Luc Robitaille is not from LA, but he has been an enduring face of the oft out of place sport of hockey in Los Angeles since 1986. Robitaille played for the Penguins, Rangers and Red Wings as well, where he won his first Stanley Cup, for 5 of his 19 NHL seasons. He won his second Cup this year, in his fourth stint with the Kings organization, only this time in the front office and not on the ice. And to be clear, Robitaille IS the front office for the Stanley Cup champs, and why he clocks in at number 10 on our countdown.
Luc Robitaille has a big hand in every part of the Kings organization. Robitaille is not the general manager, while he is surely qualified for the position. He is the Kings President, Business Operations, one of the main franchises of the AEG sports and entertainment properties.
Being the President of Kings is an unusual governmental structure without a lot of data supporting its success, yet all parties couldn’t be happier about his involvement.
His hockey acumen speaks for itself. The Hall of Famer is the Kings franchise leading scorer with 668, the most career goals amongst left wingers ever, and 10th on the NHL All-Time scoring list.
It gives tremendous confidence to fans that the person running the business end of the team both understands the goals of the team on the ice and how to get there as he is an all-time great player, and has so much cache in the city because he earned that credibility in THIS city.
The general manager’s office, scouts, coaching staff, and players have confidence knowing their business ball and chain understands the motives and constraints of on and off the ice personnel decisions.
And the guys at AEG handpicked Robitaille for the job. After his retirement he went straight upstairs, and was taken under the wing of business personnel as the King’s Assistant to the Governor. Then they gave him the keys to the castle and it has hasn’t been stormed on his watch.
Luuuuucccc has done such a good job as well, that he not only is the Kings President, Business Operations, but it is rumored that he is now in the same position with the LA Galaxy. Yes, that Canadian boy from Montreal is now running two professional sports franchises—quite well too. The Galaxy after a horrific start, are back in the playoffs to defend their MLS Cup title, and the Kings of course haven’t had the opportunity to defend it yet, but are Stanley Cup champions.
The ongoing NHL lockout is a huge disappointment to the Kings who stood to gain the most of any of the NHL franchises this season building on their Stanley Cup victory. All aspects of the Kings business operations were sure to improve, and if the Kings players haven’t lost all their momentum from last spring, the Kings business end certainly could have. But with an innovative communications and digital media department changing the ice for sports media, the Kings will be able to cope better than most. We haven’t forgot we are Stanley Cup champs.
With the recent departure of Chris McGowan as the COO of AEG sports, Robitaille track record would certainly put him in the running for the position if he wanted tackle the challenge. But Kings fans want Robitaille right where he is, holding the keys to the castle.