Tag: Luc Robitaille

Wayne Gretzky

Fanspeak: Gretzky voted best player in Kings franchise history


This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.

Los Angeles Kings

1. Wayne Gretzky – 1,321 Votes

2. Luc Robitaille – 767 Votes

3. Jonathan Quick – 238 Votes

4. Other – 161 Votes

Even though he sits just 16th all-time in games played for the Kings — heck, Sean O’Donnell played more — it’s hard to deny Gretzky’s place atop this list, or the impact he had on hockey in Los Angeles. No. 99 brought the Kings the type of Hollywood limelight normally reserved for the Lakers, and paced the team to its first-ever Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1993.

In short, he put hockey in the map in L.A.

Here’s what the No. 2 guy on this list, Robitaille, said about Gretzky’s impact (per The Hockey News):

Here in L.A., Wayne is The Guy. He made us a respectable franchise. People became believers because of him. You talk to Drew Doughty, he’ll tell you he wanted to play for the Kings because he’d seen and heard about Gretzky.

We have a history and obviously there was Marcel Dionne, but Gretzky and that trade changed the NHL.

(Oddly enough, Dionne failed to crack the top three on the list.)

Gretzky’s time with L.A. also produced a number of numbers and awards. He won his last Hart Trophy as league MVP in a Kings uniform (in 1989), and captured three Art Ross trophies as the regular season scoring champ.

All told, he finished his L.A. career with 918 points in 539 games — a 1.7 points-per-game average — and, during the ’93 Cup run, scored a staggering 40 points in 24 games.

So yeah, no real surprise No. 99 is the No. 1 King of all time.

Robitaille: Kings should go unaffected by AEG news

Luc Robitaille

The recent news of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) being taken off the market and the resignation of Kings governor Tim Leiweke has some fans wondering if it will have a drastic effect on the team itself.

Los Angeles’ President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille tells Jon Rosen of L.A. Kings Insider that there shouldn’t be any issues with how the team is run.

“Nothing’s going to change from day-to-day operations. I run the business operations, and Dean [Lombardi] runs the hockey operations, and the way it is right now is the way it’s going to stay. Our ownership group stays the same. A lot of us were discussing with Dan [Beckerman] from time to time, so we don’t see anything changing.”

Considering how surprising the news was of AEG turn of events was, Kings fans should be relieved to hear this. After all, we’ve seen how ownership shuffling and front office issues have affected other teams negatively.

Hearing it come from Robitaille also has that added effect of getting good news from someone everyone in L.A. loves. Even if there was bad news, having it come from him would somehow make it a little better.

Lucky charms: The Kings and their three pennies

Kings lucky pennies

The Los Angeles Kings may have had some good luck charms in helping them win the Stanley Cup this year in the form of three pennies.

Rich Hammond of L.A. Kings Insider shares the story of how Luc Robitaille and Bailey, the Kings mascot, put some lucky charms under the ice at Staples Center.

Back in August, when the lines were painted on the Staples Center surface, three pennies were placed at center ice. Luc Robitaille contributed a 2002 penny, signifying the year he won the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings. The mysterious man behind the Bailey mascot contributed a 2006 penny, signifying the season in which his beloved Indianapolis Colts won the Super Bowl. The third coin, Robitaille said, was from 1893, the year that the Stanley Cup was first awarded, to the Montreal Hockey Club of the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada. On Thursday, Bailey dug the three coins out of the ice.

Who knew the Kings’ mascot was a Colts fan?

We’ve seen this trick done before by Team Canada during the 2002 Olympics when they put a lucky loonie (Canadian dollar coin) under the ice in Salt Lake City.

For the Kings, these three pennies will go down in team lore as the lucky charms the team needed to be the first eighth seeded team to win the Stanley Cup. If only it helped the team have a better record at home in the playoffs as three of their four postseason defeats came at Staples. I think they’ll be OK with having the Stanley Cup to show off to friends anyhow.

(Photo: @BaileyLAKings on Twitter)

PHT Morning Skate: Where Dennis Wideman’s name keeps popping up for Detroit

Dennis Wideman

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

We know the Red Wings have money to spend and defensive holes to fill so of course Dennis Wideman will keep getting brought up. (Detroit Free Press)

If you didn’t think the Rangers were still hot after Rick Nash, don’t worry about it, they are. (New York Post)

There’s even more speculation about the Maple Leafs targeting Roberto Luongo. (Toronto Sun)

The Blue Jackets want you to “Join The Battle” for next season. (Columbus Dispatch)

The Lightning’s aim in getting Anders Lindback was clear: Get better in goal. (Tampa Tribune)

Danny Briere found the Stanley Cup finals awfully tough to watch. (CSNPhilly.com)

The Sabres have more than a few options to use in the draft with the extra picks they’ve got. (Buffalo News)

Luc Robitaille helped contribute to the Kings’ Cup run by putting a lucky penny in the ice at Staples Center, among others. Safe to say they worked… If you buy into that sort of thing. (L.A. Kings Insider)

L.A. Kings exec Robitaille: “You have to win in this town”

Luc Robitaille

Pretty interesting story in the Globe and Mail today about Luc Robitaille’s executive role and the success of the Los Angeles Kings.

Fresh off their first playoff series win in 11 years, the Kings will take on the St. Louis Blues this Saturday in Game 1 of their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal.

On Thursday, the series will switch to Los Angeles where, after years of hard work, the Kings are being embraced by the city — something Robitaille set to achieve upon taking the business operations gig in 2007.

More, from The Globe:

When Robitaille came, one idea important idea he had was to reengage the glitz – “our neighbours in Hollywood” he said at the time. Examples of the effort include what’s called the “ice box,” 11 very VIP seats (total price tag: $4,000) used during the season between the two teams’ players benches. The Kings have staff that cater specifically to celebrities, with a Ritz-Carlton inspired “never say no” attitude.

Attendance has jumped, as 18,000 or so cram in for each game, the Kings selling out nearly every game this season. As the Kings rolled over the Canucks in five games, bold-print names such as Kobe Bryant, David Beckham and Will Ferrell were among the crowd. Games 3 and 4 of the second round against St. Louis, without doubt, will be hot tickets. L.A., more than most towns, loves a winner.

“For us, we’re not about making the playoffs any more,” Robitaille said. “We’re about trying to win the whole thing.

“You have to win in this town. Because there’s always something to do. You can go see a movie premier, you can go see the Grammy’s, next thing UCLA, or the Dodgers, or the Angels, the Clippers, the Lakers. There’s always something.”

While Robitaille and GM Dean Lombardi are being praised for their work with the club, The Globe notes ownership (Anschutz Entertainment Group) deserves a lot of credit for opening up the checkbook.

AEG paid almost as much to retain/obtain Drew Doughty and Mike Richards last summer ($108 million) as it did to buy the franchise ($113 million) and, at the trade deadline, picked up another huge salary in Jeff Carter ($58 million.)

Robitaille says that attitude and willingness to spend is what it takes to be a winner.

“At first it was really hard,” said Robitaille. “But as the team started performing, and suddenly the expectations are a lot grander, it’s a lot easier to explain, even to my staff, what we stand for, because you’re seeing results.”