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|• Robitaille was drafted in the ninth round (171st overall) in the 1984 draft. • He won the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 1987. • He is an eight-time All-Star. • He recorded eight straight 40-goal seasons, the third-longest streak in NHL history behind Wayne Gretzky (12) and Mike Bossy (nine). • He is the NHL's all-time goal-scoring leader among left wingers (668). • At the 1994 world championship, he scored the title-winning goal in a shootout to give Canada its first gold medal in 33 years. • On Jan. 20, he became the fifth player to have his number retired by the Kings (Rogie Vachon, Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor and Gretzky).|
A: [Pause] Not really. Of course, your first one is special, and any goal you score in the playoffs that was a game winner is always a big goal. Getting to 500 goals and passing Maurice Richard is still overwhelming to me. But really, just getting the chance to play in the NHL was special. Q: What is the proudest moment of your career? A: Winning the Stanley Cup. Nothing beats that. Q: You are the president and owner of the United States Hockey League's Omaha Lancers. Is this the first step toward owning an NHL team? A: I don't know about that. I am really just learning the business right now. It's the same principles in business, just add a couple of zeroes for the NHL [laughs]. I'm having a lot of fun doing it and I'm learning a lot.
|After the 2005-06 season, Robitaille retired as the NHL's all-time goal-scoring leader among left wingers (668).|
A: People don't know this, but LA has one of the best core group of fans in the league. Even this year, [the Kings] can be in last place, and they will still sell out almost every game. It's a great hockey city. We definitely had a boom during the Gretzky era and we've grown since then. Today, there are some players in the NHL who grew up in California. I think hockey is still growing here. The more rinks we build, the better it will be for the future. With a team like Anaheim doing well here, it is only helping. Q: You mention the Gretzky factor, but what about the Robitaille factor? Every Kings game, it seemed half the fans have your jersey on their backs. A: I think between the fans here and myself, we have always had a special connection. I think everybody feels like I kind of grew up here. I am like one of their adopted sons. Even when I played elsewhere, fans here always viewed me as an LA King, so I think that relationship between me and the fans here will always be that way. Q: What's the best part of being retired from the game? A: I get out of bed in the morning and nothing hurts [laughs]. Q: Yeah, but you were pretty healthy during your career. A: Trust me, there were a lot of days I played hurt. My kids can vouch for that, and so can my wife. It's kind of nice now to get out of bed and say, "Gee, this is fun to see how normal people live." Q: Who is going to win the Cup this year? A: [Pause] That's a tough one. There are three teams I really like -- Buffalo, San Jose and Anaheim. [Pause] If I had to pick one team, alright, I'll pick Anaheim. I like their defense and goaltending. Q: Who was the best coach you ever had? A: Scotty Bowman, and probably Barry Melrose. Q: Wow. Melrose is going to love to hear that. A: He was great. He was the best communicator I ever had and he was a real player's coach. Q: Now, why didn't you and the rest of the guys pin Barry down and cut off that mullet? A: We should have, but you guys at ESPN should do it now [laughs]. In those days, in the early 1990s, it wasn't bad. But now, the mullet is totally over with. Q: You have appeared on some TV shows like "Arliss" and "The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show," and in a couple of movies. Is your next career going to be in the movies? A: No. Never. I know my limits and I don't like acting and I don't want to be part of acting. So I can tell you, I will never be there. I didn't like all the hurry up and wait, and the shoots take forever. So I didn't like that rush.
|Robitaille says he and his wife, Stacia, have made their busy schedules work.|