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

Kings Of the Podcast Ep. 12 – with Gasper Kopitar

Your wait is over!
Kings of the Podcast, Episode 12 includes…
– Interview with Gasper Kopitar (talking ManchVegas, scouting, insight galore)
– Full story behind a recent chat with Chris Sutter
– Notes on plans for Nikolai Prokhorkin and Matt Luff
– Injury updates on Gabe Vilardi and Derek Forbort
– Ron Hextall’s role with The […]

Timeline: The Ilya Kovalchuk Situation on Tuesday

So, there you were, going about your day on Tuesday. Not much was happening in the SoCal hockey world, things were lining up for what should have been a sleepy, mid-week game between the Kings and visiting Minnesota Wild. Not so fast, though. Like tectonic plates shifting below the Los Angeles basin, a series of […]

TSN REPLAY: Hoven on Kings Trade Options, Oilers, and Ducks

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on TSN Radio, where he joined host Kevin Olszewski to discuss several topics surrounding the Pacific Division, including: Tyler Toffoli, Jonathan Quick, options/timing of LA Kings trades, the Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks, and much more.
Also be sure to check out the latest Kings […]

Major News Items

Kopitar Out, Can Watch His Son Against Arizona

Per recent tradition, it will be the Kings and Coyotes in a pair of split-squad games to open up preseason on Tuesday night. LA captain Anze Kopitar will not suit up, but he will get a chance to watch his son … [Read More...]

More Prospect News