Lucky Luc may not get to say bye

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:20 PM ET

The future is too scary to contemplate at this point, so Luc Robitaille took a little refuge in a return to his roots the other night. Robitaille, the veteran NHL winger and Hull Olympiques alumnus, was on hand at the Bob Guertin Centre to hand out some keepsakes to current players who participated in the world junior championships.

He was introduced before the Olympiques-Rimouski Oceanic game and walked out in a Gatineau sweater with his No. 15 on the back.

Whether Robitaille, who turns 39 Thursday, gets a chance to wear an NHL sweater again is up in the air.

"I'd say it's 50-50 right now," he said. "When the time comes and if the season starts up again, then I'll decide what I'm going to do."

Robitaille, along with other great players like Mark Messier and Steve Yzerman, could have played their last NHL games if, as expected, the league calls off the season this week.

It's a shame fans might not get the chance to say goodbye to players who have put on a good show for years.

ROSTER TURNOVER

"A lot of players will be done," said Robitaille. "They're talking as much as a 20% turnover (on the rosters)."

If and when things get started up again, Robitaille would be one of those guys who could help sell the game to disgruntled fans, if he's still around.

"First and foremost, as much as I'm a player and I love the game, I'm a fan, too. I think it's real sad what's going on. It's going to be real hard to come out of this. It's as ugly as can be.

"Look at baseball (after the strike in '94), even with (Mark) McGwire and (Sammy) Sosa hitting all those home runs, it took years for baseball to come back. They had to make the balls more lively to get more home runs. I don't think we can get the goalie equipment small enough for us, so we can score many goals," he said.

While Robitaille still believes there is a deal out there to be done, he said he thinks there might not be enough of a foundation of trust between owners and players to make it happen.

"To ask us to trust the owners doesn't make any sense when we've been at war so long," he said. "The union is sticking together, stronger than ever. There's always going to be guys who want to play, that's life. That's a reality. But it seems every time a new deal is proposed by the owners, the stronger we get."

The next 48 hours will tell.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


Videos

Photos