Wednesday, January 7, 2015

1999-00 Los Angeles Kings Luc Robitaille Jersey

Luc Robitaille was not drafted by the Los Angeles Kings until the ninth round, 171st overall in 1984, five rounds and 102 picks after the Kings drafted eventual baseball Hall of Famer Tom Glavine, mainly due to concerns about Robitaille's skating ability.

Still, Robitaille dominated in junior hockey while playing for the Hull Olympiques, scoring 149 points in 64 games in 1984-85 and was then named Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year following the 1985-86 season in which he scored 68 goals and 123 assists for 191 points in just 63 games, an average of over three points per game!

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Robitaille with the Hull Olympiques

He was impressive in his rookie season in Los Angeles in the 1986-87 season, averaging over a point per game with 84 points from 45 goals and 39 assists in 79 games. His accomplishments were recognized when he was named the winner of the Calder Trophy. The following season he would reach the 50 goal plateau for the first time, with 53, and surpass 100 points as well, finishing with 111.

Robitaille Kings rookie photo RobitailleKingsrookie.jpg
Robitalle won the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year in 1987

After four more very consistent seasons with at least 44 goals and 91 points, he would have his career best season in 1992-93 with 63 goals and 125 points, as well as his only 100 penalty minute season as the Kings would reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history. During the playoffs, Robitaille would add 22 more points in 24 games.

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Robitallie had a career high of 125 points in 1992-93

After one more season with the Kings, Robitaille was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the strike shortened 1994-95 season. His stay in Pittsburgh was brief, and he was moved to the New York Rangers where he would play for the following two seasons.

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Robitalle spent time with both Pittsburgh and the Rangers

Another trade saw Robitaille back with the Kings for the second time. Injuries would limit Robitaille in the 1997-98 season but he would return to play a full season of 82 games in 1998-99, which included scoring his 500th goal on this date in 1999. The return to familiar surroundings in Los Angeles would see a resurgence in his scoring, as he would put up consecutive season's of 74, 74 and 88 points, his highest totals since 1994 which included his 500th goal while a member of the Kings in 2000-01.

Robitaille Kings 99-00 photo RobitailleKings99-00.jpg
Robitaille during the 1999-00 season when
he scored his 500th goal

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The puck Robitaille used to score his 500th goal
Photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

He would sign a two-year free agent contract with the Detroit Red Wings for the 2001-02 season at a lower amount than he could have made elsewhere, but calculated that Detroit offered him the best chance to finally win the Stanley Cup, which in fact happened at the end of his first season with the Red Wings in which he contributed 30 goals and 50 points.

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Robitaille hoisting the Stanley Cup in 2002

After his second season in Detroit, Robitaille would once again return to the Kings to close out his career. In 2003-04 he would play in his 1000th game in a King's uniform. During his final season of 2005-06 he would score a hat trick on January 19th to pass Marcel Dionne's franchise record as the leading goal scorer with 550.

Robitaille wore many different Kings jerseys, the purple and gold jerseys of his rookie season, the black, white and silver jerseys adopted upon Wayne Gretzky's arrival in 1988, which were worn until his return to the Kings in 1997-98. The Kings adopted their newest look in 1998-99 with black, white and purple jerseys with metallic silver with a purple alternated arriving in 1999-00. By the time he returned to Los Angeles for the third time, the Kings had swapped colors and logos on primary and alternate jerseys, giving Robitaille a final total of ten different Kings jerseys. He would be the only Kings player to have worn both the original purple and gold colors and the new purple and black jerseys.

Robitaille would conclude his career with 668 goals, an NHL record for left wings, 726 assists and 1394 points, only the second player in NHL history to record 1,000 points after being drafted as low as the ninth round.

His number 20 was retired by the Kings in 2007 and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

Robitaille Stanley Cup 2014 photo RobitailleStanleyCup2014.jpg
Robitaille has been able to lift the cup in 2012 and 2014
as a member of Kings management

Today's featured jersey is a 1999-00 Los Angeles Kings Luc Robitaille jersey as worn during the season in which he scored his 500th NHL goal as evidenced by the NHL 2000 patch worn by all the players during that season.

The Kings adopted this new set of jerseys during the 1998-99 season, adding a purple alternate to the set the following year, which featured their secondary crown logo as the main crest.

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Photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2003-04 Los Angeles Kings Luc Robitaille jersey as worn during his third stint with the Kings. By the time Robitaille returned to the Kings in 2003, a major revision had taken place with their jersey set, with all the logos being flipped, making the crown the main logo on the black home and white road jerseys, while the purple alternate now featured the coat of arms with corresponding changes to the secondary logos.

Los Angeles Kings 2003-04 jersey photo LosAngelesKings2003-04jersey.jpg
Photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Plenty of video options today. Too many perhaps. Here's the best of the bunch.

First up, Robitaille recalls his 500th goal.

Next up is a tribute video and interview with Robitaille on the occasion of his final game.

Here is Robitaille's acting skills are on display in this TV commercial from 2003 when he was with Detroit.

Finally, Robitaille's Hockey Hall of Fame induction speech from 2009.

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