He’s a great Buddy.
He refuses to disclose private details about Johnny Gaudreau that may red-face the Calgary Flames star, although he’s recognized the Nationwide Hockey League dynamo since they have been younger Individuals.
Yeah … that’s Buddy Robinson, a lifelong shut buddy of Gaudreau’s trying someday quickly to hitch the guy Jersey product on the identical hockey ice …
As soon as once more.
“I used to be 4, and I feel he was three,” mentioned Robinson, when requested how lengthy he’s recognized and performed puck alongside ‘Johnny Hockey’. “His dad taught me the way to skate. We grew up at that rink — his dad nonetheless runs the rink in Salem (N.J.), and we skate there all summer time and see plenty of one another.”
They performed minor hockey collectively, together with high-school puck underneath Gaudreau’s dad for 2 years in New Jersey earlier than Gaudreau left dwelling to play with the USHL’s Dubuque Preventing Saints.
In the meantime, Robinson, a local of Bellmawr, N.J., headed north to play with the Hamilton Purple Wings within the Ontario Junior Hockey League after which with the Nepean Raiders within the Central Junior Hockey League.
However almost a decade later, they’re nonetheless finest buddies, with Robinson unwilling to shell out just a little grime on his childhood buddy, particularly since he’s hoping to turn out to be a fellow big-league Flames ahead.
“I don’t learn about any of that stuff,” mentioned Robinson with a smile when requested to spill the beans on something juicy about Gaudreau. “He’s a hard-working man on and off the ice, and he’s nice to be round.”
Sadly for Robinson, all that point taking part in with Gaudreau hasn’t rubbed off on him skill-wise. Sort of robust, although, given the distinction in physique sorts, with the 6-foot-6 Robinson being almost a foot taller than Gaudreau.
“You understand what? I don’t suppose I’m going to toe-drag six or seven guys earlier than I rating a objective,” Robinson mentioned. “However I’d stand in entrance and ask him to shoot one in off my pads or display screen the goalie for him. Completely different parts, proper?”
“I at all times rise up for him. It’s more durable in highschool when everyone’s bought the cages on. However I’m by no means afraid to face up for a teammate, and it’s no completely different with him. And if the time comes, I’m prepared to try this for any of my teammates.”
Robinson’s hoping that’ll be for the NHL Flames after agreeing to a two-year, two-way contract with the membership within the low season.
“We’re collectively nearly each day within the summertime, so we speak loads,” Robinson mentioned of his friendship with Gaudreau. “And he put some good phrases on the market for me to Calgary and the administration, they usually bought a maintain of myself and my agent.
“If there’s even an opportunity to play some Nationwide Hockey League video games with a buddy that shut, it simply doesn’t come round that usually, and to have that chance, I simply couldn’t say, ‘No.’”
So right here he’s, becoming a member of his fourth NHL group after being undrafted out of juniors.
Following two seasons with the NCAA’s Lake Superior State Lakers, Robinson signed as a free agent with the Ottawa Senators. From 2012-17, he performed in seven video games with the big-league Sens, spending most of his time with the staff’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y.
He was traded in January 2017 to the San Jose Sharks, however since then, he hasn’t discovered his means again to ‘The Present’ with both the Sharks or the Winnipeg Jets, with whom he signed as a free agent final low season.
“Everybody’s bought their dream, and it’s my dream to play within the Nationwide Hockey League as a full-time participant,” Robinson mentioned. “I do know I’m getting just a little older, however I do know I’ve what it takes, and to me, it’s nearly discovering that proper match with the correct staff and taking part in effectively when the time comes.
“Everyone will get their shot in coaching camp, and it’s about placing your finest foot ahead, and that’s all I’m simply making an attempt to do. I’m making an attempt to make the blokes round me higher and making an attempt to be a frontrunner as an older man and have some enjoyable alongside the way in which, too.”
At 26, Robinson’s the second-oldest participant of the signed gamers in Flames rookie camp.
“It’s been nice,” Robinson mentioned. “It’s at all times robust getting again into it within the first few days — you’ve bought to get the lungs and the legs located again into high-paced hockey. But it surely’s been good, crisp practices.
“I feel the coaches are proud of our execution the final couple of days, and I feel that’s all you’ll be able to ask for this early within the season.”
Phrase round camp is Robinson’s bought delicate arms for an enormous man, which might assist him discover a spot within the group.
“No matter I can do to make the staff,” added the 226-lb. Robinson. “It’s been a protracted journey. Been on plenty of groups and plenty of years within the league, however I nonetheless really feel younger.”
UP TO SPEED
The brand new-look NHL has the Flames rookies practising at a quick tempo in camp.
“It’s simply all about velocity,” mentioned Flames diminutive draftee Matthew Phillips after Saturday’s session on the Saddledome. It’s about getting the puck and transition and taking part in quick and doing what you must do to get it. It’s been enjoyable, and it’s my type of hockey.”
Phillips, a 5-foot-7, 140-lb. prospect, was requested if the quickness at camp is noticeably completely different than final 12 months right now.
“I feel at practices, the tempo’s been loads greater, and that’s in all probability the most important change,” mentioned Phillips, a 2016 sixth-round decide who counted 112 factors final season with the WHL’s Victoria Royals. “And that’s good as a result of it will get you used to taking part in quick and will get you in your toes and retains you at all times considering. I feel you positively practise such as you play, and we’re doing a great job of practising quick with plenty of tempo.”
Because the Flames rookies needed to rise and shine on the Saddledome floor Saturday morning, there have been few admitting in the event that they’d stayed up late Friday to look at the veterans lose a Four-Three exhibition shootout to the Boston Bruins in Shenzhen, China.
For many who didn’t keep up — and we’re betting it’s all however one or two — a replay of the sport on Sportsnet was protecting them occupied whereas within the dressing rooms throughout the rookie camp periods on the Dome.