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Luc Robitaille remembers former Kings teammate Pavol Demitra

September 7, 2011 | 10:46 am

Pavol5Pavol Demitra may have played only one season with the Kings, but he left quite an impression on one of the franchise's greatest players.

Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille, the Kings president of business operations, recalled his playing days with the three-time NHL All-Star, who died Wednesday in a plane crash in Russia that killed 43 people.

"I'm devastated," Robitaille said. "When he came to us he was going to be one of our top guys and he certainly didn't disappoint as a player. He had the same personality as Ziggy Palffy -- just a fun guy to be around.

"Just happy to play hockey. He loved the game -- that's why he was still playing."

Photos: Russian jet crash

Demitra, signed with the Kings during the 2005 off-season, gave the team a much-needed offensive boost, finishing third in team scoring with 62 points. The 36-year-old last played in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks during the 2009-10 season, before signing with Locomotive of the Kontinental Hockey League.


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-- Austin Knoblauch and Lisa Dillman

Photo: Former Kings forward Pavol Demitra celebrates after scoring a goal during a game against the Phoenix Coyotes on Oct. 6, 2005. Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters