|Luc Robitaille got his ring from the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 9, 2009. |
"Thank you. First, I want to congratulate Dave (Molinari) and J.D. (John Davidson, the media award winners). We go back in New York, and Dave in Pittsburgh, so congratulations you guys. Lou (Lamoriello), it was an honor to be around you this weekend. You know, you hear about the legend throughout the years, and to be with you this weekend, I was so nervous. I always wanted to make sure I was on time. It certainly was a privledge. Brian (Leetch), Brett (Hull) and Stevie (Yzerman), I had the privledge to play with you guys, and it certainly was an amazing story to be with you guys and see the talent and amount of work you guys did on the ice and off the ice. I go with Lou in saying the kind of people you guys are is what we take back, the memories we have together, and I cherish that friendship that we have now.
"I want to thank Bill Hay and Kelly Massey (of the Hockey Hall of Fame). I mean, we love this game and we play every day and we cherish this game, but when you come here on this weekend and you see the amount of work they put in to show us what it means to be a Hall of Famer, it truly was amazing. The way you treated us this weekend, I will never forget, so thank you very much.
"I'd like to thank my mom and dad. (starts speaking in French) Don't cry Dad, you're going to make me cry. (continues in French)
"I'll go back in English. I just want to say it started in Hull for me, my career, where it took another level. Charlie Henry was there, Pat Burns taught us how to be men and how to fight, and I know you're fighting and we're all with you. Thank you for your friendship and teaching me to be a man.
"I'd like to thank, in those days, Guy Rouleau was a player that taught me how to shoot one-timers and, believe it or not, he's the one that made me a goal scorer.
"I was, apparently, on about one list. There was one person that believed in me, and I found that out over the years, and his name was Alex Smart. That was the scout that believed in me. The reason I am speaking English today, the reason I am here, the reason I'm married with an American beautiful woman, is because of him, so Mr. Smart, thank you very much for giving me a great life and believing in me.
"I'd like to thank my first GM, Rogie Vachon, and my first coach, Pat Quinn. He gave me a chance to play my first game in the NHL. To me, that is my greatest memory.
"Marcel Dionne, and Carol Dionne, thank you so much for taking me under your wing and teaching me to be a professional. You will never know what it meant to me to have the opportunity to just think about playing hockey every day.
"Bruce McNall, you know, you brought another level to the game. You made us believe that hockey could be played in Southern California. But for me, I want to thank you for bringing my idol, and giving me a chance to play with my favorite player of all time, Wayne Gretzky. Those memories I have, playing with you Wayne, I will cherish for the rest of my life.
"The Oilers were my favorite team, you see, and it was funny. The other day, I was writing the speech and I realized I played with Charlie Huddy, Mike Krushelnyski, Marty McSorley, Paul Coffey is a friend of mine, Jari Kurri, Kevin Lowe, and I got to play with one of the greatest leaders of all time, Mark Messier, so I cherish that because that was truly my favorite team watching.
"I want to thank Howard Baldwin for treating my family with respect and dignity in a tough time, and thank you for your friendship. Neil Smith, too. There were a couple times when I struggled a little bit, but he was there for me and he gave me an opportunity to go back in Los Angeles and flourish in my career.
"Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch, Ken Holland, Scotty Bowman, Stevie and the Red Wings organization, thank you for capping my career and giving me a chance to win the Stanley Cup after 16 years. It certainly was one of the greatest moments of my career, and I will be thankful forever.
"I'd like to thank Mr. Phil Anschutz, but more important for me, Mr. Tim Leiweke. Tim told me he was going to bring me back in Los Angeles, and I was going to finish my career there. He lived up to his words, and in this world of business, that sometimes doesn't always happen, but Tim, thank you for living to your word. More important, with the help of Dean, we will have a Stanley Cup in Los Angeles soon. I can feel it.
"I want to say a quick thank you to some of my roommates, my friends -- Rob Blake, Matty Norstrom, Tomas Sandstrom, Tony Granato, Sean O'Donnell, Ian Laperriere and all the teammates I've had -- for all the great memories and your friendship. See, those roommates had to check out for me, because they knew that was part of my ritual. I told them I couldn't check out or I would have a bad game, so they checked out for me all those years.
"My agents, Ron Salcer, Tom Rich, who is here tonight, and my best friend and my adviser, Pat Brisson. (thanks Brisson in French)
"I'd like to say, to my wife, Stacia... You know, I always say, I've said it before, to have success in what we do, we need to be selfish. It's always about us. We've got to go to bed early, take a pregame nap, we've got to change our schedule to go work out, change for different things, and you've always been there and adjusted to my tough life. But more important, in my new career, you've been my strength, my rock and my adviser, and that means a lot to me and I love you. We'll have many more great years together.
"My son, little Jesse Ray -- that's between him and I -- I love you. You are one of the greatest persons I know and you're 14 years old, and you're chasing your dream and I love the fact that you're chasing your dream, and you're going about it with a passion. My other son couldn't be here today because he is chasing his dream too. I love you Steven, and keep working hard. You're accomplishing amazing things.
"I'd like to say a quick thank you to my father-in-law, Bob. I admire your courage, to teach us to enjoy every moment of the daily life. Thank you, Bob.
"I want to thank all the fans, especially the fans in Los Angeles. Throughout all my career, they stuck by me. All my friends, all the words of support and the e-mails I've got in the last four months, it's been amazing and I want to thank you all for being there for me throughout my career.
"Lastly, my wife and a friend of mine wrote a quote, kind of about me. It's not like me to say something about me, but I figured I'd read this one. So it goes like this. It goes, `Hope is the light that shines on the ninth-round draft picks of the world, who are too slow, who can't skate, don't have a chance of making it, and compels them to achieve greatness anyway. Even though this was written about me, this applies to all of us. To all the kids around the world, be a light, follow your dreams, anything is possible. Thank you very much, I really appreciate it."