The guy was a beast for the Penguins and garnished a cult-like status in Pittsburgh. Say what you will about his age (42) or his busted up body, but Ryan Malone and Adam Hall have it easy this year; they get to play with him.
"Gary Roberts is a physical, hard-nosed player, who is obviously a good size and he's massive on the ice," Hall said. "I think he's got such a reputation as a feared player that he's definitely one of the guys that you want on your side."
Don't think there will be all that much for the Penguins to worry about in terms of Gary Roberts. At least nothing more than what any other team has to worry about. In preseason action it's pretty unlikely you won't see a 42-year-old veteran skating around with the kids and prospects.
If Roberts can stay healthy for the entire season (unlikely in my book) then he may be able to provide the leadership to Tampa that Pittsburgh hoped they had from him last season.
And the season before that.
The Tampa Bay Lightning posted up a feature on Roberts that, for all intensive purposes, possesses that 'dramatic' style of writing. That sort of writing that would be more fitting for a movie trailer about loss, perseverance and accomplishment.
Here's a line they used over and over again: "So he came back."
Or in one other context: "But he came back."
I can assure you that once the season starts any association with 'those guys' in Tampa will cut off and away from any such features on Pensburgh. But for the time being, until I see Roberts play for the Lightning I can see no harm in doing this.
Plus, it's the offseason - so to hell with it.
Remember this? When the announcers tried to makesomething of a 42-year-old going up against a 'youngster'?
Like a 280-pound friend once told me after he knocked me on my back in a touch-football game, "If you don't want any soup, don't come in the kitchen."
We never really fully understood what he meant by that, but it applies to Ben Eager.