Nothing Lucky About Luc's Hall Of Fame Invite

His goals were not pretty but Kings fans loved them. And him.

Luc Robitaille scored some of the ugliest garbage goals in the history of hockey. Picking up rebounds and sweeping them into the net, finding a loose puck and tapping it home.

And if you think that is lucky — especially to do it 668 times, more than any left wing in the history of the sport — you don’t know hockey. Those are goals you gut out by getting in position and being willing to get cross-checked in the lower back (and worse) and hold your ground until the puck floats your way.

That’s the kind of play that makes you a fan favorite. Which Robitaille was in Los Angeles — he may be the most beloved King of all time. He is no Gretzky or Dionne in terms of raw talent, but he made up for that with great hands and great will. He got his name engraved on the Stanley Cup in Detroit, then brought the trophy back to party in the South Bay. He loved LA. He loves the sport.

He earned that call from Toronto yesterday telling him he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame this November.

Robitaille wasn’t a great skater — he was slow and that was a key reason he was drafted way back in the ninth round. But he wanted to play in the NHL, he wanted it more than many of the people drafted ahead of him. He got what they didn’t.

He was always humble and personable; even as he passed Dionne for scoring the most goals in Kings history he thanked his predecessor. He is the kind of person who — while being one of the stars back when the Kings were nearly as big a stars as the Lakers — was kind to waitresses. Or fans who just stopped by to say hello. He built a hockey facility in the San Fernando Valley that is still one of the most used in the city.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if it was some beautiful deke and shot that scored the goal, or if it was ugly, determined work. It counts just the same on the scoreboard. Luc lit up the scoreboard at the Forum and Staples Center a lot. And it had nothing to do with luck.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us