NHL great Robitaille to hang up skates

LOS ANGELES -- Luc Robitaille, the highest scoring left wing
in NHL history, will retire at the end of the season, the
Los Angeles Kings said Monday.

Robitaille, the Kings' career leader in goals, will hold a news
conference Tuesday to discuss his decision.

"Tomorrow is the opportunity for the Kings and Luc Robitaille
to acknowledge his Hall of Fame-caliber career and give him an
opportunity to address his decision to retire from the game of
hockey," said Michael Altieri, the Kings' vice president of

Altieri declined further comment.

Robitaille, who turned 40 in February, has 15 goals and nine
assists in 62 games this season, his 19th in the NHL. He has 668
goals and 726 points for 1,394 points in 1,428 regular-season games
with the Kings, Pittsburgh, the New York Rangers and Detroit. His career goals and points totals are good for 10th and 19th all-time, respectively. In
159 playoff games, he has 58 goals and 69 assists. He helped
Detroit win the 2002 Stanley Cup.

"It came to a point after 19 years he felt it was time," said
Pat Brisson, Robitaille's agent. "Some mornings he wakes up and
says, 'Should I or should I not,' since he is so passionate for the

Robitaille has made a career of breaking records at his
position. He scored the most goals in a season for a left wing,
with 63 in 1992-1993. He is also the only one to record eight
straight seasons of at least 40 goals.

"He's going out on his own terms," Brisson said. "He is
walking out with his head up."

The native of Montreal played on Canada's gold-medal winning
team at the 1994 World Championship. Robitaille scored the winning
goal in a shootout, giving his country its first world title in 33

In January, the fan-favorite nicknamed "Lucky" broke the
Kings' franchise record for goals with a hat trick in a win over

"He's given this organization so much, and an identity,"
Brisson said. "The L.A. Kings logo is right next to Luc
Robitaille. His face is recognized in L.A. as being one of the best
athletes in this town."

Robitaille broke in with the Kings in 1986 and was the NHL
rookie of the year. He spent most of his career in Los Angeles
during three stints with the Kings. He returned to the team for the
2003-04 season and had 22 goals in 80 games.

"This is where I started my career and this is where I believe
I will end my career," Robitaille said in 2004. "This is where I
belong. This is my home."

But he was benched for four games in December by former coach
Andy Murray, who was fired last month. And then he was held out
again for three games last week by new coach John Torchetti.
Robitaille was back in the lineup Saturday against Anaheim.

"When he was scratched this year, he was extremely frustrated
and disappointed," Brisson said. "I don't know if he has it in
him to go through another year where it could be more and more like

The Kings, who are barely alive in the Western Conference
playoff race, have three regular-season games remaining starting
Thursday night in Phoenix. Brisson expects that Robitaille will
play in each contest.

"It's logical now," he said. "The Kings are almost
technically out of the playoffs anyway. They feel it's the right
thing to do to let him play."