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Luc Robitaille: Misc

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Ice Hockey

Up to date as of February 02, 2010

An Ice Hockey Wiki article.

Position Left Wing
Shot Left
Height
Weight
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
204 lb (93 kg)
Teams Los Angeles Kings (19861994)
Pittsburgh Penguins (1995)
New York Rangers (19951997)
Los Angeles Kings (19972001)
Detroit Red Wings (20012003)
Los Angeles Kings (20032006)
Nationality Canadian
Born February 2, 1966,
Montreal, QC, CAN
NHL Draft 171st overall, 1984
Los Angeles Kings
Pro Career 1986 – 2006

Luc Robitaille (born February 17, 1966) is a retired Canadian professional player. During his 19-season National Hockey League (NHL) career, Robitaille won a Stanley Cup in 2001–02 with the Detroit Red Wings, and played for the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers, but is most known for his fourteen seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. Robitaille retired after the 2005–06 season as the highest-scoring left winger in NHL history and the holder of several Kings franchise records, as well as numerous Kings playoff records.

Contents

Junior hockey career

Robitaille was drafted by the Kings in the ninth round (171st overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. Many hockey experts expected Robitaille to be drafted late in the draft due to his poor skating ability. Robitaille played junior hockey for the Hull Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In three seasons with the Olympiques from 1983 to 1986, Robitaille amassed 155 goals and 269 assists, for 424 points in only 197 games. He won the CHL Player of the Year and scored 191 points in 1985–86. In his honor, because of his efforts, the QMJHL created the Luc Robitaille Trophy, awarded to the team which scores the most goals each season.

National Hockey League career

Robitaille made it to the NHL in 1986, helping the Kings make the playoffs, despite having a 31-41-8 record. Robitaille scored 45 goals and had 39 assists in 79 games, earning him the Calder Memorial Trophy, the only Los Angeles player ever to do so. He also earned a spot on the Second All-Star team. Robitaille scored more than 40 goals in each of his first eight seasons, including three 50 or more goal seasons, with a career-high 63 in 1992–93. That year the Kings made it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the only time in the franchise's history, but would eventually lose to the Montreal Canadiens in five games. In 1992–93, Robitaille set league records for most goals and points (125) in a season by a left winger. Robitaille also amassed 9 goals and 13 assists during his 24 games in the playoffs. Robitaille's 63-goal record amongst left wingers was later eclipsed by Alexander Ovechkin during the 2007–08 season, although he still holds the record for most points in a season by a left winger.

After the 1993–94 season, the Kings decided to cut ties with Robitaille. He was traded on July 29, 1994 to the Pittsburgh Penguins, in exchange for Rick Tocchet and the Penguins’ 2nd round draft pick in 1995 (Pavel Rosa).There, Robitaille set then-career lows in goals and assists during the strike-shortened 1994–95 season. After one season, Robitaille was traded to the New York Rangers with Ulf Samuelsson in exchange for Petr Nedvěd and Sergei Zubov. Robitaille had below-average numbers in two seasons with the Rangers, and for the first time in his career, had more penalty minutes (80) than points (69) in 1995–96. On August 28, 1997, in new-General Manager Dave Taylor's first move, the Kings re-acquired Robitaille from the Rangers in exchange for Kevin Stevens.

Robitaille struggled in his first season back in Los Angeles, scoring only 16 goals in an injury-shortened 1997–98 season. Robitaille returned to his All-Star form, scoring no fewer than 36 goals and had the best stats of his career after his first stint with the Kings during those three seasons. On January 7, 1999, Robitaille scored his 500th career goal in a 4-2 victory at the Great Western Forum against the Buffalo Sabres.

During the 2000–01 playoffs, Robitaille helped the seventh-seed Kings to a first round upset of the Detroit Red Wings. But after a seven-game series loss to the Colorado Avalanche in the conference semifinals in 2001, Robitaille decided to seek a better opportunity for a Stanley Cup championship. Robitaille would sign with the Red Wings in the offseason.

With the Red Wings, Robitaille scored 30 goals and 50 points, helping them win the Presidents' Trophy, awarded to the team with the best regular season record. Robitaille scored only four goals in the postseason, but was a major part in the Red Wings run in the playoffs. The Red Wings defeated the Avalanche in the Western Conference Finals in seven games, meaning that Robitaille was going to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in his career. With the Red Wings’ 3-1 victory in Game 5 against the Carolina Hurricanes, Robitaille’s quest for an elusive Stanley Cup Championship finally came to an end.

After the lowest goal total in his career in 2002–03, Robitaille decided to end his career with one final stint with the Kings. Robitaille had mediocre numbers for a team in the rebuilding process. On March 9, 2004, Robitaille scored the 650th goal of his professional career in a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center. He played his 1,000th game as a King a few days later, on March 13, 2004, in a 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion at San Jose.

On January 19, 2006, during a game against the Atlanta Thrashers, Robitaille scored a hat-trick, tying and passing Marcel Dionne’s then-franchise record of 550 goals. His record-breaking goal was met with several minutes of standing ovations and a video-congratulation reel on the scoreboard. On April 10, the Kings announced Robitaille's intention to retire at the conclusion of the 2005–06 NHL season. Robitaille officially confirmed this the next day in a press conference held at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.

Luc Robitaille played his final NHL home game as a Los Angeles King against the Calgary Flames on April 15, 2006. He also wore the captain's "C" that normally belonged to Mattias Norström. Although he was held without a point in the game, he logged 18:37 of ice time, and had 4 shots on goal. He was also the second shooter in the shootout, but his shot towards the upper-right corner of the net was stopped by the glove of goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, despite being given an open five hole. The Kings went on to win the game 2-1 off of a shootout goal by Pavol Demitra, and three shootout saves by the Kings' Jason LaBarbera. The Kings held a curtain call for Robitaille after the game, where he was given a standing ovation by the sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans in attendance. After chants of his name died down, he gave a short speech and did one final lap of the rink at Staples Center.

Luc Robitaille finished his playing career on April 17, 2006 at the HP Pavilion in a game against the San Jose Sharks. The Kings won this game 4-0, with Jason LaBarbera earning the shutout. He received applause and chants of his name throughout the night by the 17,496 fans in attendance, as well as good wishes from many of the opposing players of the Sharks. After the game ended, the Kings players came out and gathered around him first, rather than the traditional congratulation of the goaltender. The players of the Sharks team then came onto the ice to shake hands with Robitaille before they headed off into their locker room.

At the end of his legendary career, Robitaille had made eight All-Star teams, set the NHL record for goals by a left wingers (with 668) and points (with 1394), as well the Kings’ franchise record for goals, with 577, finished second to Dave Taylor in games played, fourth (behind Marcel Dionne, Wayne Gretzky, and Taylor) in assists with 726, second behind John Bucyk’s NHL record, and second to Dionne in points, with 1,154.

Robitaille also became the second player in NHL history to record 1,000 points after being as drafted as low as the ninth round. The Kings honored his playing career by retiring his number during a pre-game ceremony on January 20, 2007. Robitaille’s number 20 hangs in the rafters of Staples Center alongside Rogatien Vachon, Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor, and Wayne Gretzky.

Awards

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1983–84 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 70 32 53 85 48 - - - - -
1984–85 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 64 55 94 149 115 5 4 2 6 27
1985–86 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 63 68 123 191 91 15 17 27 44 28
1986–87 Los Angeles Kings NHL 79 45 39 84 28 5 1 4 5 2
1987–88 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 53 58 111 82 5 2 5 7 18
1988–89 Los Angeles Kings NHL 78 46 52 98 65 11 2 6 8 10
1989–90 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 52 49 101 38 10 5 5 10 12
1990–91 Los Angeles Kings NHL 76 45 46 91 68 12 12 4 16 22
1991–92 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 44 63 107 95 6 3 4 7 12
1992–93 Los Angeles Kings NHL 84 63 62 125 100 24 9 13 22 28
1993–94 Los Angeles Kings NHL 83 44 42 86 86 - - - - -
1994–95 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 46 23 19 42 37 12 7 4 11 26
1995–96 New York Rangers NHL 77 23 46 69 80 11 1 5 6 8
1996–97 New York Rangers NHL 69 24 24 48 48 15 4 7 11 4
1997–98 Los Angeles Kings NHL 57 16 24 40 66 4 1 2 3 6
1998–99 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 39 35 74 54 - - - - -
1999–00 Los Angeles Kings NHL 71 36 38 74 68 4 2 2 4 6
2000–01 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 37 51 88 66 13 4 3 7 10
2001–02 Detroit Red Wings NHL 81 30 20 50 38 23 4 5 9 10
2002–03 Detroit Red Wings NHL 81 11 20 31 50 4 1 0 1 0
2003–04 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 22 29 51 56 - - - - -
2005–06 Los Angeles Kings NHL 65 15 9 24 52 - - - - -
QMJHL totals 197 155 270 424 256 20 21 29 50 55
NHL totals 1431 668 726 1394 1177 159 58 69 127 174

International play

Played for Canada in:

External links

  • Luc Robitaille's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
Preceded by
Dan Hodgson
CHL Player of the Year
1986
Succeeded by
Rob Brown
Preceded by
Gary Suter
Winner of the Calder Trophy
1987
Succeeded by
Joe Nieuwendyk
Preceded by
Wayne Gretzky
Los Angeles Kings captains
1992–93
Succeeded by
Wayne Gretzky

Note: Robitaille served as Kings captain during the first half of the 1992–93 season, while Gretzky was injured.

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Luc Robitaille. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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This article uses material from the "Luc Robitaille" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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