Robitaille trying to keep Kings relevant despite changing plans

Luc Robitaille Kings Stanley Cup parade by IkiriAs we approach Day 100 of the NHL Lockout, everything is still up on the air regarding the 2012-13 schedule, including any plans the LA Kings had put together to celebrate their Stanley Cup Championship.

“We feel as an organization we’ve been ready,” began Luc Robitaille, President of Business Operations, in a recent conversation with MayorsManor. “But, obviously, every time games get cancelled, we have to readjust what we want to do.”

One thing is certain, during a ceremony prior to the next hockey game in downtown LA – excluding any exhibition games that might be played – the Kings will be raising a new banner to the roof of Staples Center.  Until then though, it’s pretty much a wait and see game for everybody involved, including the fans.

“I don’t know what our fans would say, but we feel we’ve been really good about communicating what’s happening with our fans and our sponsors,” said Robitaille.

Although the Kings have limited alternatives for their fans who miss hockey – there’s always the ECHL’s Ontario Reign – they’ve had a little more leeway with sponsors.

“We’ve been working with our sponsors to try and facilitate some of the promotions that they weren’t able to do (with the Kings, due to games being cancelled). We’re pretty fortunate to be part of AEG, so we’re able to move sponsorships here and there, to different entities that we own. That’s helped.”

Helped the sponsors, sure. But, what about the franchise and its legion of supporters? With each passing day, hockey seems to move further and further from the forefront of what Angelinos are thinking about.

That’s a far cry from just six months ago when the Kings were the talk of the town, maybe even the entire league.

“We’re constantly working on trying to stay relevant in this city. That’s been a lot of work,” explained the former player turned team executive. “We’ve been part of more events now than ever before in the history of the Kings, with our Ice Crew and Bailey and our Alumni. Plus, Bob Miller, Jim Fox, Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans have been very instrumental in us trying to stay relevant – which is hard in this big city. But, that being said, on average, we’re attending more than one event per day.”

Still, the event Robitaille and dozens of other former Kings can’t wait to be part of is the celebration of their first Stanley Cup banner.

“It’s amazing how every guy who played for the Kings was so happy when we won,” he proclaimed. “Whether is was Matty Norstrom, Tony Granato or Lappy (Ian Laperriere) and even guys like Tom Laidlaw, from way back – whether it was Charlie Simmer, who was really happy and Marcel (Dionne), obviously – they were all so happy for us and happy to still feel part of the Kings.”

Speaking of the Alumni, Robitaille said he hadn’t heard the story about Derek Armstrong wearing his Kings jersey while watching playoff games on TV – “That’s a great story about Army though. I wish I had a picture of that for our website!”

Even so, Robitaille and the rest of the Kings staff will just mind the course and continue trying to find ways to keep the Kings in the news.  Despite the lockout, it seems there’s a new set of challenges he and his team have had to face each week.

When asked if he’s solved all the problems yet, Robitaille jokingly replied with – “Not yet. But, off the record, we’re trying!”

Recent Articles

RUMOR: New LA Kings Fourth Jersey for 2020-21 Season

Let the games begin.
No, not the action on the ice — we’re still a few months away from hockey returning — but rather the cat and mouse game of trying to figure out what the new LA Kings jersey will look like.
As we discussed on a recent Kings of the Podcast episode, teams around the […]

This Date in LA Kings History: October 21

Happy birthday to the first player to score a goal in @LAKings' history, Brian Kilrea, who was born on October 21, 1934.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/NbczyuBHWN
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) October 21, 2020

Happy birthday to former @LAKings goaltender Ryan Bach, who was born on October 21, 1973.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/OHH7K6k1CG
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) October 21, 2020

On October 21, 1989, […]

Kings Of the Podcast: Ep. Q21 with Kevin Westgarth

For Episode Q21 we reached out to an old friend. Kevin Westgarth joins us for another all new Kings of the Podcast, where we look back on some good times, as well as chat about what he’s been up to recently – in his role working for the league office.
Among the other topics discussed:
– Many […]

Major News Items

Anatomy of a Draft Pick – How the Kings Decided on Byfield

It seems that nearly every year there is a debate among two players either at or near the top of the NHL Draft board. This year was no exception, with Quinton Byfield vs. Tim Stutzle being a common theme among … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

About John Hoven

John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.