15 Aug Luc Robitaille to get Staples Center statue tribute
We’ve covered news about statue commemorations of quite a few sporting legends in recent weeks and months here at Big Statues, and there always seems to be new announcements of custom made bronze statues like those that we make ourselves. Well, the latest man to be immortalized in such a way is none other than National Hockey League (NHL) great Luc Jean-Marie Robitaille.
Robitaille certainly made a momentous impact in his 19-season career in the NHL, winning the Stanley Cup in 2001-02 with the Detroit Red Wings, in addition to stints with the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers. However, he will always be most strongly associated with the Los Angeles Kings, for which he is presently President of business operations.
By the time of his retirement after the 2005-06 season, Robitaille was the highest-scoring left winger in NHL history, also holding numerous Kings franchise and playoff records. In 2009, he was also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. It shouldn’t be a big surprise, therefore, that he is to be the seventh Los Angeles sports icon to be given the honor of a statue at Staples Center’s Star Plaza.
Robitaille’s statue will be unveiled on March 7 prior to a Kings-Pittsburgh game next season, as part of the Kings Legends Night Series – which will also see tributes paid to Barry Melrose and Tony Granato. Melrose, the Kings’ head coach from 1992-95, will be honored on February 12 before a Kings-Calgary game, followed by another former Kings player over 380 games, Granato on February 24, ahead of a Kings-Detroit game.
The Kings will also mark these nights by donning vintage jerseys, the only time during the season that they will be worn, with attending fans being given commemorative posters. As for Robitaille, it takes a lot for someone to become only the second hockey player after Wayne Gretzky to be honored with a statue in Star Plaza.
Sure enough, the 48 year old Canadian has remarkable achievements to look back on, such as the more than 40 goals scored in each of his first eight seasons with the Kings, including a career-high 63 in 1992-93. 668 goals and 1,394 points over his career gave him the NHL record for both as a left winger, and he is the holder of the Kings’ franchise record for goals – 577 – as well.
As such big fans of custom made bronze statues, we eagerly await the statue’s unveiling here at Big Statues, and can only congratulate Robitaille on a career that has proved more than worthy of such an astonishing tribute.