Robitaille Plays Waiting Game


Luc Robitaille watches the machinations of the Rob Blake-King negotiations with a mixture of detachment, because it has nothing to do with him, and emotional involvement, because he doesn’t want Blake to leave.

Besides Robitaille has all this time on his hands, not watching his own negotiations.

Robitaille’s agent, Pat Brisson, and the Kings have talked from time to time, but the team has not offered Robitaille a new contract, perhaps waiting to see what happens with Blake, perhaps waiting to see what happens with Robitaille, who will be 35 on Feb. 17.

“They don’t have to negotiate with me,” he said Wednesday. “I can be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. I want to stay here . . . but I’m not a toy.”


He’s a 23-goal scorer who has 57 points, eighth in the league. And he’s a winger who broke a scoring slump with two goals and an assist in Tuesday’ night’s 8-0 rout of Dallas.

A contributing factor was a move that brought Robitaille, Ian Laperriere and Eric Belanger together on a line. All are Quebecois, but a French connection this isn’t, even though they conversed in French all Tuesday night.

“Why speak English?” Laperriere said, laughing. “We spoke French, even Luc, and he’s been [in the United States] a long time.”

Belanger and Laperriere were given specific instructions. “I don’t want Belanger to be Gilbert Perreault,” Coach Andy Murray said, referring to the center of Buffalo’s “French Connection” line of the 1970s.

“And I don’t want Lapy to be Rene Robert. If they do that, I’ll have the line apart in 10 minutes.

“I don’t want them to play like Luc. I want them to make Luc play more like them.”

Like the Robitaille who has 575 goals in his NHL career, most of them scored by going to the net. The idea was for Laperriere and Belanger to get the puck on goal, with Robitaille there to clean up things. By game’s end, Laperriere had four shots--a season high--and Belanger had one. And Robitaille had two goals.


“I think we’ll be together for a while,” he said, smiling.


The Kings’ 8-0 victory on Tuesday was their largest margin of victory since a 9-1 victory over St. Louis on Dec. 11, 1993. The team record is 11, in a 12-1 victory over Vancouver on Nov. 29, 1984. The loss was the Stars’ worst since moving to Dallas. The previous worst was an 8-0 loss to Montreal on Feb. 17, 1992, when the team was based in Minnesota.


vs. Nashville, 7:30

* Site--Staples Center.

* Radio--KSPN (1110).

* Records--Kings 23-20-7-1, Predators 22-24-7-2.

* Record vs. Predators--0-0-1.

* Update--The Predators are without top scorer Scott Walker, who has 16 goals and 20 assists, but has a separated shoulder. He is expected to return after the break.

* Tickets--(888) 546-4752.