Luc Robitaille, coming off a season that produced a career low eleven goals, has returned to his first NHL team, the Los Angeles Kings. He signed a one-year contract with the team that will give him the opportunity to finish his playing career with the team he started.
Robitaille is the highest scoring left wing in hockey history, with 631 goals – surpassing Bobby Hull’s 610 - and holds the record for most goals by a left wing in a season with 63 – surpassing Steve Shutt’s 60 – a feat he was able to accomplish during the 1992-93 season with the same Los Angeles Kings.
The man known as “Lucky” Luc is an eight time All-Star and the league’s Calder Trophy winner as the rookie of the year. When he hangs up his skates he is certain to be called to the Hockey Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible.
Why is signing a player who is nearing the end of his career and coming off career low scoring totals a good idea? Well, if you are the Kings it is an excellent move for two very big reasons.
Robitaille is still able to put the puck in the net and he will provide much needed leadership for the LA line up. This is the business side of the move. It also shows the Kings have class by signing a player that gave the team his best years. This is the side of the game you don’t see as often: the human side.
The team has proven scoring with the likes of Palffy, Stumpel and Deadmarsh and a good defensive core with players such as Modry and Visnovsky, but probably their best off-season move was solidifying their goaltending by picking up Cechmanek from the Flyers as well as the recent addition of Milan Hnilicka. Since Robitaille is nowhere near finished when it comes to his playing abilities and this combined with his leadership help, the Kings should surprise many hockey fans this season.