Former LA King and current Kings President of Business Operations, Luc Robitaille, joined us on the morning of the Kings’ first home game in the Stanley Cup Finals to talk about their amazing journey to the cup for the first time since the early ’90s, plus all the crazy player superstitions and what it’s like winning the Cup.
If there’s one thing that’s been consistent in Kings hockey, it’s been the loyal fan base of the fans. Luc tells us that fans have been sticking by the Kings since the ’60s, and are just waiting for the time they finally clinch that Cup title.
“If you’re working in hockey getting in the finals – there’s nothing better. The only thing better is winning it!” said Luc. “We’ve had fans since 1967…a couple of people have come up to me and said ‘Please, Luc, get me a Stanley Cup before I die.'”
He explains that since the Kings have made it into the finals, the buzz around the city has grown tremendously and fans are excited for this young team to advance in the finals. Despite not having the best overall playing season, Luc says the team always had their eye on the Stanley Cup in mind.
“We always felt we had a really good team, somehow they just couldn’t perform this year,” explained Luc. “But for us the goal was to get into the Stanley Cup Final and then try to win it once there.”
But the players won’t be getting a sneak peek of the Cup before the winner is crowned. Hockey players are notorious for their rituals and touching the over 100-year-old trophy before winning is a big no-no.
“Hockey players are very superstitious and I would say most of us feel that you don’t touch it until you earned it,” says Luc. “It is the greatest trophy in sports, but as a player, you really feel you can only touch it when you win it.”
Once winning the trophy, though, that’s when all the fun starts. Having won a Stanley Cup title with the Detroit Red Wings in the 2001-02 season, Luc tells us that every player gets the Stanley Cup in their possession for a day or two to do whatever they please.
Guards in white gloves fly the Cup out to players around the world and keeps close watch so that nothing too crazy happens to it. Boy, if only that Cup could talk…it has seen some things.
“Trust me, it has been places that I think most of us don’t want to know. It’s been in pools, it’s probably been in every bar in every city of guys who’ve won, it’s been everywhere,” said Luc.
And probably then some.
Luc also talks about some of the weird rituals and superstitions hockey players have before hitting the ice every game. Every player does his own thing before a game, but will consistently do the same ritual every single time.
“Whether it’s a high five before, whether he shoots first in the warm up or shoots second or third…they know everything and it’s always the same thing,” says Luc. “It’s pretty amazing.”
Some of the other bizarre rituals we’ve heard about are players wearing the same pair of underwear each game (hopefully washed…) or putting on the left sock first and it could go even crazier.
Personally for Luc, since he was a left-wing, he put his belongings on the left and even drove a certain way to the rink, but in his mind he “believed it worked.”
So what will it take to make Kings hockey as big as the LA Lakers? Luc explains that the key in this city to become a huge sports franchise is that you have to be consistent and you have to win championships.
And this might just be the year. We believe in the Kings!
Luc Robitaille interview part 1: Talks about Kings’ season and making it into the Stanley Cup Finals.
Luc Robitaille interview part 2: Talks about the crazy places the Stanley Cup has been and the reason behind growing playoff beards. Plus, Luc talks about his stepson being Steve McQueen’s grandson.
Luc Robitaille interview part 3: Talks about the weird player superstitions and what his personal rituals were before each game. Plus he tells us how we can make Kings hockey as big as the Lakers.