Luc Robitaille – ‘I believe in LA’

On Thursday afternoon the Kings and Ducks held a press conference to discuss their January 2014 outdoor game at Dodger Stadium. We’ve already posted thoughts from Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty and Dustin Penner. Now, let’s check in with a few of LA’s top hockey executives.

First up, here’s what Luc Robitaille, President of Business Operations, had to share…

On the growing excitement over the Los Angeles outdoor game:

“It’s going to be incredible, the buzz we’re going to have for hockey. It’s going to be great. I love the fact that we’re going to be playing against the Ducks because everybody who loves hockey in Southern California is going to be able to be part of this great game. It’s an event. It’s going to be very special. Anytime I watch those games that we have on New Year’s Day, you want to see what happens next. It’s just amazing the way it looks. In Southern California, it’s going to be amazing.”

On the disappointment of not being able to organize an outdoor alumni game:

“If you look at the schedule, our team’s playing on Thursday, so they’re not able to practice. We would have loved to have an alumni game. We’re not going to play during the day because we want to make sure we cover the ice. At night we have to have our teams practice here. So both teams are going to practice. We’ve got to give [them] time with their families. That would have put an alumni game at nine-thirty, ten o’clock at night and we have to make sure the ice is perfect for the next day. It didn’t make sense.”

On the questions the players have been asking most often:

“They haven’t asked any questions. They’re just happy to be part of it. They think it’s going to something amazing. As a player, you love to be part of those big events and our guys—obviously playing last year in the Playoffs and the year before in the Finals—they’re part of big games and big events. This is something, because of the way they played and what they’ve accomplished, we’re able to do this now.”

On his reaction upon hearing that the ticket sales were exceeding the pace of any other NHL outdoor game:

“I’m not surprised. I believe in LA. I’ve always believed in this market, probably more than most people because I was here when Gretz came. I saw what happened. Then you see what happened with our team the last couple of years. Before we won the Cup, we made the Playoffs a couple of years and we were selling out almost every game. Now we’re going to sell out every game this year. I believe in this market. I know we have a lot of great hockey fans, but in this town, you’ve got to compete. You’ve got to win and you’ve got to be part of the top teams and people will follow you. This town wants winners.”

On his first conversation with Dodgers President Stan Kasten:

“That was before their big winning streak, so I don’t know. [Laughs] I didn’t want to bother him too much. I just said, ‘Hey, what do you think about playing an outdoor game?’ He says, ‘That would be great!’ I [thought] it’s that easy? I couldn’t believe it. ‘Get with my guy. We’ll get it done!’ So, we met here and tried to figure out the right date and what made sense. At first, we thought it would be a Sunday, but everyone realized it was the Grammys. Now it will be the night before, which I think it’s great for L.A. It’s the same weekend as the Grammys. Everybody’s going to be in town. I think it’s going to be absolutely incredible.”

On if he would like to have played in this game:

“I would have loved to play in this game. For a player, anytime you have the opportunity to play in big events…sometimes when you’re a player, you know it’s special, you know it’s great, but it’s when you retire that you remember, I was there when it happened. This is the first outdoor game in Southern California. It might never happen again here. This is certainly something special and the fans, the way they’re buying tickets…everybody’s talking about [how] they’re going to be part of an historic moment.”

If this event meets or exceeds expectations, on if will he push Gary [Bettman] for a Winter Classic:

“Yes. I’ve been bothering Gary for five years about this game! I’m not going to stop. I believe in the Kings. I believe in LA. We’re always going to push for the next thing. We think we’re going to exceed expectation. We know it’s going to be a huge success and after that we’ll go to the next step. For us, once the game starts, we’ve got to win the game and get the two points and beat the Ducks. [Laughs]”

On if tickets will become available for the general public:

“We don’t know yet. We’re still analyzing everything because the Dodger’s fans are going to get a few. We got to go back on some of our premium seats. Hopefully there will be a few left…”

Kelly Cheeseman, AEG also offered a few thoughts to MayorsManor as well…

On if he’s surprised at the ticket sales:

“No. Our season ticket members and the Ducks’ season ticket members—it’s a passionate fan base. They’re not going to miss this game. This setting is about as good as it’s going to get for a hockey game.”

On his excitement now that he’s on the field and seeing the ice:

“I was actually just saying that right now. I’ve probably spent more time at Dodger Stadium this year than I ever thought I would. [MM: It’s not a bad thing, though.] No, it’s not. As a kid growing up, playing baseball and growing up playing hockey, this the best that we could possibly get. I’m sure there are many of our players and many of our fans who are exactly the same way.”

On questions people are asking back at the office:

“The biggest question is whether people think the setting can hold up for the event.  I think the average temperature in January after five o’clock is 48-degrees in Los Angeles. That’s better than in Staples Center. It’ll be a beautiful setting. We’re excited for it.”

RELATED CONTENT:

Doughty and Penner bring the jokes to outdoor game presser

Jeff Carter excited, but cautious, about outdoor game at Dodger Stadium

Tidbits from Carcillo, Carter and Greene at Dodger game

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Comments

  1. I sure hope some tickets become available to the public! That’s one game I will for sure make it out to LA for this season!

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  1. […] Round, Star Power:Let’s examine who each organization sent to represent them at the Stadium Series press conference.Kings:Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter, Rob Blake, Luc Robitaille…aaaaaaand…the Crypt […]