From Port Alberni To The Canucks
Professional sports in the Northwest has a long illustrious history, and part of that history includes the story telling that the announcing crew brings to life.
For fans that are unable to attend the game in person, these gentlemen (and ladies) make you feel as if you were sitting front row.
“He’ll play, you know he’ll play, he’ll play on crutches!”
A line that may in fact be more famous than anything else in Vancouver Canucks playoff history, Jim Robson‘s legendary description of Canuck captain Trevor Linden‘s desire to lead his team to the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup heading into Game Seven of the 1994 championship game, still results in shivers and goosebumps almost twenty years later.
Born in Saskatchewan, but raised in B.C., Jim Robson’s voice not only brought the Canucks to life over the airwaves, but also the B.C. Lions and the Vancouver Mounties for fans of the CFL and Pacific Coast League Baseball.
Robson started his career at the age of 17 covering senior men’s basketball for CJAV radio station in Port Alberni.
After dabbling in Canucks broadcasts during their WHL stint, Robson followed the team up to the NHL ranks and years later a place in Northwest sports history.
While he often worked with a sidekick, either former B.C. Lion Tom Larschied or retired Canuck Garry Monahan, Robson was in a league of his own when it came to calling the action on the ice.
For his first seven years, Robson was a one man show, double dipping on the play by play and as a color commentator.
Spanning three generations of hockey in Vancouver, Robson and Canucks fans grew together with the team as they relocated from the Vancouver Forum to the “Rink on Renfrew” (Pacific Coliseum) to GM Place.
Between his simulcasts for CKNW (and earlier CKWX) and the various channels that broadcast the games on TV, Robson was always there to send his trademark shout out and make those who weren’t at the rink feel like they were part of the live action.
“A special hello to hospital patients and shut-ins, the pensioners, the blind, all the people who don’t get out to games but enjoy the hockey broadcasts…”
Through two Stanley Cup finals with Vancouver (1982, 1994), Robson’s broadcast career spanned over 2000 NHL games, which included national appearances on Hockey Night In Canada, NHL All-Star Games, various Western Conference Playoff games (not including the Canucks) and four Stanley Cup Finals.
Before Jim Robson hung up his mic for good in 1994, the Hockey Hall of Fame made room for him in their media gallery two years earlier.
While Robson’s presence graces numerous other Hall of Fame lists, one of his most honorable acknowledgments from the Vancouver Canucks is the Jim Robson Broadcast Gondola, which houses current Canucks broadcaster John Shorthouse.
Although “Shorty” is one of the best modern day announcers, there will only be one “Voice of the Canucks”.
He also made our list of Top 5 Northwest sports announcers here.