LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Kings will officially retire Luc Robitaille's jersey No. 20 in a special pre-game ceremony on January 20, 2007, when the Kings host the Phoenix Coyotes at STAPLES Center, the club announced today. Robitaille will join Rogie Vachon, Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor and Wayne Gretzky as the only Kings players to have their jersey retired, and Robitaille will also be inducted into the Kings Hall of Fame as part of the evening's festivities.
"Having your sweater retired by your team is an incredible honor," said Robitaille. "When I first came to L.A. more than 20 years ago, I never would have imagined this happening. To have my name up on the wall at STAPLES Center alongside true greats like Marcel Dionne, Rogie Vachon, Wayne Gretzky and Dave Taylor, and to see the wonderful basketball names like Jerry West, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar up there as well, is truly overwhelming. I have always said that the Kings are my team.
This honor means so much to myself and my family, and I am very honored and humbled indeed."
"Luc's commitment to the game of hockey and to his community here, especially the kids, is total and unique, and the relationship he has with hockey fans in L.A. is unlike any other athlete/fan relationship I have ever seen," said Kings Governor Tim Leiweke. "On the ice, Luc honored the game every day and he honored the jersey every minute. In
Los Angeles, I do not think any other athlete has made the impact Luc has. He is a class act, a true legend and with the official retirement of his jersey, he will truly be a part of the L.A. Kings family forever."
"It is an honor and a privilege for me to help announce this special honor being extended to an elite player and consummate professional in the person of Luc Robitaille," said Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi. "Luc was a gifted goal scorer who defied the odds to rise to the heights of his chosen profession. His example as a player transcends hockey. From a long shot, late-round draft pick, to a future member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Luc is an inspiration for anyone who chooses to follow in his path in this great game." "Luc's passion for Los Angeles, the Kings and their fans was matched only by his determination to excel at our game," said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. "The retirement of his jersey will forever remind Kings players and fans of the lofty levels at which he conducted himself."
Robitaille, 40, is the highest scoring left wing in NHL history, the all-time Kings leader in goals scored and a future member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He recently completed his 19th NHL season and his 14th with the Kings, officially retiring as a player following his last contest on April 17 at San Jose.