MONTREAL — If Larry Robinson does not come back for a third season as associate coach with the Sharks, it'll likely be because he doesn't like the lack of respect players have for each other these days.
Returning to the scene of his hall of fame career, Robinson was asked if he planned to exercise his contract option for a third season with San Jose.
"Who knows?," said the 62-year-old Robinson. "At my age I just hope I get up the next morning."
Then he got serious.
"I wouldn't be in it as long as I have if I didn't enjoy the game and that's the part I like the most," he said. "If there was anything that would turn me away from the game it's the way it's being played and how the league is being handled now."
Then he brought up the recent rash of illegal hits and injuries.
"How many concussions have we had in the last two, three or four few weeks, the lack of respect the players are having for each other," Robinson said. "You question where our game is going sometimes."
Yes, hockey has always been a rough game. But things have changed since his era, Robinson said.
"There were situations where guys put themselves in a vulnerable position where if you did make contact, there was a possibility he'd get hurt. Back then, some guys were stupid enough not to wear helmets," Robinson said, pointing to himself, "and you'd ease up."
Now, he added, "I see guys that are in vulnerable positions and players don't care. They go ahead and hit anyway."
Robinson has been back here many times since leaving the Canadiens in 1989, but he said it never gets old coming back.
"The atmosphere, everything around here is terrific," he said. "It feels like hockey when you come to Montreal."
Does he find himself reliving his days with the Canadiens, when he was on six Stanley Cup-winning teams?
"Not really," he said. "Maybe privately when you're just sitting around and have nothing to do, but it's not something I dwell on. I'm not a big believer in the past. I mean, we had a great time and I'm extremely grateful for everything that happened. But there's still a future and you've got to look to the future, too."