Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning's left wing Gary Roberts to retire from NHL after this season

TAMPA — Gary Roberts said he will retire after this season. The Lightning left wing, in his 21st season and with 436 goals, just hopes he can get healthy to "finish on a good note."

"I don't think there's any doubt I'm gone after this season. I'm going to retire," Roberts, 42, said Thursday. "I'd like to come back and prove that I can play and hopefully stay healthy enough to finish the season and finish playing a stretch of games and at least have some success."

It has been a frustrating season for Roberts, who has missed 12 of 13 games with a left elbow injury he said is not responding to treatment and soon will be re-examined to determine what to do next.

Worse, it comes after a season in which he played just 38 games with the Penguins because of a broken leg and an ankle injury.

Roberts, who signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay, began this season as a fourth-line player under then-coach Barry Melrose, whom Roberts said "didn't think I can play." With few special teams duties, Roberts, generally, played 7-10 minutes. He has two goals, both on Nov. 10, and averages 10:24 of ice time.

"At 42 years old, that's a tough job to take on, especially after the years I've had," said Roberts, a three-time All-Star and a Stanley Cup winner in 1989 with the Flames.

He said he was hurt Nov. 18 against the Panthers.

"I still believe I can play," Roberts said. "It's just: Will my body allow me the opportunity to show that I can play?"

HALPERN RETURNS: C Jeff Halpern not only played his first game since May's reconstructive surgery on his right knee, he scored a goal, got 17:36 of ice time and, before the game, was given the A as an alternate captain. D Andrej Meszaros lost the A.

"Mez is a young guy. He's 23. He's got a lot of years," coach Rick Tocchet said of Meszaros. "But Jeff Halpern definitely deserves the A. He's the type of guy who does the little things."

JOKINEN HURTING: He's not on the injury report, but C Jussi Jokinen said he has been bothered by lower-body soreness. He did not use that as an excuse for zero goals in 15 games, but it probably hasn't helped.

"It's not nice to play when every stride hurts you," he said.

Jokinen said three days without a game made a difference.

"No pain," he said before the game. "It's a nice feeling."

ODDS AND ENDS: G Karri Ramo was up from AHL Norfolk to back up Mike Smith. Olie Kolzig has an upper-body injury, believed to be minor, sustained during Tuesday's practice. … C Zenon Konopka was re-assigned to Norfolk. … RW Ev­geny Artyukhin was scratched.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at

Tampa Bay Lightning's left wing Gary Roberts to retire from NHL after this season 12/18/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 19, 2008 11:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.