Continuing with the recent posts about Red Wings in this year's class of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Luc Robitaille was inducted with fellow Red Wings Brett Hull and Steve Yzerman. Robitaille's two years in Detroit were the least among the three former players inducted but that does not say he had a small impact on the club.
When scoring 668 career goals and adding 726 assists, "luck" has nothing to do with it despite what his nickname may suggest. His 668 career goals are the most all-time for any left winger and 10th all time. Robitaille made the All-Star team 8 times, quite incredible for a guy drafted in the 9th round (171st overall) in 1984.
During his rookie year, in which he played 79 games, Luc scored 45 goals and tallied 39 assists. That blazing first season with the Kings earned him the Calder Trophy for top rookie, the only King to ever win it. Robitaille scored 40 or more goals during each of his first eight seasons in the NHL, all with the Los Angeles Kings.
In all, Robitaille played 14 seasons with the Kings, one strike-shortened year with the Penguins, two years with the Rangers, and two with the Red Wings. Both seasons in Detroit, Luc played in 81 games and scored 30 goals in the 2001-2002 campaign. In that 2001-2002 season, Luc won his first and only Stanley Cup, posting 4 goals and 5 assists in the playoffs. Robitaille was a seasoned veteran at this point, playing in his 16th season in the league and finally getting the opportunity to do what all hockey players dream of since childhood. Luc was third to skate the Cup around Joe Louis following Steve Yzerman and Dominik Hasek.
His final year in Detroit was his least productive in his professional career, buried in the emerging All-Star depth of the Red Wings youth.
After two years in Detroit, Luc spent the remaining two seasons of his career back with the team that he had made a name with in Los Angeles. Luc scored 37 goals in those two years and
Robitaille's number 20 hangs from the rafters of the Staples Center for his service to the Kings. Known mainly for his time in Los Angeles, Luc will always be remembered for what he brought to the Red Wings during his stay.