Rob Ramage gained fame among professional scouts during his three-year term with his hometown London Knights of the OHA. There the big blueliner looked like rock-solid NHL material with a complete package of offensive and defensive tools. He also displayed a penchant for leadership.
Ramage survived his brush with the law unscathed. He was selected 1st overall in the NHL Draft by the Colorado Rockies in 1978. But with the WHA still hanging on, Ramage skipped his final year of junior to make some cash and expedite his development with the Burmingham Bulls. There he joined an all-star lineup of under-aged "phenoms" in Rick Vaive, Craig Hartsburg, Pat Riggin, and Gaston Gingras.
The following year, he joined the Colorado Rockies and embarked on a path of frustration, discovery, and confusion. The club was floundering and expectations for recovery were crammed inside Ramage's helmet. While struggling to lead a blueline corps in disarray, he developed some bad playing habits. But it was not until he was traded to St. Louis, by his own request that he could begin to address the shortcomings in his game.
With the Blues, he fell under the tutelage of former NHLer Barclay Plager. Plager went to work immediately to iron his protégé's game into the smooth surface it was meant to be. Ramage quickly evolved into a defensive mainstay, performing on power plays, killing penalties, contributing key offensive plays, and keeping his own zone clear.
In 1987-88, however, the Blues couldn't resist the opportunity to snag Brett Hull from the Flames. It took parting with Ramage to get the deal done. In Calgary, his role changed from defensive workhorse to a more routine role of defending at full strength. The Flames were already replete with special-teams defenders in McCrimmon, Suter, Macoun, and MacInnis. The reward to Ramage in swallowing his reduced role was a Stanley Cup victory in 1989.
The following season marked the start of the second phase of Ramage's career -- the part that involved being traded across the league on a frequent basis. First, he went to the Leafs where he served as the club's captain until they accidentally let him get picked off by the Minnesota North Stars in the Expansion Draft of 1991. With the Stars, he was used as nothing more than a spare part. A season later he was again claimed in an Expansion Draft, this time by Tampa Bay. There, Ramage served as an aging mainstay, doing his best to help provide stability in the unstable environment of a newly formed team.
After only 66 games with the Lightning, he was sent to Montreal where he performed briefly before heading to Philly where he rounded out his career after only 15 games. Since his retirement, Ramage has worked as a colour analyst for Blues' television broadcasts.