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"I used to go on those road trips and do the color with (play-by-play man) Ted Darling and Rick Jeanneret on those radio games. I'd have to bring all the engineering gear with me and carry that around from city-to-city on these crappy old busses and beat-up airplanes," he reminisced last week on Buffalo's Early News with John Zach and Susan Rose.
The former Sabres Defenseman played professional hockey for 11 years, with the Sabres, The Rangers, The Red Wings and the Canucks, retiring in 1977 after a hit that led to injuries and a successful lawsuit that claimed the Canucks ignored them.
His broadcast career began in 1980 when he was hired to be a color commentator and analyst on Sabres radio broadcasts as well as TV telecasts. Since then, he has served in various roles on broadcasts, providing commentary and analysis for pregame, intermission and postgame reports on a variety of programs for WGR and WBEN. He is also retiring from his MSG hosting duties, to be replaced on air by former Sabre Brad May.
"I'm not going to grow up. I'm hoping to take a lot of naps though," Robitaille joked Wednesday in his signoff appearance. "There's a lot of things to look forward to," says Robitaille , who is also a vice president of his wife's real estate firm.
On his retirement from MSG, Sabres President Ted Black said " Roby epitomizes hockey in Buffalo."
As a player Robitaille appeared in 13 playoff games. His career ended in 1977 after an on-ice hit caused nerve damage in his neck.In February 2010, he suffered further neck and spine damage and missed much of the 2009-2010 season after a car accident
In his final WBEN appearance Wednesday, he was asked if there is any disappointment in retiring during a year when the Sabres are doing so poorly. Robitaille said he has hope for the future.
"With the draft choices they have, if they bring in the right veteran players, they can turn things around fairly quickly "he said