In this morning’s Western Conference Morning Papers, Helene Elliot of the L.A. Times has a great piece on Los Angeles favorite Luc Robitaille:
Robitaille was the heart of the Kings through good times and bad, for 14 of his 19 NHL seasons. From the day they drafted him as a throwaway, ninth-round pick in 1984 until he retired 3 1/2 years ago, he personified everything good about this game and the undying power of hope backed by tireless effort.
Instead of listening to the skeptics who said — with reason — that he was too slow to play in the NHL, he clung to the hope that practice and workouts would bring to his legs the vigor his mind already possessed. He chose to believe the one scout who saw something in him, the late Alex Smart.
Read the entire article here.
Was there a better guy in the NHL history than Luc Robitaille? That is what the NHL is all about. His work ethic, dedication and respect for the game exemplify what it means to be a hockey players.
That is part of the bigger theme this weekend. Steve Yzerman, Luc Robitaille, Brian Leetch and Brett Hull are all great examples of humility. Yzerman is the epitome of a class act and always held the game above himself. The manner which Robitaille carried himself on and off the ice is the reason he was, and still is, so loved by fans of hockey. Leetch was a quiet, understated defenseman who never put himself before his team and demonstrated great loyalty to his teammates and organization throughout his career. And for all of Brett Hull’s outspokenness and honesty, no one appreciated the chances he’s had and the game itself more than the Golden Brett.
This class of players was a tremdendously talented group on the ice but it was the way they carried themselves off the ice and the respect for the game they demonstrated day-to-day that makes this group so special.