Sharks director of player development Larry Robinson, 64, had quite the health scare last month.
According to the Montreal Gazette, the legendary former defenseman was diagnosed with melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer, after seeing a dermatologist in Florida in late June. He had surgery in New York, and after what had to be a stressful few days, his doctor eventually told him in mid-July that the cancer had not spread.
Robinson lost his brother, Brian, to brain cancer in 2005. He was just 56.
“When I was given the diagnosis, I imagined the worst-case scenario,” Robinson told the Gazette.
The cancer was found on the inside of his left knee, after his wife insisted he get it checked out. He also had spots on his shin and his back removed.
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Robinson’s phone rang a week later, the doctor saying he’d like to see him.
“I figured he wanted to remove some more stuff,” he said. “But in his office, he told me the one on the inside of my knee was melanoma and that he wanted to send me in for tests.”
Robinson replied that he’d tend to it after he got back from the Ottawa Valley; there, younger brother Moe was organizing his annual golf tournament, a cancer benefit held the past dozen years in honor of their late brother, Brian.
“The doctor just said, ‘No, no, no … you have to get this done NOW. It’s cancerous. It could spread. You don’t mess with it.”
Robinson remains in the Sharks’ front office, after serving as an associate coach to Todd McLellan for the last three seasons. He will spend the majority of his time in Florida, although he’ll likely be in San Jose for at least a portion of the team’s upcoming training camp.
He'll remain in contact with general manager Doug Wilson.
“There’s so much online now,” Robinson said. “To be able to follow players and teams, all you’ve got to do is pick up your iPad and you can do that in a heartbeat. And I’m also only 40 minutes from Tampa, so I can go up there and see games live, as well.”
Robinson played a role in bringing new coach Peter DeBoer to San Jose, after working with him in New Jersey.