Q&A: Robitaille’s current job

Question: When you thought about retirement, did you always see yourself staying in hockey in some way? Did you anticipate a job such as this one?

ROBITAILLE: “I didn’t know. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I think that as I got near the end, Tim Leiweke sat down with me and started to talk to me about what I wanted to do. I think he finally said, `Why don’t you come on board and just be a consultant?’ At the time, the things were happening in Kansas City and I thought it would be a great way for me to learn. Then he gave me an opportunity to join all the meetings that they had.

“Seeing what was going on inside AEG, and the size of the business and everything, at one point Tim and I had a discussion and I said, `I think you need to change the model of the Kings.’ I remember him asking, `What do you mean?’ I feel fortunate that I was with other franchises, so that I could bring that back. I remember explaining to him that we needed people who worked for the Kings full time, even on the business side. I felt I could fill the gap between AEG and the Kings. Tim works so hard on everything, and he doesn’t have time to deal with every single thing, so I felt that I could be a little bit of that bridge in between, so that we could become more of a stand-alone franchise. Tim agreed to it. He thought that was the right thing.

“As you know, Tim is very, very passionate about the Kings. He wants us to be successful. He always says, `We’ve got to have success.’ He let us do pretty much anything we wanted, from that standpoint. It’s been great. But it’s not something I set out to do. It’s just something that happened. I saw that there was a hole, and I have a lot of passion for the Kings franchise. So knowing that, I thought, `That’s one thing that’s missing.’ A lot of my friends were season-seat holders and had been coming to games. I kept hearing a lot of their complaints, and I think in a lot of ways it was a perception. What happened was, AEG got so big, so fast, that… Dan Beckerman loves the Kings, Tim Leiweke loves the Kings, these guys are passionate Kings fans. For crying out loud, Tim is our biggest season-seat holder now. We made him buy four. (laughs) We keep on selling him.

“So it’s been great from that standpoint, just like he has given a lot of freedom to Dean to really do what he wants. It’s kind of funny, because they have taken a lot of heat over the years, but when people ask me about Phil and all that, I say, `They’ve never said no to me.’ So I didn’t set out to do this, but it just happened.”

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