Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part One

The following is an updated story written for the Online Kingdom back on April 14, 2006, a few days after Los Angeles Kings left wing Luc Robitaille announced his retirement as a player. It is being re-published in honor of Robitaille’s induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 9, 2009. To read part two, click on Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part Two.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — Back on April 3, 1995, the night that all-time Los Angeles Kings great Dave Taylor had his jersey number 18 retired by the club, this reporter wrote that he was the King of Kings, earning that right above other all-time Kings’ greats such as Marcel Dionne, Rogie Vachon and Wayne Gretzky.

“No Kings’ player had ever measured up to Taylor when it came to heart, the desire to excel and win and the ability and willingness to go into the corners and sacrifice his body for his team,” I wrote. “No other Kings’ player has ever come close to Taylor as far as leadership—on the ice and off—is concerned, [and] no Kings’ player has ever matched his relentless work ethic, his dedication to his team, the game of hockey and his community.”

To be sure, Taylor had earned the right to wear the crown as the King of Kings, and was a great standard bearer for the organization, both on and off the ice. But on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, the day that Kings all-time great left wing Luc Robitaille announced at a press conference that he would retire at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season, Taylor immediately abdicated the crown because his reign is over. Robitaille now wears the crown as new Kings of Kings. Read more of this post

LA Kings HockeyFest 09: Fan Favorite Hrudey Celebrates His Time With The Kings

Former LA Kings goalie Kelly Hrudey shares his experiences with the crowd in the Nokia Theatre at LA Live during  HockeyFest 09. Photo courtesy Thomas LaRocca/LAKings.com

Former LA Kings goalie Kelly Hrudey shares his experiences with the crowd in the Nokia Theatre at LA Live during HockeyFest 09.
Photo: Thomas LaRocca/LAKings.com

LOS ANGELES — Last weekend, as part of their first annual HockeyFest 09, the Los Angeles Kings brought back some of their alumni to join in the celebration.

Indeed, fans got to meet and listen to Kings from days long past. They were delighted to see the famed Triple Crown Line of Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor reunited in a hockey setting here in Los Angeles for the first time in 25 years.

Bernie Nicholls. Gene Carr. Ray Ferraro. Stu Grimson. Bob Berry. Gary Edwards. Glen Murray. Those were just some of the alumni from all the different eras of Los Angeles Kings hockey who gathered at the Nokia Theatre at LA Live to celebrate all things hockey with Los Angeles hockey fans.

Another familiar name was Kelly Hrudey, who became the Kings number one goaltender after being acquired from the New York Islanders on February 22, 1989, in exchange for Mark Fitzpatrick, Wayne McBean and future considerations (Doug Crossman). Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings HockeyFest 2009 Opens

LOS ANGELES — The dreaded lull is coming to an end.

For hockey fans, the period immediately following the July 1 unrestricted free agent signing spree through the opening of National Hockey League team training camps is usually so slow in terms of news that desperate hockey fans will eat up just about anything that’s published or broadcast, no matter how ridiculous, outlandish or just downright phony it might be.

Logo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

Thankfully, we are now about one week away from the opening of rookie camps across the league, with training camps opening a week later.

Here in the Los Angeles area, hockey fans are getting a head start on ending the dreaded lull.

For all of you Los Angeles Kings fans out there, unless you’ve been marooned on a deserted island, stuck in the middle of the Sahara Desert, on a long backpack trip through a wilderness area, or just taking a vacation from all things hockey, you have certainly seen and heard the total media blitz (television commercials, radio spots, Kings officials talking it up on radio interviews, newspaper and web stories) about the Los Angeles Kings HockeyFest 2009. Read more of this post

Lombardi Talks About Goaltending, Top Defenseman Prospects

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – PART 2: After taking New Year’s Day off, Frozen Royalty is back with more from an exclusive interview with Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi. In this installment, Lombardi focuses on his team’s future in goal and two of his top defenseman prospects. Check back on Tuesday, January 6 for Part 3 of this series and if you missed Part 1, check out Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi Excited About Defense.


LOS ANGELES — Throughout the over forty-year history of the Los Angeles Kings, goaltending has arguably been their biggest Achilles Heel.

The only Kings goaltender who could be considered to be in the truly elite category was Rogie Vachon, who backstopped the Kings from 1971-72 to 1977-78, winning many games all by himself while playing on mostly horrid teams. Indeed, Vachon was so good that it is a heinous crime that he still has not been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Sure, the Kings got stretches of solid goaltending from the likes of Mario Lessard, Kelly Hrudey and for a little more than one season, Felix Potvin. But outside of that, Kings goaltenders have been mediocre at best, and they often fell far short of that mark.

Much to the dismay of the Kings and their fans, in recent seasons, their goaltending woes have continued, but that might be changing sooner rather than later. Read more of this post

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