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Cougar Profiles - Geordie Robertson

Geordie Robertson is one of the greatest Victoria-born hockey players to have ever skated for the Cougars. A gifted playmaker, he owns the Cougars record for most playoff goals, won two AHL Calder Cup championships, holds the Rochester Americans team scoring record and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1993.

Robertson grew up in Victoria and as a sixteen-year-old won the 1975-76 BC Junior Hockey League Championship with the Nanaimo Clippers. He had a brief call-up with the Victoria Cougars that season scoring five points in only three games.

The Cougars had high expectations for Robertson when he joined the team in 1977-78 but he got off to a slow start with only three goals and seven assists in his first twenty games. Robertson’s production changed when coach Pat Ginnell put him a new line with a couple of veterans:

I started to get more confidence when the coach juggled the lines and put me with (Bill) Jobson and (Archie) Henderson. They know their way around the league and things just started to click (Daily Colonist, January 1, 1978)

Robertson only weighed around 150 pounds, so one of his biggest adjustments was battling with the league’s much larger players. “I’m really trying to put on weight,” Roberston said, “but I never sit long enough. My brother (Torrie Robertson) is big on weightlifting and I’m giving it a try”

In December and January, Robertson was the Cougar's best player as he went on a streak of 25 points in 14 games. On January 11, 1977, Robertson scored three consecutive goals in the third period in a 5-3 comeback win over Medicine Hat. Robertson battled through a shoulder injury for the majority of the year but never missed a game. He completed his rookie year by racking up 83 points in 72 games.

The 1977-78 campaign saw a change behind the Cougars bench with Jack Shupe taking over as head coach. After 17 games, Robertson scored 24 points. In the second half of the season, he was one of the best players in the WCHL. He ended up with a team-leading 136 points in 61 games - the second-highest point total in Cougars history and good for fifth overall in the WCHL season scoring race. As the year wound down, Victoria had to win their last two games to make the playoffs. Robertson came through in the clutch with two goals in a 6-2 victory over Seattle and three goals in their last game as the Cougars defeated Medicine Hat 10-8 to clinch a playoff spot. In the postseason, Robertson set the Cougars single-season playoff record with 15 goals - a record that still stands.

Robertson prepared for his draft year by hitting the gym and raised his weight to 170 pounds - nearly twenty pounds more than he was at the start of the previous season. In the summer, Robertson attended a tryout for the 1980 Canadian Olympic Team in Edmonton. On his return to Cougars training camp, Jack Shupe named Robertson team Captain. Before the season Robertson told the Daily Colonist, “I want to leave the Cougars as a winner and that means beating the (New Westminster) Bruins, particularly in the playoffs.” A knee injury sustained early in the year forced him to miss eighteen games and any chance of going to the Olympics. In addition, the emergence of star rookie Barry Pederson cut into his playing time but Robertson still managed 73 points in 54 games. The highlight for Geordie was playing with his younger brother Torrie Robertson for the only time in his career. On opening night, Geordie assisted on Torrie’s first WCHL goal in a 5-4 win over Calgary. Torrie was bigger and played a more physically aggressive style in contrast to Geordie’s finesse and skill.

After being eliminated four years in a row by the New Westminster Bruins, Robertson had a big playoff series in finally leading Victoria over the defending champion Bruins. The Cougars went on to face the first-place Portland Winter Hawks in the West Division Final but lost the best of seven series four games to three. Robertson tied the team record he set the previous year with fifteen goals in fourteen games and broke the all-time Cougar record with thirty goals in a postseason career. (Read the 1978/79 Cougars season in review)

Bypassed in the 1979 NHL amateur draft, Robertson signed a contract with the Buffalo Sabres. After training camp, they assigned him to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL). In his first three years with Rochester, Robertson struggled with injuries and had trouble putting up points in the AHL.

With Mike Keenan coaching the Americans, Robertson showed in his fourth year the scoring touch he displayed with the Cougars. As a result, 1982-83 was the best season of his career. The emergence of Robertson as one of the top players in the AHL caught the attention of the Sabres who called up him to join Buffalo. On February 12, 1983, Roberston made his National Hockey League debut in Calgary versus the Flames. The Sabres lost the game 4-1, but Robertson scored his first NHL goal with former Victoria Cougar Paul Cyr and future Hall of Fame defenceman Phil Housley picking up assists. In his third game, Robertson earned his first assist on Phil Housley’s game-winner in the Sabres 3-1 victory over Boston. A few days later, the Oilers defeated the Sabres 5-4 with Robertson picking up one assist and battling Laurie Boschman in his only NHL career fight.

After the game against Edmonton, Robertson was sent back down to Rochester. Unfortunately, this was the only time Robertson ever saw action in the National Hockey League. His career totals were five NHL games, with one goal and two assists.

Robertson did not let the demotion affect his play as he would lead the Rochester Americans to the 1982-83 Calder Cup championship. He finished the year with 46 goals, 73 assists and 119 points in 72 games, setting team records for assists and points which still stand today. Over the next two seasons, he continued to put up big numbers with Rochester, racking up 166 points in 134 games, but never earned another promotion to Buffalo.

After six years with Rochester, he signed with the Detroit Red Wings and joined the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL. In his first year with the Red Wings, Robertson led the team in scoring with 92 points and won his second Calder Cup as the Red Wings defeated Hersey in the 1985-86 finals.

Robertson played the next couple of seasons in Adirondack and a stint in Finland with JyP HT in 1987. In his final season, Robertson returned to Rochester in 1988-89, scoring 23 points in 32 games before announcing his retirement. After hockey, he settled in Rochester and has been working as a financial advisor.

He remained involved in hockey as the coach of the varsity team at Monroe Community College from 1999 to 2005. He led Monroe to a 96-42-8 record with four appearances in the National Junior College Athletic Association national semifinals.

The Rochester Americans recognized his accomplishments in 1993 by inducting him into their Hall of Fame. He currently remains active with the Rochester Americans alumni association making numerous appearances throughout the year.


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