Larry Robinson was beside me and he turned to me and said, “Hey Rocky, I’m so glad you’re here, you really deserve it, I really thought you should have had your shot in Montreal.”
For the first few years, Harold Ballard didn’t know my name. He called me ‘Bob.’ But I liked him well enough. I once told him, “I don’t care what you pay me, as long as you sign my cheques,” and he thought that was pretty hilarious, so we got along well.
There’s a bond among fighters because we all have a fear of failure. Most fighters, off the ice, are the nicest guys because of this very real weakness that we have to stare down and try and face, but sometimes, cannot.
My brother was a goaltender. He’s three years older than I am. I just decided that if Len could play goal, I could play goal better than him.
My dad built me a rink when I was five years old in the backyard in Sarnia. It was only a small rink but I played all the time. In those days, the winters in Southern Ontario gave you ice from early December all the way to March.