Robitaille announces he'll retire at season's end

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The highest-scoring left winger in NHL history is hanging up his skates.

Luc Robitaille of the Los Angeles Kings announced his retirement on Tuesday, effective at the end of the season.

An eight-time All-Star, Robitaille has recorded 668 goals and 726 assists for 1,394 points in 1,428 NHL games. He is the Kings' all-time leader with 557 goals.

"I have had an incredible journey playing the game I love and my decision to retire has been a very difficult one for me, my wife, Stacia, and my entire family to make," Robitaille said at a news conference at the Toyota Sports Center.

Robitaille, 40, played 14 of his 19 seasons with the Kings. He has 15 goals and nine assists in 62 games this season.

"We have always hoped that Luc Robitaille eventually retired in a Kings uniform," Kings general manager Dave Taylor said. "He certainly had an incredible career all the while remaining one of the most popular players ever to wear a Kings jersey."

The Calder Trophy winner as the NHL rookie of the year in 1987 with the Kings, Robitaille also played with Pittsburgh (1994-95), the New York Rangers (1995-97) and Detroit (2001-03).

"The game of hockey has given me so much and it is very difficult to leave," Robitaille said. "Los Angeles is where I started my career and it is where I have always wanted to end my career."

Robitaille also holds the single-season record for goals and points by a left winger with 63 and 125 for the Kings in 1992-93. He recorded three 50-goal seasons and is the only left winger in NHL history to compile eight consecutive 40-goal seasons.

Robitaille is 10th overall in goals and second among active players to Steve Yzerman of Detroit (692).

"On the ice, Luc Robitaille earned every one of his many accomplishments through persistence and hard work," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.