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No Ill Will Toward Robitaille

One summer, insulted by their contract offer, Luc Robitaille bolts the Kings, signing with the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent in July 2001.

The next, he returns to his adopted hometown, where he had played 12 seasons, to celebrate a championship won in the Midwest, carrying the Stanley Cup to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood sign and parading it through Universal Studios and Dodger Stadium on a Sunday afternoon in August.

Lording Lord Stanley’s Cup over his former employer?

The Kings say no.

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“Knowing Luc, he’s not the type of guy who would do anything like that, to slap anyone in the face,” captain Mattias Norstrom said. “It’s just not his style. A selected few have the opportunity to take the Cup home, and for Luc that’s L.A.”

The Kings said they were happy for Robitaille, who scored 30 goals, tied for third on the team, in helping the Red Wings win their 10th championship.

“Oh, for sure,” said forward Ian Laperriere, who watched the Cup-clinching game on French television at home in Montreal.

“He went to talk to the French journalist on the ice ... and he just started crying right on TV, didn’t know what to say.

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“That’s the first time I saw Luc speechless. I had goose bumps. I had tears in my eyes.”

-- Jerry Crowe


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