Luc Robitaille helped the Kings reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993, and he won the Cup in 2002 as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. Now, as the president of business operations for the Kings, Robitaille is getting a new look at the Finals. He’s been walking around for a couple days with what seems to be a permanent smile, greeting media members and former teammates and opponents who have descended upon the New Jersey area.
It was Robitaille who, 19 years ago, exclaimed, “We’re going to the damn Finals!’’ into a Prime Ticket microphone after the Kings eliminated the Toronto Maple Leafs. Today, Robitaille talked about returning as a member of team management, and the different, but equal, feelings of excitement it brings.
ROBITAILLE: “I think it’s probably even more exciting, in a different way. When you’re a player, you’re excited to go, getting ready to play the game. There’s that rush. But I think now, watching the games and getting involved around them, I think I’m closer to seeing how many people are involved around it, and the excitement it brings to everyone. You’re more involved with the fans than ever, more involved with the staff that works around. So it’s pretty neat to kind of feel the vibe from everyone. I love that part of it.’’
Question: Because, as a player, your focus is probably so narrow on the games themselves…
ROBITAILLE: “You don’t even know, when you’re a player, that that many people work around the team and, you realize that there are fans who love the team, but you don’t realize there are people who literally have their basement decorated with all Kings stuff and things like that. You’re so focused on the game that you don’t realize what’s around. I know more now, and I think it’s pretty cool.’’