Lyle Robinson - All-Around Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame Player
Editor's Note - The pandemic has resulted in activities across the World being delayed or cancelled for the past 20 months, including countless events in the Canadian lacrosse community. However, on Saturday, November 13, 2021 - the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame held a double cohort Induction ceremony for the years 2020 and 2021. A total of 4 players, 2 builders, 1 veteran and 1 team were inducted for each year.
This is the 14th of 16 feature articles pertaining to the most recent teams, players, builders, or veterans inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. The following article highlights player Lyle Robinson. He had a very successful lacrosse career both individually with the accomplished Burnaby Cablevision Junior team and the legendary New Westminster Salmonbellies Senior team. A member of 2 Minto Cup championship teams, 3 Mann Cup championship teams and 2 teams that have been inducted into the CLHOF, Lyle Robinson was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2021, honoured in the Player category.
Lyle Robinson was an all-round lacrosse player. At the peak of his career, he stood 6’2” and weighed 210 pounds. Lyle was more than capable of scoring clutch goals, known for his skill at pursuit of loose balls and acknowledged for excelling at playing “enthusiastic” defence– all of which combined to make him a feared opponent and beloved teammate.
Playing his minor lacrosse in Burnaby, British Columbia, Lyle graduated onto Junior lacrosse playing with the Burnaby Cablevision team which won the 1978 and 1979 Minto Cup championships. Lyle Robinson was the team Captain in 1980. Of note – the 1977-1979 Burnaby Cablevision teams were inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2009.
When his successful junior career ended, Lyle Robinson was the #1 Draft pick in 1981 of the Western Lacrosse Association New Westminster Salmonbellies. He enjoyed being a player on the legendary WLA Salmonbellies team (a team being inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2021). Lyle played in six Mann Cup championship series winning in 1981, 1986 and 1989, which included being a member of the last Western team to win the Mann Cup in the East when they defeated the Brooklin Redmen 4 games to 2 in 1986. From 1986 until the end of his career in 1989, Lyle was a Salmonbellies team Assistant Captain.
When hearing he was being inducted into the CLHOF, Lyle stated, “My initial thoughts on being inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame are feeling very humbled, proud and honoured all at the same time”.
During his junior career which included playing on two Minto Cup winning teams, Lyle Robinson played a total of 73 games, scoring 74 goals, along with 95 assists for a total of 149 points. He managed to accumulate 216 penalty minutes. He was a League All-star twice and won individual awards including Most Inspirational Player.
In his nine seasons of Senior lacrosse with the Salmonbellies, Lyle played in 181 games, scored 107 goals, added 115 assists for a total of 222 points, along with 412 minutes in the penalty box. Of most significance as a member of 3 Mann Cup championship teams, Lyle Robinson played in 30 Mann Cup games, scoring 20 goals and 20 assists for 40 points and 80 penalty minutes.
Lyle was quick to acknowledge his good fortune as a player and the influence of others throughout his career commenting, “I was lucky enough to have some very good and knowledgeable coaches in the Burnaby Minor Lacrosse system, in particular Bill McMurchy and Art Burrows. When I was with the Burnaby Junior Cablevision team - Jack Crosby and Dan Mattinson were instrumental in my development along with a group of young talented players coming out of Burnaby at the time. Dan Mattinson really brought a sense of professionalism and organization to the teams he coached. The pride and lacrosse knowledge that I learned from the Salmonbellies organization was invaluable in my success as a player. Through the 1980's Casey Cook was the architect of the great Salmonbellie teams. Steve d'Easum taught myself and the rest of our teams, that both playing together and having fun together were important factors in developing winning teams. For most of my Senior career I was also very fortunate to have played on the same line with great teammates, Ivan Tuura, Geordie Dean and Bob Johnston.
Although humble, when pressed to speak about individual accomplishments, Lyle Robinson did offer some personal highlights that came to mind which include: Scoring the winning and insurance goals in a One Game final of the Minto Cup in 1979; Being drafted 1st overall in my 1981 draft year; Playing on the same line as Wayne Goss in my first year of senior and winning the Mann Cup that year in 1981. Lyle went on to comment, “I was lucky enough to play on a number of championship teams - two of which stand out – those being the 1978 Burnaby Junior Cablevision Minto Cup team and the New Westminster Salmonbellies Mann Cup win over Brooklin in 1986, which was the last WLA team to have won in the East”.
Like so many great players, after his career as a player ended, Lyle Robinson gave back to the sport coaching the Junior Salmonbellies for two season (1991 and 1992) along with his former teammates, Shawn Quinlan, Bob Johnston, and Geordie Dean.
Lyle Robinson had a hugely successful career both individually and with the accomplished Burnaby Junior team and legendary New Westminster Salmonbellies Senior team. A member of 2 Minto Cup championship teams, 3 Mann Cup championship teams and 2 teams that have been inducted into the CLHOF - without question, Lyle Robinson has earned his place into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in the Player category, Class of 2021. Sadly, Lyle Robinson passed away on August 24, 2021.
(Written by Rad Joseph - Member of Major Series Lacrosse Media team)