It took 45 years for the L.A. Kings to bring the Stanley Cup back home. Some attribute the struggle to a years-long curse. L.A. Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille says the win was the result of a plan.
"Our general manager, Dean Lombardi, set up a plan that we were going to rebuild through the draft, we were going to take our time, and stick to the plan," he said in an interview with KPCC shortly before the team's victory parade.
According to Robitaille, retaining enough patience to keep the same team together over the last five or six years was key to their success.
"Sometimes, when you're a team and you're trying to make an impact from year to year, you do things a little too quick or you make the wrong decision. This time around we were very patient on waiting and making sure everybody grew and at the right time. And we were patient with our young guys, too. We let them become players," he said.
A retired professional hockey player, Robitaille was a star. He joined the National Hockey League All-Rookie Team 25 years ago, and totes a Stanley Cup win with the Detroit Red Wings. But for him, this victory was unparalleled.
"This has been one of the most incredible rides. Los Angeles is the city I live in, and I started with this franchise in 1986, so for me it's always been my team," he said.
He said that because of the good planning, the franchise believes the L.A. Kings legacy will continue its positive run.
"You never know when it's all going to click in, but we [know] one thing — for the next seven to eight years, we have a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup every year."
He added that he's confident he'll be working with the same unit for years to come.
"We have a few guys who are going to be free agents, but we think we're going to be able to make sure they stay with us. I think everyone now wants to be part of this great train, this great team," he said.
Fans have a chance to see Robitaille and the rest of the L.A. Kings team at Thursday afternoon's championship parade to the Staples Center.