ABOUT THIS EPISODE
This is the one hundred and thirtieth episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring NHL player Buddy Robinson. Paul Guarino talked with Buddy Robinson discussing his journey to the NHL as an undrafted player, what keep him going between AHL/NHL, and his love for cooking.
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This podcast interview with Buddy Robinson was originally recorded on July 22, 2021
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Buddy Robinson | Average To Savage EP130
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
Follow Buddy Robinson
This podcast interview with Buddy Robinson was originally recorded on July 22, 2021
This is the Average to Savage podcast with paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone athletes, celebs and much more. Okay, this episode is brought to you by Manscaped who is the best men's below the waist grooming champions of the world. Manscaped offers precision engineered tools for your family jewels. Manscaped just launched their fourth generation trimmer, the lawnmower four point oh, you heard that right? The four point oh, join the two million men worldwide who trust Manscaped with this exclusive offer for you? 20% off and free worldwide shipping with the code P. G at Manscaped dot com. Get 20% off and free shipping with the code PG and Manscaped dot com. That's 20% off. Free shipping and Manscaped dot com and use the code PG unlock your confidence and always use the right tools for the job with landscape. What's up everybody? Welcome back to another episode of the Average to Savage podcasts. Our special guest today is Buddy Robinson, buddy, how's it going? Good man. Thanks for having me today. Yeah, I appreciate you coming on. Let's just let's just go back in time like what was your first memory of playing hockey? Damn. I used to uh, there's a ring around the corner here um The old Coliseum where the flyers back in like early 90s were practiced and add just around the corner. I think it was before he's and my dad used to take me there just to skate and kind of fell in love with again there and he, he liked it. So he kind of got me and my brother into it and he just taught us how to escape the first couple of times and then saw we had a little bit of a knack for it. So I brought us over to holly dale and got us some like learned a scalar into play program. Kind of just went from there. Yeah, Yeah for sure. Um What about like did you play any other sports growing up? Oh yeah. Baseball, soccer. I love baseball. Like If you would have gone back to my 10 year old self, baseball would have been to play. I was the first your baseball guy but hockey just kind of kept growing and growing and then eventually I had to pick one in high school and it was hockey uh felt I had a better chance at it. For sure. Yeah I know hockey. You got a lot of early mornings like what was that like you guys are kids just like traveling all over. I can't imagine now I'm pushing 30 and I'm like thinking about my own kids coming on like damn like when I have kids it's gonna be nuts. My parents were crazy waking up at four am to take me in the dead of winter into a hockey rink and sit there and watch some kids fall over the ice but you know, appreciate what they did because it worked out. But man, it was, there's some early morning, you're, you're walking into the rink half dressed, it's 4 30 you're excited, you're happy to be there and all the parents sharing up in the stands and started to lean towards outside now. Yeah, definitely. And now I always ask everybody that's like a pro athlete like what, like I know you kind of mentioned it like you picked hockey in high school like over baseball and things like that. Like when did you know like was there a moment that you knew you were like better than the rest or like something like that? It was kind of weird like my career was strange growing up, I was I was bigger than everyone when I was really young. You know like that 5678 year old range. And then I kind of stopped. So like my preteen early teenage years I was like 57 freshmen in high school and everyone was just bigger more mature than me. So I was like damn I'm not gonna be able to keep up. And then I think everyone knew I was going to grow eventually like these big hands and big feet as like a 13 year old. So eventually I grew the body, the body caught up. And then um in high school is kind of where I started realizing okay maybe I can play a little bit at a higher level and got picked up by a junior team. And uh the OPI in Canada used to be the O. P. J. H. L. The Hamilton red wings and I thought I'd give it a shot instead of college definitely wasn't mature enough for college yet at 18 years old down here. So um it was good I took a little bit of time to play some junior hockey and...
...kind of took off from there just never really was looking to the NHL it was just always like alright next step is available right? College college once you know? Okay now there's a chance for pro so just kind of took it one level at a time. Yeah for those that don't know you're 66 right? Yeah 6 6-30. So I got a frame yeah for sure. Um And then yeah just going to like junior hockey could you just like explain to people that don't understand like don't know like you went to junior hockey. I know I know what you mean, but you went to junior hockey into college. Yeah so junior hockey is like this it's um kind of a middle ground for guys who want to play college hockey but um aren't quite ready to go right away after high school. So you got like two or three years of eligibility to play junior A. They call it, it's not you know the O. H. L. Or the Q. J. H. L. Or the WHL out west. It's like it's considered Jr in the United States we have the U. S. H. L. The NHL and candidates like the O. P. And then every province has their own uh their own junior league. So it's kind of just this league where everyone plays nobody's really in high school anymore. And um college scouts will come watch you and then you you know if you're lucky enough like myself, you get some interest from some division one, division three colleges and uh you have a couple of choices and you make one and uh that's where you go to school, you can sign a letter of intent out of junior, just like any other sport, but Hockey is little different. You can be a 21 year old freshman rather than, you know, like 17, 18 years old. So it's so it's a little funny going into school and you're meeting all your classmates and they're all 18 and you're 21 and but it's a good experience though and you know, you play a lot of video games, play a lot of hockey and just kinda that's kind of where the term, you know, living the dream comes from. So just out there playing some hockey and taking it one day at a time to join life. Yeah. Yeah, I remember being in college and I had like retake this class and it was like a freshman class and I was sitting next to hockey kid and he was 21 I was 22. I was a senior and he was a freshman and I was just like, yeah, I was like, I can't even imagine like, yeah, you feel behind a little bit, but it's good. At least you can buy a beer if you want to while you're in school. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And then, yeah, what was it like? I know you're a veteran now in Canada, but like what was it like when you first moved to Canada? Was it like kind of like a colder shock? Yeah, for sure it was this was OO nine, so like cell phones, everything around, but there was no roaming, there was no like international plan. So my first year junior funny enough I had no car and no phone. I was just out there playing video games and going to practice every day. That's kind of what we had, it's called a billet family. So this family that's close to the team and they host you and you just kind of live with them and eat what they cook. And I was a picky eater. So that was tough for me. But um I broke through that and you know, just get a ride to the rink every morning with your teammate and come home when he's ready, play your games and move on. Just, you know, just keep busy and making some friends. But no, no phone, no uh no car. So it's tough to explore. But it was definitely cool to be a part of like uh you know, hockey cold drop in Canada. So it's still really cool to be a part of that. Yeah. Yeah. That's funny just to think about like we're the same, we're the same age pretty much. And it's funny just think about like 10 years ago how phones weren't even like this guy. Yeah like how much further it's coming. You know like there's no roaming, you can call, you make a call at 6 58 you're gonna get charged $100 if you call in the States, you know, wait till seven PM to call. It's so funny. Um. Yeah and then what what was it, what was your recruiting process like to college? Yeah, so I went to a lake superior state in Susan re michigan all the way up there at the U. P. That that was culture shock coming from like suburbs of philadelphia and then you're going up to a little town with 10,000 people. But um it was good like the recruiting was just you know you play you play some hockey and you know the scouts are there every night and you're just hoping to impress a couple of them during the season. And how it normally goes is like they'll send the assistant coach out and if he likes you, you know, they'll bring the other assistant coach out and then they'll have a chat with...
...you after and they are like keep playing good, we'll be in touch and then eventually you know that The head coach will come down and if you like 20 cities and they reach out and then they want to bring you on a visit. So just like most sports you'll have your official recruiting visit and you will fly in or your dry. I drove, I was close enough to drive. So then you see the campus and catch a game, hang out with the guys afterwards and normally their job is to do their best to recruit you to the school and I'll show you a good time. So I had a good time. I, uh, my recruiting trip and signed my little antenna a week later. Gotcha. So you're just, you're just one and done. You just visit one school? Yeah, it was just one school. I kind of knew what I knew what I liked. Told me to give it a couple of days. I think I think it over, but I enjoyed the, uh, the guys there so much and then they showed me a great time and just like the whole culture there was, it was nice and it was fun school, really small compared to what I'm used to back here, the city suburb living. So it was good. It was a really good time and uh, cold though, definitely very cold. Yeah. And then, um, so like, well like after your, you were there for two years. So like your, it was your senior year quote unquote I guess. Um, like what, what, what was your expectations like for like the NHL and things like that. You really didn't, you know, I came into college happy to be there. You know, the Vision one, this is cool. I got the play and that was when I was playing every game and kind of on one of the top couple lines freshman and sophomore year and then I saw more season ended in um college. You have family advisors are called. So they have like, like a friend of mine who I met my junior experience, He give me a call after myself here and said, hey, you got some interests from the NHL, the Ottawa senators are calling and they want to see if you want to leave school early. So same idea, they flew me out to Ottawa, um, for a little visit and of course, you know, they roll the red carpet out bells and whistles, Welcome the NHL and I couldn't sign on that dotted line fast enough. Um, it was, it was hard. It was hard to leave school. Obviously you're, you're leaving a bunch of friends and you know, you spend every day with these guys for two years and then you leave like just like that. So that was tough. But you get an opportunity to, to live your dream. You know, you gotta, you gotta jump on that. So it was great. I think to send a lot for four years, 3.5 years with them and it was good, gave me a good shot and you know, happy to still be playing. Yeah, for sure. So yeah, you spent like four seasons in the NHL then you get you got called up during the 1516 season. What was that like to get called up to the NHL? Yeah, it was definitely a grind, you know, 3, 4 years h L just grinding away, grinding away. It's it's a tough tough road down there because everyone is fighting for the same job and once you get that call you got a chance to play, it's it's kind of surreal, right? You're you signed that contract to be in the NHL and then you know, you're you gotta work for it to get up and once you get called up it's it's kind of surreal and it's definitely a lot of incentives and want to stay. So you work hard just to make sure that you can stick there one day and it's uh it's a different lifestyle man, you treated great and everything is uh everything's great so it's it makes you want to work hard and to make sure you're sticking their. Yeah. Yeah for sure. What is like what's like HL life like? Is it like because I know like I'm thinking like minor league baseball but like H. L. Is like triple A. Basically to yeah you're right there so you're right there and it's it's very similar to what I was explaining to junior hockey. Like you know it's pro hockey, you're playing in the second best league in the world. Um Your one call away from being the NHL the next night so you're just doing everything you can your nightly basis, you know that there's teams watching, it doesn't have to be your team, you get traded at any time. You know, I've gone through that myself once and that's definitely interesting and You just won't call away. So you know during the days you wake up you got your 11:00 practice, 10:00 practice. A lot of teams right around that time and then after that it's just killing time again. You're you know, you work out your home normally buy one or two every day and you know, hang out with your teammates,...
...get some lunch and I don't know just do your best to stay busy. It's a pretty free it's a pretty free schedule in the american league that you're playing mostly weekend games and you've got monday through thursday to just practice and then hang out during the week. So we spent a lot of time of your teammates that you get close like that. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I mean you've been, you've been consistent through your HL career, just like, like just looking at your numbers, like what keeps you uh consistent, I just like learning my game right? Like I grew, you know, it was there was an adjustment period from college to pro and figuring out like I'm not this, you know, skill guy dangle everybody around, you know, like I'm not that that suit guy out there on the ice anymore, like I used to be able to when I was younger, you just, you know, use my body get to the front of that and it's just, you know, that's just how I got to score my goals, get my points and that's how I'm going to produce, lay the body, hit, some people make some noise, make, make sure everyone knows him out there and then bang a couple of greasy goals home in front. So that's just kind of where I like to live and get a couple of bouncing off your legs or your, but that's always a plus. Yeah, for sure. What about, who was your, who's your first NHL goal against and what was that feeling like? First goal against was Al Montoya, I think for the florida panthers, we were playing in Ottawa is my second game Ever in the NHL were playing in Ottawa and the night before was my first game, of course, right nervous his house to penalties -1, not the best start you're gonna have. So I'm all nervous, I'm not gonna get to play again. And the next night I go out there and I was able to get a goal is just um tip in. I was just stand in front, like I said, it just getting to the front of the net and just got a piece of a puck and deflected one basket. And then after that it was just black because it was, it was a surreal moment. And then, you know, I got the puck, it's actually my office somewhere over there, but I got the puck and they made a nice little frame for me and it's just uh just waiting to put it up on the wall somewhere. I just moved into a new place last summer, so still remodeling a little bit. Yeah, that's awesome. And then, yeah, I know you went through a few free agencies and you're currently, you said you're in one right now. What are, what are those like and like what is it like to move around to a new team Stressful. Um so we've got a few more days here, it's free agency in July 28. Um Normally start getting a, you know, a couple of feelers here and their teams are interested or what's going on. I'm hoping to be back with Calgary, enjoyed my time three years over with them and uh I feel like it's a good fit for me, but for ages he's always progress for, you never know like right now there's no job and I'm just hoping to, you know, get get that phone call that you're going back for another year or you know, maybe a two year deal is it's always nice, a little security. But for agencies always exciting and nervous at the same time because you get a call from whoever you're going here, you know, pack your bags, you're off to a new city. So it's exciting. But also nerve wracking because sometimes you're going to a team where you don't know anyone don't know any coaches are just flying in there blind and it's tough but part of the gig and just kind of move on with it. Yeah. Yeah definitely. And then tell me about these last like two seasons with like Covid. I know it's been like crazy like what is what is like protocol and like I know even Canada was like shut down like what was that like for you? Oh yeah like so Qatar North division this past year was complete lockdown. It was they were pretty much you know we all understood it was just the way it was going to. Canada was a little bit more strict than the U. S. So pretty much as begging us to stay in our places and work like so rink and home pretty much it like they were very adamant about that don't no hanging out on the side and no going to the you know the movie theatres or restaurants or anything like that open so just don't go anywhere. Don't do anything stupid. Don't get a shutdown please. It's pretty much what the what the message was all year just don't get a shutdown. So every day you go in and you have your covid test up the nose down the throat and go on to the rink and then you you don't breathe for a few hours until you get your results back and then you're clear and then the next day...
...you do it all over again. So it definitely got a little tired and getting that you know that q tip shoved up your nose every day. But it is what it is. We're fortunate enough that we were able to play so uh definitely lucky you know, to at least get the season and at that point, yeah, definitely. Were you guys in a bubble? Um kind of yeah, so like we only played the North Division, so we only played encounter, we only, we played the six other teams, I felt like 100 times each saw them every other day, but it was technically not a bubble, but it was like you couldn't, you know, kind of, it was just shut down so you really couldn't go anywhere anyway. If you wanted to like order food pretty much every night or order your groceries and you know, to the ranking home every day, go for your walk. I'm just trying to kill some time during the day. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Now your brother, eric is also in the NHL, what is it like to, to have a brother? And then it's like two, you're both brothers, sibling jealous so much better now. Super super proud like hey I'm a few years older than I was so like our whole lives it was just like I was doing everything first, you know, I was, you know, growing, I was big, he was little and then I was moving on to junior hockey and he was still playing club because just a few years younger so everyone wants to know what I was doing, what like what am I up to him out to now just to see him like succeed and just blow every expectation out of the water. It's just it's awesome, it's a proud older brother moment and uh watch every game I can of his and he's just getting better and better so he's uh he's gonna have a nice long career there and hopefully the people in columbus get to enjoy him for his whole career because I know he loves it there. Um I know the fans love him and he just just awesome. He's doing a great job and could be more proud. Would you would you ever want to play with him? Oh yeah. I mean I'd love to. Well see that's that's about columbus. They know they like him. I don't know, they know about me go it could be a little awkward to be rolling in here trying to take a take a job from someone. So uh we'll leave. That may be the end of the career. Maybe get a sniff somewhere with them or at least to play against some of the season. Would be pretty cool. We've missed each other twice now. So uh just to play against this season would be pretty cool if if we can make that happen. Yeah. you gotta do the Jersey exchange. Yeah exactly. Do they do that? They do that? You don't do that NHL do they cost too much man? It's a Trainers will kill you come back with no jersey, they're gonna be like what the hell is going on? I need to check for 300 bucks, please. Thank you. Can be given those things away. Um Yeah, then just like uh what what keeps you motivated just because you've been in the NHL I met in the NHL so long and then getting called up, sent down and called up. Yeah, I think like I said the lifestyle man, it's just you get treated like gold, you know, you're in the NHL and you're you're on that pedestal, especially the Canadian market where you know, you're you're in front of all these people or at least last year and on tv you know, they're tuning in its rivalry games all the time in Canada, like it's just another atmosphere up there. So you just want to be a part of that and you want to be a, a part of that. Um, the atmosphere, like I said, just playing in front of those electric fans and Canadian fans are crazy and it's just a fun time. So you know, the cities, you go to your traveling all the time, like in a normal season, you get to go to great cities and explore, you know, good restaurants and it's just a good lifestyle and uh, you know, it doesn't last forever. So you definitely want to take advantage of it what you're lucky enough to play at this level and um, just make it last as long as possible because like I said, retirement is pretty early in the, in the hockey world compared to a real life. Yeah definitely. Um What advice would you give to a young player Like you they're trying to get like a D. One scholarship or trying to go pro. I just have fun especially younger kids like if your your high school or just before like just you know played multiple sports being athlete, not a hockey player, you know like learn how to do other things, play other sports just and enjoy it. You know if you're if you're good enough like they'll find you, I play double a hockey my whole life growing up and it's nothing, you know, it's...
...nothing crazy compared to the leaves I got going on now, kids are traveling all over the country playing hockey. You know if you're if you're good enough someone will be there, someone will find you. Um And just trying to distress, It's funny me saying that because that's all I did was stress. That's all I still do is stress, but just trying to distress and just, you know, enjoy it, enjoy the ride. And uh if you're good enough, you'll you'll get seen and you'll be in the right situation. Yeah, for sure. And then just going back to your brother, do you guys like call each other up and let's like go go through like any like plays and stuff like, or like just like, like for advice for each other, stuff like that. Yeah, I'll call them every once in a while like during the season it's hard, you know, like they slipped by, especially last year, you're playing every every other night, every every two nights in a row, you know, stuff like that. But like, I tried to watch most of his games because luckily he's on the East Coast and I had Two hour time difference. So his games are started like, you know, 5:00, which is kind of nice get to see him play or um, but yeah, I'll give him a call, not too much advice, but just like tell him he's doing good or maybe a thing here there if I think, you know, I could help. Like I said, he's better than me at this point. So I'm calling my younger brother for advice at this point. But, But yeah, just advice you something. It's an easy game on TV, right? It's an easy game from the stands. So I'm like, yeah, just do this next time. Okay. Yeah, do that 100 mph. Yeah. We keep in touch a lot though. We watch each other's games and it's, it's, we got a good relationship. That's awesome. Are you ready for some fun questions? Let's do it. What's your favorite song right now? Favorite song? Damn. Right now. Oh, got me. I think I like that new Bieber one. Honestly, I'm a big Bieber guy. I don't know. Not many, not many guys will admit that. But I like the beaver song with anything country. Sorry. Yeah. With the kids. Leroi. Yeah. That guy's blown up though. Yeah, I know. I'm not like uh you know, new music? I'm not too good. I'm not good at, I just got my old playlist. But I like that song. I like the new, that edge hearing songs pretty good. That just came out. I can tell you the name of it, but it comes on. I feel that's how I'm, I'm just like, I don't know who the artist is. I don't know really the song. I don't know the name. I can I can sing the popular part. Right? That's definitely about like, uh, what's your what's your favorite food in Canada? Like maybe something new that you discovered. Oh, something new. Nothing new. But a lot of places out and kind of like, you know, Vancouver even even Calgary's got great sushi, like Toronto, great sushi place. I was trying to find a good sushi places when I'm on the road and expecting that. Yeah, I know. Crazy, right Calgary. I know. Middle, middle of the country. You wouldn't expect it, But really good sushi places there and then you go to Vancouver and it's automatic. You're right there on the water and I love the sushi up there. Make sure guys make it a point to get the sushi when you're in Vancouver. All right, well, if I'm in Canada, I'm going to check it out, Check it out. Or message me first and then I'll tell you if you're in the right suit, you're not Yeah. The only I've only been to Montreal, I believe. Yeah. Yeah. And also they got good steaks up there to the Canadian on the Canadian beef. A lot of good steaks up there to have a simple, simple answer. But you know, could have gone with like a routine, but I don't really need it too much. You know, the fries and gravy even with the cheese kurds, but I don't need that too much. No, I mean, I like sushi and steak. So this bill. So there you go. What do you like to do in your free time when you're not playing hockey? And we got a lot of still a lot of buddies that play some Xbox together. We still play forward or Call of Duty and stuff like that. Like a lot of teammates, a lot of guys in the league still play video games and it's a good, good uh, time killer. Also like cooking a lot too big time in the kitchen. Yeah, I'll do anything. I always learned. What's your favorite meal to cook? Favorite meal? I like making a beef wellington. It's a grind. Yeah, it takes a little while, but I really like, you know, like the pastry wrapped filet mignon and you know, you got the mushrooms and prosciutto inside. It's really, really good. Takes a little while. But I like making that stuff. I like I watch a lot of Gordon Ramsay Youtube videos. Yeah, we'll get to him are hilarious. Yeah, we'll get we'll send this to him and see if he's...
...watching. All right, well, tell me send me some tips, definitely. What about you guys playing it? Like you guys play NHL uh, here and there. I got a couple of teammates play so we'll just jump on. You know what? Like NHL FIFA, I used to play these games religiously in the american league and binghamton with some of my roommates. And I just got to the point where I was losing sleep over losing to these guys and like make bets on the stupidest things like running down the street. All right. You lose, go pick up dinner. And I found myself losing all the important games. So I was I had to quit playing the one on one games again. HL and FIFA. So I stick to the shooter games now just by myself and just if I'm playing on their team, fine. I can't play against people. I'm too competitive. I start throwing stuff broke a few controllers that season. So I wean myself off of the NHL FIFA. I got you. Well, I appreciate you coming on and best of luck next season. Obviously we'll definitely stay in touch and be in touch and see where you go next. Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having really appreciate it. Okay. Yeah.
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