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Luc Robitaille

From "Too Slow" To NHL Hall Of Fame


In this episode

Welcome to another episode of In Search for Excellence! My guest today is my good friend Luc Robitaille! Luc is an NHL Hall of Famer who as a 19-year-old teenager went from being drafted in the 9th round (171st overall) to becoming the highest-scoring left winger in NHL history, with 668 goals over his 19-season career.

In his first year in the league, Luc won the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year and then went on to become the only left wing in NHL history to record 8 consecutive 40-goal seasons. Luc played 8 all-star games, won a Stanley Cup as a player with the awesome Detroit Red Wings in 2002, and two more Stanley Cups as an executive with the Los Angeles Kings. He is giving back to his community through his Echoes of Hope Foundation.

Time stamps:

01:23 Luc Robitaille’s family and background

  • He had a great life but not a lot of money
  • Worked at his dad’s scrap yard
  • The value of manual labor

07:44 Earliest memories playing hockey

  • A tennis ball was gold
  • Made their own equipment for hockey
  • His first memory holding a stick

11:13 The difference from other kids

  • Practicing all the time to be better
  • His mentality was all about hard work
  • Sense of a game is hard to teach

14:57 Goals, dreams, and hard work

  • Wanted to play Junior Major
  • That was what they could afford to watch
  • He was up at 4:30 am to go to practice
  • No one needed to ever push him for the next practice

19:50 Getting into the World Junior Championship

  • Only 40 players were invited to make the team
  • He wasn’t called
  • One of the players got injured and he got in
  • That changed his life permanently

22:35 Getting drafted by the LA Kings

  • NHL draft
  • Projected to be a late-round draft pick
  • The scouts said he was too small, didn't skate well, lacked hand-eye coordination
  • He became the 171st pick
  • The story about the draft and the pin

29:38 Moving to LA

  • He wanted to focus on playing hockey only
  • Stayed in the boarding house with Marcel Dionne
  • Did nothing except training
  • The nickname Lucky

35:18 The first game

  • Wanted to be a part of making the LA Kings great
  • Recalling the first game experience
  • The excitement of his first score

39:17 The Rookie of the Year

  • How did it feel to receive the award?
  • Didn’t think he was going to win
  • He was overwhelmed but moved on

41:18 A special bond with Jimmy Carson

  • Jimmy came from a different background
  • They had a special bond and practiced all the time
  • The secret signal helped them score 15-20 goals
  • Staying in the middle of the bench

45:30 Playing with Wayne Gretzky

  • As a kid, he admired Wayne Gretzky
  • Wanted to impress him more than to win
  • When he came to the Kings, it was hard because he was his hero
  • The coach took him from Wayne’s line because he was distracted

Sandee | Bliss: Beaches

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