Recently, it was announced that Kings’ President Luc Robitaille would be a participant in the 2012 Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown on December 31 at Comerica Park, as part of the 2013 Winter Classic festivities. Yes, he’ll be wearing a Detroit jersey again – alongside notable Wings’ alum Chris Chelios, Kris Draper, Larry Murphy, Darren McCarty and Mickey Redmond. But, Luc Robitaille?
Sure, he won a Stanley Cup there in 2002. Yet, he only played 162 of his 1,431 regular season games for the Red Wings (or about 11% of his career). By contrast, he’s the all-time leading goal scorer for the Kings, had three tours of duty in LA as a player and is now the club’s president.
“Ken Holland asked me last year,” Robitaille began, when describing how the situation came together. Holland, the long-time Wings General Manager and one of the most respected leaders in the game is also the man who signed Robitaille to a free agent contract after the Kings offered him a pay cut in the summer of 2001.
“He said, ‘If I get the outdoor game, will you play?’ I said, ‘For you Kenny, yes!’”
When the notion of Luc wearing that jersey in 2012 perhaps being a little bit weird – given his current role with the Kings - was broached, the Hall of Fame left wing jumped in quickly.
“My team is LA,” he exclaimed before the question was even finished.
“But, the NHL is a big family. I will never forget that and being part of a big family is very special. So, whenever anybody asks you and there’s an opportunity for charity, why not go and play and just have fun with it?”
True to nearly everything he’s done for the past 25 years, he also quickly took the conversation back to hockey in Southern California.
“We’re looking to do an alumni game in Ontario vs the Ducks, before the pre-season game there (October 6). I’ll play for the Kings then. I’m always going to be a King!”