HOCKEY WORLD WEIGHS IN ON ROBITAILLE

Tuesday, 04.11.2006 / 3:23 PM / Los Angeles Kings | News
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HOCKEY WORLD WEIGHS IN ON ROBITAILLE
With the announcement of Luc Robitaille's impending retirement, current and former coaches, teammates and overall hockey heavyweights all wanted to express their love on one of hockey's greatest players ever.

"I have been very fortunate to work in sports for 25 years. We, as an organization, deal with a lot of sports. But Luc is by far the most outstanding athlete I have ever been around. If I had a son, I would want him to be like Luc Robitaille." -- Tim Leiweke, Kings CEO/Governor

"I remember Luc coming to camp for the first time in 1984 and playing in his first games as a King in 1986. He has always had a passion to play the game and he has always been a goal scorer. I am not surprised that he began this season closing in on Marcel Dionne's all-time Kings record for goals scored. The two of them are great, great players, and the fans here are fortunate to have seen them play night-in-and-night-out." -- Dave Taylor, Kings President, Hockey Operations and General Manager/former teammate

"Luc is so much more than the fans see on the ice. He is, without a doubt, the hardest working guy on the ice, and he carries that same drive into all aspects of his life. He is a talented and creative businessman, a generous community servant and dependable friend. In short, on or off the ice, you can count on Luc to be a leader in anything he does. How can you not love Luc Robitaille?" -- Edward P. Roski, Jr., Kings co-owner

"Never has there been a more humble record-holder in all of sports. Because of the way Luc treats people, you would never think of him as a guy who has accomplished so much. His special love for life and for his friends reflects the passion he has for the game of hockey." -- Jeremy Roenick, Kings teammate

"I've played with no other player who enjoys coming to the rink so much. He makes me laugh everyday?¢?Ǩ¬¶and he made me proud when he recently became an American citizen." -- Aaron Miller, Kings teammate

"Not only is Luc Robitaille the greatest left winger in the NHL, he is a great person as well. Thank you, Luc, for helping me take the next step in my hockey career. And, of course, even in my dreams, I will always hear YOU say 'I'm Open!'" -- Derek Armstrong, Kings teammate

"To define Luc in words, I would begin by saying that even at 40 years old, he is still a 'big kid.' Always smiling, Luc knows how to take every situation with a positive attitude. Since my first day with the Kings, Lucky has taken me under his wing. It is so special to me to be able to play with someone I had proudly watched while growing up. Luc is not only a Hall of Famer and a good teammate, but, more importantly, he is a very good friend! Lucky will always have a special place in my heart." -- Eric Belanger, Kings teammate

"The first time I saw Luc was at his first Kings training camp. I remember a shot he took in one of the scrimmages that was a true 'goal scorer's' goal and it was at that very instance that you could tell he was special. Luc can score goals every way possible. I think an underrated part of his game is that he has been willing to take a lot of punishment to score many of those goals. Off the ice Luc personifies the word 'class.' How he treats people shows his class. Even as he grew into a Hall-of-Fame hockey player, he still maintained the same attitude. He treats everyone with respect and class and, as an added bonus, he does it with a big smile." -- Jim Fox, Kings broadcaster/former teammate

"Luc has a special connection with the fans and is probably the most popular Kings player ever. Even though he is the greatest scoring left wing in NHL history, he has always had a 'down to earth' personality. He is always laughing, always accessible to fans and is so happy when he is playing hockey. Despite having played for other NHL teams, Los Angeles is where he 'grew up' and he will always be remembered as a King. Luc has truly been an outstanding representative and ambassador for the L.A. Kings." -- Bob Miller, Kings Broadcaster

"Luc had an outstanding NHL career. He was a great hockey player who loved to come to the rink each and every day. He helped make ice hockey a sport to do in the city of Los Angeles and he was able to fulfill his dream and win a Stanley Cup. He was a pleasure to play with and I wish him all the luck with his future endeavors." -- Wayne Gretzky, former Kings/Rangers teammate

"On the ice, Luc Robitaille earned every one of his many accomplishments through persistence and hard work. Off the ice, Luc brought countless people to the game of hockey with his eternal smile and deep compassion for his community. For both, the NHL is grateful. As he concludes an outstanding career, we wish Luc nothing but success." -- Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner

"Ever since his rookie season with the Kings in 1986-87, Luc has always been one of the franchise's more vibrant personalities. His enthusiasm for the game and enthusiasm towards others in the game -- the fans, the media and opponents -- has had an almost infectious effect. His attitude towards others in the game almost supersedes his on-ice accomplishments that, as we all know, have been remarkable. As a player, Luc is one of the games best pure goal scorers of all-time. His ability to be in the right place at the right time, combined with his poise with the puck, has been and remains uncanny. His nickname is 'Lucky' but believe me there is nothing lucky about having close to 700 career goals." -- Nick Nickson, Kings broadcaster

"It's been very exciting to watch Luc throughout his career as he became one of the elite left wings in the game. Always an approachable player, Luc continues to reach out to the fans and the community. Truly a great role model both on and off the ice for future hockey players, Luc has always conducted himself very professionally and has already left his mark on the game." -- Daryl Evans, Kings broadcaster

"I remember when Luc came into the NHL and people said he wouldn't stay because of his skating. He sure showed the world what kind of a hockey player and person he is. His dedication and perseverance as it relates to the game is second to none. As good a hockey player as he has become, he is an even better person. Luc loves people and that's why people love him." -- Mark Hardy, Kings Assistant Coach/former teammate

"One of my proudest moments as a general manager came when I drafted Luc Robitaille, who became the greatest left wing in NHL history. Luc, in addition, is also one of the nicest and classiest men I have ever met." -- Rogie Vachon, Kings Hall of Famer

"For somebody who they said could never skate, Luc Robitaille is going to skate all the way into the Hockey Hall of Fame as the highest scoring left wing in the NHL. Not bad and certainly a well-deserved honor." -- Peter Millar, Kings Equipment Manager

"I have been fortunate enough to have seen every game that Luc Robitaille has played in as a member of the Kings. Luc's good nature and upbeat personality has made him fun to be around. His passion for the game shows both on and off the ice. He is great with our fans and has given us some great hockey moments over the years. Luc has been intense and committed when we are caring for his injuries." -- Peter Demers, Kings Athletic Trainer

"I was fortunate to play with a number of amazing goal scorers in my career and Luc fits perfectly into this elite. Luc loves to score and not only from the usual scoring areas but also any location on the ice. He would practice endlessly trying to put the puck in the net from the corner and because of his persistence he would score the occasional goal from those tough angles. The last name Robitaille belongs besides that of Gretzky, Bossy and Hull as one of the games all-time great goal scorers." -- Kelly Hrudey, former Kings teammate

"Hockey is the toughest game in the world to play. A lot of people measure toughness in terms of penalty minutes. But I think you have to be a real tough player to score as many goals as he has because where you look at where he scores all his goals, it is that 15-foot circle around the goaltender. The 'red zone' is the toughest place to score and that is an indication of how tough a player he is." -- Pat Conacher, former Kings teammate

"I have never been around a player who liked to score goals more then Luc. He loved to score goals whether it was a game or practice. Not only did he love to score, he also knew how to score. That is what made him one of the best." -- Rob Blake, former Kings teammate

"I first met Luc when I came to L.A. I have to say that he was the happiest guy I had ever met. Los Angeles really did something special for his career. He is going to be in the Hall of Fame and I feel very fortunate to have been a part of that and a part of his career. With Luc, he has always had that good fortune, where everything he touches turns into gold." -- Bryan Smolinski, former Kings teammate

"Luc is an exceptional hockey player, but as good as he is on the ice, he has been an even better person off it. I respect everything Luc has accomplished during his illustrious career and I feel honored to have played with such a fine individual." -- Philippe Boucher, former Kings teammate

"Luc Robitaille will be remembered by hockey fans as the greatest goal scoring left winger in the history of the NHL. Not any left wing in the history of our game has been as good at it as Luc. But hockey players often judge teammates beyond goals, assists and points, and as far as Luc goes he was also an All-Star when it came to being a teammate. No one ever could say anything negative about Luc. And that is not 'Lucky.'" -- Nelson Emerson, former Kings teammate

"I've always admired people who were gifted with the quality of leadership, and when leadership and raw athletic ability are found together in one person, it's a rare combination to be sure. I think that one of the things that I appreciate most about Luc is that not only does he possess this combination, but that it is manifested in him in a unique way. Luc brings a contagious passion to the rink every day and to everything he does. I found that being around that kind of passion and desire made the game even more enjoyable for me and challenged me to give to my full capacity." -- Stu Grimson, former Kings teammate

"When I think of Luc, I think 'pure goal scorer.' What people don't always realize is his physical presence in front of the net. He pays a price to score goals. Luc is also one of the nicest people I've ever met in pro hockey. He is a true professional." -- Mathieu Schneider, former Kings/Red Wings teammate

"Luc Robitaille is the friendliest person I've ever met. We obviously had some very memorable times together playing on the same team. When we played on the same line, he was easiest linemate to find for a shot. He just found open spaces to play in and he always seemed open. I will always have incredible memories and a special bond with Luc, having won a Stanley Cup together." -- Sergei Fedorov, former Red Wings teammate

"His nickname is Lucky but I was the Lucky one to have him as a teammate and a friend." -- Ian Laperriere, former Kings/Rangers teammate

"Congratulations on such a successful and prolific career in the NHL -- not bad for a late round draft pick who could not skate or back-check. It was a pleasure getting to know you as a person and a teammate with the Kings." -- Ken Baumgartner, former Kings teammate

"Playing against Luc makes you worry because of his quick release. He is also one of the funniest guys to have on your team. I still remember his imitation of 'Top Gun' in Colorado with the oxygen before Game 6. But what made him a great scorer is that he always wanted to put the puck in the net, whether it was a game or even practice which, for a goalie like myself, is especially annoying." -- Felix Potvin, former Kings teammate

"Luc Robitaille deserves a special place in NHL history. His numbers speak for themselves but the imprint of his personality is so much bigger. His legacy in the NHL, in my mind, will always be the joy he brought to every shift of every game. Some athletes create records that are merely numbers. Others live lives full of style and flair. They are special, from moment to moment, and they touch many people along the way. That's Luc. The scoring records, for all of us, were just a bonus that happened along the way." -- Brian Engblom, former Kings teammate

"Even when we were rookies, Luc had a real enthusiasm that was contagious. The fans picked up on that – he had a bubbly personality – and when you combine that with his play on the ice, that certainly added to his popularity with the fans. Those same fans would chant 'LUUUUUUUCCCC,' and then he became 'Lucky Luc' and while a lot of his popularity has to do with his ability, it also has to do with his hard work, enthusiasm, his fun-loving attitude and his glad-to-be-here kind of personality as well." -- Jimmy Carson, former Kings teammate

"I don't think that Luc Robitaille has ever had a bad day in his life. He is always smiling, always happy, and it rubbed off on not only me, but other teammates as well. Luc made going to the rink fun. He is a tremendous person, he has enjoyed an equally tremendous career, and I will always be grateful for the positive influence he had on me." -- Eric Lacroix, former Kings teammate

"When I first teamed with Luc on the Rangers, I knew Luc could score, but I quickly found out that he competed far harder than I realized. As I got to know him, I got to see how funny he is, how enjoyable he is to hang around with and how he brightens any room that he is in. In addition, he is -- without doubt -- the worst singer I have ever heard, although his Axl Rose imitation should be recorded. Every time I speak with Luc two things are clear -- his love for the game and his appreciation for the gifts in his life." -- Ray Ferraro, former Kings/Ranger teammate

"My first thoughts regarding Luc date back to his rookie year. Luc and Marcel Dionne were late for practice one morning. We as a team cut his skate laces so that he would be even later for practice. We also put red-hot heat in his jock. Needless to say, the more he skated, the hotter he got but because he was a rookie, there was nothing he could do about it. He sucked it up and made it through practice. On a serious note, Luc is called Lucky Luc because people believe that he is lucky. I feel Luc is one of the most natural goal scorers I've ever played with. Luc didn't score so many goals, however, because he's lucky. He's a pure goal scorer and it was an absolute pleasure to have played with him for five years." -- Bernie Nicholls, former Kings teammate

"Of all the people I played with, the person who most exemplified passion to me was Luc Robitaille. His love of the game has truly shown through the way he has played. He was the ultimate teammate who always showed up to the rink with a smile on his face and couldn't wait to get out on the ice. His energy, passion and love for the game was contagious. I'm very grateful and thankful to have Luc as a friend and I enjoyed every season we played together." -- Tony Granato, former Kings teammate

"Luc was an unbelievable teammate for young players. When I joined the Kings as a rookie in 1992, he was always willing to talk with me and help me through different situations. He was always good about making sure the young guys felt like a part of the team. He's just a class act." -- Darryl Sydor, former Kings teammate

"Luc and I played together with the Kings and Rangers, and in the 1991 Canada Cup as well. We had a lot in common on those teams and we also had a lot of fun together. In New York, I played on a line with Luc and Wayne Gretzky, and I remember a conversation I had once with Mark Messier. Mess and I talked about how tough Luc was and how much punishment he took in front of the net. Everyone knows about his goal scoring ability but it seems lost a lot of times in that he really has paid the price to score many of those goals over the years." -- Russ Courtnall, former Kings/Rangers teammate

"A great memory of Luc that I have is from the night we won the Stanley Cup in 2002. There was about a minute to go in the game and we were leading 2-1. Luc was on the ice and I was keyed on him because I would be replacing him on the next shift change. As the seconds ticked off the clock, you could see how excited Luc was on the ice. And he was hoping to get off the ice but as he was skating toward the bench he got tripped, and then tripped again. The harder he tried to get to the bench, the harder it was for him to get on his feet. When he finally got to the bench, I jumped over the boards and we were able to score an empty net goal to seal the victory. Second later we were celebrating a Stanley Cup victory. Needless to say, it was a great experience. As a player in the NHL, there is nothing better than winning the Stanley Cup. It was very special to be able to share the experience with a player like Luc. He has done so much for the sport of hockey, and after spending so many years in the League, and accomplishing so much, it was great to see Luc hoist The Cup at Joe Louis Arena." -- Brendan Shanahan, former Red Wings teammate

"I admire the way Luc carries himself off the ice. He is the one guy who always finds time to stop and interact with people in general but kids in particular. It puts a smile on their faces. He shakes their hand and has fun with them. When I am asked Luc Robitaille that is what I talk about it. As a teammate, we have all learned from him." -- Adam Graves, former Rangers teammate

"Luc is one of the greatest goal scorers in the game because he went to the hard areas and always knew where the puck was going to be. If the game was on the line, you could count on Lucky to give your team a chance to win." -- Charlie Huddy, former Kings teammate

"As impressive as all of his on-ice accomplishments are, what separates Luc is how he has handled all of his success. He is such a stand-up guy, a family guy and he is someone I am very happy to be able to call a good friend." -- Sean O'Donnell, former Kings teammate

"To me, Luc is the type of guy who always seems to care about everybody else first. It does not matter whether it's on the ice, off the ice, or circumstances in everyday life. In my career I never enjoyed myself more every single day than the year I spent playing with Luc! He always came to the rink for the right reasons." -- Trent Klatt, former Kings teammate

"Luc Robitaille is living every child's dream. The aspiration to play in the big leagues and to score goals is the definition of who Luc is. Luc has a childlike love/passion to be on the ice; to be a good teammate; to create a positive and fun environment around him; but most of all he enjoys scoring goals. With Luc scoring is an obsession. Whether standing in street shoes lofting pucks into a net or banking pucks off the back of the goalies legs from the corner in warm-ups, the need to put the puck in the net is simple and consuming. That burning desire has given all of us a smile and forced the thought, 'Is he Lucky or is he just that good?'" -- Marty McSorley, former Kings teammate

"One of the best moves I ever made as a coach was when I named Luc Robitaille captain in 1993. It was no mistake that he had the best season of his life as a captain of the L.A. Kings. He thrived in a leadership role and he was one of the biggest reasons we went to the Stanley Cup Finals." -- Barry Melrose, former Kings head coach

"You always look for enthusiasm and energy in hockey players. However, you only have to look at Luc's contagious smile to know he loves what he does and how much he enjoys life. If you could bottle and sell that smile you would make millions. And the only thing quicker than his smile is his shot." -- Mike Murphy, former Kings Head Coach

"Luc and I entered the NHL at the same time, 1986, and we became friends then and have remained so ever since. As good a hockey player as he is, he is a better friend. When I was going through all of my problems, Luc stayed by my side. He visited me under the worst of circumstances, and would bring Stacia and the kids as well. He kept me going under my most difficult moments and, to me, he is a winner off the ice as much as he has proven himself on the ice. Luc Robitaille -- a great player, a better friend." -- Bruce McNall, former Kings Owner

"Before my purchase, the ownership policy of the club was to trade draft choices. We changed that and Luc was not only one of those selections but he probably was our most successful. There were some who criticized us at the time, but history proves that our selection of Luc was one of the best the Kings ever made." -- Dr. Jerry Buss, former Kings Owner

"I was warned by the scouts about Luc's skating but with his marvelous intelligence for the game, skating never became a factor, even in the high-paced game of the 1980s. The puck seemed to follow him around and he seemed to know what to do with it. Luc not only had intelligence and hands, his best asset was his competitive drive. Luc was a pleasure to be around and you know he loved to play the game. Alex Smart was right. Luc Robitaille was someone special." -- Pat Quinn, former Kings Head Coach

"We used to call him 'Lucky Luc.' When I coached him, he was so easy going. If you judged a player solely on their skating ability, you would probably say, 'Geez, how can this guy play in the NHL?' But he was efficient in everything he did and he always was an asset around the net. He didn't need to score to contribute. Not only is he a great player, but he's a great person. He cares. He's always doing something for charity. If you heard that the team was involved in an event, it was always Luc who was attending. He is always there for everybody." -- Larry Robinson, former Kings Head Coach/teammate

"Luc has been an exceptional goal-scorer in the NHL for a very long time. He's always had a flair for the dramatic and has been a thrill for fans of the league to watch for many years. He has always been a great ambassador for the game of hockey, the NHL and the Los Angeles Kings." -- Mario Lemieux, former Penguins teammate

"I met Luc in the mid 80s. He was taking an acting class with my wife Karen. Luc is the warmest, kindest player I have ever had the pleasure to be associated with. At the same time he is a fierce competitor on the ice and a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer. Karen and I are only better, not only for having had Luc play for us in Pittsburgh, but also for having him as a friend. Having lived in Los Angeles for the last 20 years, I am secure in saying when you think L.A. Kings, you think Luc Robitaille." -- Howard Baldwin, former Penguins owner

"I coached Luc at Hull. Back then he couldn't speak English very well. When I asked him about his school course load, I noticed that English wasn't on his list. I told him to change that because when he is playing in the NHL he would need to know the language. A scout with the Canadiens asked me once who my best player was. I pointed to Luc and the scout said he couldn't skate. Well, some 600-plus goals later he is still at it. Coaching against him in the NHL, I would always tell my teams to pay close attention to him. While he isn't always the first to the puck, he will eventually hurt you." -- Pat Burns, former coach