Luc Robitaille to be Honored on Sunday
LOS ANGELES – Hockey Hall of Famer and Kings President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille will be inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame this Sunday.
Robitaille will be a member of that organization’s ‘Class of 2013.’ The event takes place on June 9 at the Ontario Convention Center and begins at 5 p.m.
Bob Miller is introducing Robitaille for induction. In 2012, former Kings forward and Hockey Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne was inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame. In 2011, Miller was inducted – the first member of the LA Kings family to be so honored.
Former NFL running back Christian Okoye is the President of the California Sports Hall of Fame.
MORE ABOUT ROBITAILLE:
Luc Robitaille -- who in 2009 was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame -- is the highest scoring left wing in NHL history and the all-time Kings leader in goals scored. He is in his sixth season as Kings President, Business Operations, and since assuming the position on May 25, 2007, Robitaille has had a tremendous impact on the whole as his experience as a former player brings a unique perspective to the business side of the club.
Robitaille, who had his popular No. 20 jersey retired by the Kings on January 20, 2007, is one of the greatest players in NHL history. He played 19 seasons in the NHL – including 14 with the Kings -- and in 1,431 career regular season games with the Kings, Detroit Red Wings (where he won a Stanley Cup in 2002), New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins, had 1,394 points (668-726=1,394). In 159 playoff games, he had 127 points (58-69=127).
Robitaille as a player was honored with several awards and he set numerous records throughout his long and distinguished career. In addition to being the highest scoring left wing in NHL history, a mark he set in a Kings uniform with his 1,370th point to pass Hall of Famer John Bucyk on March 22, 2004, Robitaille holds the NHL record for left wingers for most goals (668). He is also 10th in overall NHL goal scoring with 668 goals (he was second among active players at the time of his retirement to former Red Wings teammate Steve Yzerman), 21st in overall NHL scoring with 1,394 points and he is the only left wing in NHL history to record eight consecutive 40-goal seasons (all with the Kings).
With the Kings, Robitaille ranks second all-time in games played (1,077), second in points (1,154) and fourth in assists (597). On January 19, 2006, Robitaille set the Kings all-time record for goals when his 551st goal as a King surpassed former teammate, long-time friend and Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne. In 1,077 total regular season games as a King, Robitaille had 557 goals and 1,154 points.
Robitaille joined the Kings in 1984 when the club selected him in the ninth-round (171st overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. As a rookie in 1986-87, the Montreal-born Robitaille became the first King to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year and was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team. Joined later by the legendary Wayne Gretzky, the pair helped lead the Kings to the club’s first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 1993. That season Robitaille, who served as captain when Gretzky was injured, set NHL records for the most goals (63) by a left wing (a mark later eclipsed by Alexander Ovechkin) and for most points (125) by a left wing, a mark that still stands.
Robitaille would go on to reach other milestones in a Kings uniform, including his 500th career goal on January 7, 1999, and he played in his 1,000th game as a King on March 13, 2004. When Robitaille had his jersey retired by the Kings, he became just the fifth player to be so honored (joining Gretzky, Dave Taylor, Dionne and Rogie Vachon) by the club.
On June 23, 2009, Robitaille was selected for the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Hall with former teammates Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull and Brian Leetch in Toronto along with Lou Lamoriello. Robitaille is the third Hall of Fame player (Larry Murphy and Billy Smith are the others) to be drafted by the Kings.
In his current position, Robitaille continues to help impact the Kings business operations department, especially in the areas of sponsorship sales and renewal, fan and customer relations, game entertainment, media relations and broadcasting. He has been a driving force behind unique events including LA Kings Hockey Fest and the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at STAPLES Center as the first day of the event drew more than 11,000 fans.
Robitaille has been at the front of a revamped Kings community relations department including the club’s strategic Kings Care community partnerships, which is highlighted by the Kings’ $500,000 commitment to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ blood program, and he has helped direct the reorganization of the LA Kings Alumni Association while also helping spearhead the popular Legends Night Series. He is an active liaison when it comes to the Kings’ communication with the National Hockey League, including scheduling, and he serves as the Alternate Governor of the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League.
Since 2007-08, the Kings have increased their number of sellouts at STAPLES Center each season. Last season the Kings sold out a STAPLES Center-record 37 (of 39 games as the club had two “home” game in Europe) contests and this year the Kings sold out every regular season game.
Following his retirement as a player, Robitaille during the 2006-07 season worked as the Kings’ Assistant to the Governor and Alternate Governor (he remains Alternate Governor). In that Kings/AEG role, Robitaille’s responsibilities primarily focused on the Kings business development and player/community relations, and the continued development of both the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario and the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
An eight-time All-Star, Robitaille has also immersed himself into the Southern California community. Always one of hockey’s most active and accessible Kings, Luc and his wife Stacia are the co-founders of a non-profit organization, Echoes of Hope. Founded in 2007, Echoes of Hope strives to awaken the spirit of hope in the lives of at-risk and emancipated foster youth by providing the resources, knowledge, skills, love and support they need to reach their full potential (www.echoesofhope.org).