This week on Legends Of Sport we are releasing a Classic episode with a guest from our first season, LA Kings Hall of Famer and current team president, Luc Robitaille! One of the greatest left wingers of all time, Luc received the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1986-1987 as the NHL’s top rookie and nineteen years later, retired as the highest scoring left winger in NHL history. (His long-standing record was broken by Alex Ovechkin in 2022.) We revisit this Classic conversation of hockey history to celebrate the jersey retirement and statue dedication of fellow LA Kings icon, Dustin Brown, who joins Luc as one of seven Kings players to have their number retired by the franchise. Luc won two Stanley Cups as a team executive with Dustin as captain.
Hear Luc discuss his ninth-round draft selection and early scouting, Wayne Gretzky coming to LA, his (very few) on-ice fights, the Detroit “super team,” finally winning the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings, lessons Luc hopes to pass to young players, Jaromír Jágr’s legendary conditioning, bringing the Cup home to LA as an executive, the Echoes of Hope nonprofit which he co-founded with his wife Stacia and so much more! Original Air Date: September 10, 2018.
Other topics discussed in this episode
4:14 Luc’s thoughts on his early years with the Kings, including the sentimental gift he received from John Wolf (Assistant to the GM) on draft night and carpooling with Kings veteran Marcel Dionne to practice
10:37 Coming up in the Juniors program and what Kings scout Alex Smart saw in him
“(Years) later I’d asked him…he saw that I love the game and I was willing to do more than other people and that was a big thing…It was one time after a game, he asked to see me. And I remember he squeezed my arm and I was trying to show muscles…‘You got to keep working out.’ And another time we would play games on Sunday and games on Thursday at home. A few times during the year, we had a break and Mario (Lemieux) always played Monday night at home…I actually drove…me and my dad went to see Mario and he (Alex) saw me there and spoke to me…he must’ve thought, ‘this kid is nuts, he’s actually going to see other guys in his league.’ ”
15:25 Luc’s message to younger players on how to handle challenges
17:58 The impact of Wayne Gretzky’s trade to Los Angeles on the game and hockey culture
21:13 An injured Gretzky, being named team Captain and the Kings’ run to the 1993 Stanley Cup Final
28:45 Luc’s thoughts on hockey greats Jaromír Jágr and Chris Chelios
36:04 How Luc celebrated his Stanley Cup wins with the Detroit Red Wings and LA Kings
41:07 Luc as a front office executive – from his leadership philosophy to bringing a Stanley Cup to LA
“I feel fortunate I got to play for the Rangers and Detroit Red Wings, those were two of the premier organizations…where we treated players in a different way. They really are first class organizations. So I took a lot, I learned from these organizations and wanted to bring it back to the Kings. When my role was President of Business Operations, which was on the business side, I had a real plan in my mind to make a difference, like treat our players, our staff, our fans, the way they should be treated as a first class organization.”
48:43 Luc and his wife Stacia founded Echoes of Hope in 2007 to help at-risk and emancipated foster youth succeed
53:30 Luc’s financial and career advice for players
1:02:21 Where Luc ranks Team Canada’s thrilling sudden-victory shootout to capture the gold medal at the 1994 IIHF World Championship in his career
Join Luc and Andy on this Legends Of Sport Classic as they discuss hockey legends of a team and city that continues to make history every day.