The Kings knew Hall of Fame talent when they saw it — even if it was talent for another sport.
In 1984 they used their fourth-round pick and 69th overall in the entry draft to select a Massachusetts high school hockey player of some note — a center named Tom Glavine. He chose baseball instead and on Wednesday was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.
That same year, General Manager Rogie Vachon waited until the ninth round — 171st overall — to select a high-scoring but raw left wing named Luc Robitaille. After an exceptional career Robitaille was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
Now the Kings' president of business operations, Robitaille said Wednesday that he met Glavine in 2002 and took a photo with him and then-Dodgers pitcher Eric Gagne at Dodger Stadium. Robitaille had won the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings that season.
"He knows hockey, so it was funny," Robitaille said of Glavine. "I still joke that he told everyone that he would never play hockey. He certainly did make the right choice."
In a related footnote, the Kings’ eighth-round pick and 150th overall in that draft also went on to have some success outside of hockey. Shannon Deegan, a Montreal native who played at the University of Vermont, is director of global security operations at Google.
Robitaille, who grew up new Montreal, knew Deegan. "He played in midget-triple A against me," Robitaille said. "I remember at the draft, in the eighth round, Rogie Vachon said, 'Luc,' and then he stopped and went back and looked at his papers and said, 'Shannon Deegan,'" Robitaille said. "I was so mad. And then I got drafted next."