Should Gary Roberts be in Hall of Fame?
It is an interesting question, and one we here in the Tampa Bay area might have a difficult time answering because we have seen so little of Gary Roberts on the ice because of a nagging elbow injury. But the guy has had a noteworthy career.
Roberts, 42 and in his 21st season, has 436 goals and 906 points. He has won a Stanley Cup in 1989 with the Flames. But the most important thing, former coach Scotty Bowman said is Roberts' longevity and that he has played the game at such a high level over a long period of time.
"It will be close," said Bowman, who is on the committee that votes on Hall of Fame inductees. "But longevity is a big factor."
Bowman would not say how he will vote because the Hall does not like those things revealed. But Bowman gave a pretty strong endorsement at a recent Lightning game at the St. Pete Times Forum.
"The most important thing is there are players who show up to play every game, and, of course, he did," Bowman said. "His strong suit was consistency. You knew what you were going to get from him every game. You knew you were going to get a physical game."
Lightning coach Rick Tocchet, who once fought Roberts in a game, also gave his thumbs up.
"Guys like Gary Roberts, who play the game the right way, and play it hard, I like to see those guys in that situation," Tocchet said. "He's got a lot of goals and he's a winner."
As for Roberts, he said, of course, "It would be a great honor, but there are a lot of guys lined up in front of me for the Hall of Fame."