965–66 Kitchener Greenshirts CJBHL
1965–66 Kitchener Rangers OHA 1 0 0 0 0
1966–67 Kitchener Rangers OHA 48 7 30 37 70 13 2 6 8 15
1967–68 Kitchener Rangers OHA 51 20 51 71 77 14 4 10 14 34
1968–69 Omaha Knights CHL 43 5 35 40 52 7 1 3 4 9
1969–70 New York Rangers NHL 4 0 0 0 8
1969–70 Omaha Knights CHL 64 12 46 58 115 12 2 14 16 15
1969–70 Buffalo Bisons AHL 5 0 4 4 14
1970–71 New York Rangers NHL 11 1 1 2 7
1970–71 Omaha Knights CHL 13 0 9 9 32
1970–71 Detroit Red Wings NHL 23 4 8 12 22
1971–72 Buffalo Sabres NHL 31 2 10 12 22
1971–72 Cincinnati Swords AHL 8 0 1 1 12
1972–73 Buffalo Sabres NHL 65 4 17 21 40 6 0 0 0 0
1973–74 Buffalo Sabres NHL 71 2 18 20 60
1974–75 Buffalo Sabres NHL 3 0 1 1 0
1974–75 Vancouver Canucks NHL 63 2 22 24 31 5 0 1 1 2
1975–76 Vancouver Canucks NHL 71 8 19 27 69 2 0 0 0 2
1976–77 Vancouver Canucks NHL 40 0 9 9 21
NHL totals 382 23 105 128 280 13 0 1 1 4

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit