Los Angeles Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille said it was character and resilience that led to the team’s Stanley Cup win over the Rangers on Friday.
“It’s incredible. The character our players have shown, I’ve never seen anything like it in sports. I mean you can pick any sport you want, any playoff series,” Robitaille said. “What they’ve done nobody has ever seen that, and I don’t think anybody will ever see it again. It was absolutely amazing.”
The Kings defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 during double overtime in Game 5, marking the second Stanley Cup victory in the team’s 47 years.
Dean Lombardi’s efforts to change the team’s culture and hire players with character since he became president of the Kings in 2006 has led to much of their recent success, Robitaille said.
“We want to get players that want to make a difference every night,” Robitaille said. “We’ve been doing that for eight years and now it’s finally paying off.”
The Rangers defeated the Kings 2-1 in Game 4, stealing a potential sweep from the L.A. team.
Robitaille wasn’t sure the Kings would win that game, but was determined not to lose again.
“When we didn’t win I go, you know what? Our fans waited like 47 years for the first one. Let’s do it again in L.A.,” he said.
Friday’s Stanley Cup victory should be a “great lesson” about hard work and commiting to ones game plan, Robitaille said.
“They’re resilient. They just kept coming and coming,” he said. “They believed in what they were doing as a unit.”
KTLA’s Rebecca Hall contributed to this report.