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Gary Roberts

Gary Roberts signed as a free agent with the Lightning this off-season. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Gary Roberts signed as a free agent with the Lightning this off-season. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Status: Tampa Bay Lightning left winger.

Ht: 6-foot-1  Wt: 190 pounds

DOB: May 23, 1966  In: North York, Ont.

Hockey Inspirations:
"Well, obviously Lanny McDonald was the guy I played with early in my career who was an inspirational leader for me and who taught me how to act on and off the ice."

Nicknames
: "Mainly Robs. In Toronto they call me Robo."

Hobbies/Leisure Activities:
"You know what? At 42 it's about rehab (laughs). So my hobby is trying to get prepared every summer to play another season. And enjoy my family and play a little golf."

Favorite Movies:
"Untouchables probably. Old-time movies. Or Tombstone. Good movie also."

Favorite TV Shows:
"Well I'm an old guy, I like, with my wife, we watch Grey's Anatomy a lot. And I also like 24."

Musical Tastes:
"Just classic rock for me is good. The Eagles."

Last Book Read:
  "John Grisham, can't remember the name. That's the author I usually read."

First Hockey Memory:
“Joe Nieuwendyk and I grew up together, playing against each other in squirts - that was when I was with the Wrens and he was with the Owls. From that time on we were good buddies. I ended up playing with Joe for 10 years in Calgary (1986-96) and it was awesome for us to have the opportunity to play together for 10 years."

First Job:
"Working in a pro shop sharpening skates. At Whitby Iroquois Park Arena."

First Car:
  "A Pontiac Grand Prix."

Current Car: 
"Porsche Cayenne GTS (white)."

Favorite Meal:
"Oh, probably sweet potatoes, or yams as they call them, chicken, rice, veggie."

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
"Chocolate for sure."

Pre-Game Feeling:
"Mindset - just obviously focused on what I need to do to have a good game."

Greatest Sports Moment:
"Winning the Stanley Cup in 1989 with Calgary."

Most Painful Moment:
"Well, personally, retiring at age 30 with a bad neck (in 1996)."

Favorite Arena To Play In: 
"Well, I think the best feeling I've ever had playing a game was at old Chicago Stadium. Standing on the blueline, you get chills up your spine listening to the national anthem in the old Chicago Stadium. And now, playing at the Bell Centre in Montreal is a great feeling."

Favorite Uniforms:
"Well, obviously I think the Lightning have the nicest uniform right now (smiles). But it’s tough to say. Calgary, Toronto, they were favorite uniforms I wore - obviously a team like that. But Pittsburgh was good, too. So it's tough to pick."

Closest NHL Friend:
"Would say is Joe Nieuwendyk. And I'd say that's probably my closest friend in hockey."

Funniest Players Encountered:
"Good question. Old-time hockey, Ronnie Stern was a real character guy, funny guy when I played with him. One of the best teammates I ever had was Craig Berube. Just because he kept the room real loose and kept the guys honest. But he was really funny at the same time. He was a great guy in the dressing room. Ronnie Stern was the same thing. Played hard every night but kept the guys real loose."

Toughest Competitors:
"Well, I always look at Rick Tocchet probably. A guy I played against for a lot of years, who was a fierce competitor. A guy like Cam Neely, same thing. A guy who you really respected, played honest, but played hard every night. Scott Stevens, obviously, playing against him as a defenseman. He’s one of the toughest guys I ever played against."

Funny Hockey Memory:
"Yeah. Something I probably can't talk about (smiles). But definitely a couple of guys I played with (Craig Berube and Greg Smyth in Calgary) brought lots of funny memories in that dressing room. Those guys were - every day you came into the room you knew you were going to laugh."

Embarrassing Hockey Memory:
"Probably my first NHL training camp.  I was a first round draft pick (12th overall in 1984), played junior hockey, but never really did a lot of off-ice training. I just played lacrosse and hockey. And I think I did two chin-ups my first pro training camp. Badger Bob Johnson basically said in front of everybody, ‘Well, our first-rounder came in out of shape this year.’ So I think that was the last training camp I ever went where I was told that I was out of shape."
 
Last Vacation:
"My wife and I went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in June. We had a great time."

People Qualities Most Admired:
"In general, just sincerity and honesty. Two qualities that I like to see in people."

Click HERE to read more "Getting to Know" features.

Mark "Scoop" Malinowski's first book "Heavyweight Armageddon: The Lewis-Tyson Championship Battle" is available at amazon.com. For more features from the world of sports, check out thebiofile.com.

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