The Providence Bruins may have opened some eyes in the Boston Bruins’ front office last week when the AHL affiliate took down the big boys in a scrimmage at TD Garden.
Perhaps no member of the Baby B’s stood out more than journeyman forward Bobby Robins. The 31-year-old Wisconsin native showed no fear going against the NHL club, pushing and shoving every chance he got. At one point he caught the attention of both Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton in a post-whistle scrum.
Things came to a head in the third period when Robins and Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid dropped the gloves at one of the blue lines and went toe-to-toe, with Robins getting the best of one of Boston’s best brawlers.
That’s nothing new for Robins who has made a (likely modest) living as a journeyman AHL tough guy. Just take a look at his HockeyFights.com page, and you’ll see he’s been around the block a few times, although he’s probably needed a few ice packs to do so.
But what some hockey fans might not know is that Robins follows hockey’s tough guy code in more ways than on the ice. Often times, enforcers are some of the team’s smarter and kinder human beings away from the ice. Look no further than Thornton in Boston for proof of that.
Robins is the same way. He’s an active Twitter user who will offer inspiring and motivational tweets on a daily basis. He also keeps a blog, which is filled with some pretty insightful and powerful posts.
None were more powerful, however, than Robins’ most recent post.
Robins was among a small group of P-Bruins who visited Children’s Hospital last week. It’s a fairly normal thing for pro athletes to do, and it’s clear that Robins was inspired by his trip.
He wrote about it on his blog, sharing the story of meeting Logan, a 2-year-old patient who was in the middle of enduring a rough day.
Robins details his interractions with Logan, talking about how he was able to get the youngster to come out of his shell. Robins signed autographs for Logan and even drew some pictures. Eventually Logan returned the favor, drawing some pictures of his own.
“And so we all watched as Logan drew his own pictures, and for that moment, for those 20 minutes, that kid wasn’t sick in bed, in a children’s hospital,” Robins wrote. “He was somewhere else, and so was I. We connected on a level that isn’t measured or documented.
“We went somewhere else, far away from that place, far away from needles and doctors and beeping machines, and entered the canvas realm, where anything is possible, and diseases are cured and conquered with the stroke of a paint brush, where colorful horizons and bright futures are the only thing we know. Shouldn’t we all live in this world? Logan showed me this place, and I am changed because of it.”
Robins eventually left, but not without taking a couple of Logan’s drawings to place in his office as “good luck charms.”
Robins says it was an eye-opening experience for him, one that helped him look at things a little differently.
“Of course I understand the position I am in as a professional athlete and the impact I can make on kid’s lives,” he continued. “It is an honor to have that power, and I try to represent and harness it as best as I can. But there is something more to it, it’s not just because I play hockey and swat a puck around and punch people in the face. It’s something that everyone has and something everyone can do. “
Just removing a couple snippets of the blog post doesn’t do it justice. It’s well-written, poignant and touching, really. Do yourself a favor and read the entire post by clicking here.
Thumbnail photo via Facebook/Providence Bruins