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Canadian Press
8/21/2006 5:53:27 PM

LOS ANGELES (CP) - The Los Angeles Kings will retire Luc Robitaille's No. 20 jersey before a Jan. 20 game against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Robitaille will join Rogie Vachon, Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor and Wayne Gretzky as the only Kings players to have their jersey retired.

"Having your sweater retired by your team is an incredible honour," Robitaille said Monday in a statement. "When I first came to L.A. more than 20 years ago, I never would have imagined this happening. To have my name up on the wall at Staples Center alongside true greats like Marcel Dionne, Rogie Vachon, Wayne Gretzky and Dave Taylor, and to see the wonderful basketball names like Jerry West, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar up there as well, is truly overwhelming."

Robitaille, 40, is the highest scoring left-winger in NHL history as well as the all-time Kings leader in goals scored (557). The 19-year NHL veteran has 1,394 career points (668-726) in 1,431 regular-season games with Los Angeles, Detroit, Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers. He had 24 points (15-9) in 65 games with the Kings last season, his 14th with the club.

"Luc's passion for Los Angeles, the Kings and their fans was matched only by his determination to excel at our game," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "The retirement of his jersey will forever remind Kings players and fans of the lofty levels at which he conducted himself."

Robitaille also ranks second all-time in Kings history in games played (1,077), second in points (1,154) and fourth in assists (597). Last Jan. 19 he set the Kings all-time record for goals, passing Dionne.

"Luc's commitment to the game of hockey and to his community here, especially the kids, is total and unique, and the relationship he has with hockey fans in L.A. is unlike any other athlete/fan relationship I have ever seen," stated Kings governor Tim Leiweke. 'On the ice, Luc honoured the game every day and he honoured the jersey every minute. In Los Angeles, I do not think any other athlete has made the impact Luc has. He is a class act, a true legend and with the official retirement of his jersey, he will truly be a part of the L.A. Kings family forever."
 
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