Los Angeles Kings[edit | edit source]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia {| class="infobox vcard" style="font-size: 11px; border-top-color: rgb(170, 170, 170); border-right-color: rgb(170, 170, 170); border-bottom-color: rgb(170, 170, 170); border-left-color: rgb(170, 170, 170); background-color: rgb(249, 249, 249); color: black; margin-top: 0.5em; margin-right: 0px; text-align: left; line-height: 1.5em; width: 22em; " ! class="fn" colspan="2" style="vertical-align: top; font-size: 14px; color: rgb(143, 142, 147); background-color: black; text-align: center; "|Los Angeles Kings |- | align="center" colspan="2" style="vertical-align: top; "|2011-12 Los Angeles Kings season |- | colspan="2" style="vertical-align: top; background-color: white; text-align: center; "|[1] |- bgcolor="#EEEEEE" ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Conference | style="vertical-align: top; "|Western |- ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Division | style="vertical-align: top; "|Pacific |- bgcolor="#EEEEEE" ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Founded | style="vertical-align: top; "|1967 |- ! style="vertical-align: top; "|History | style="vertical-align: top; "|Los Angeles Kings 1967–present |- bgcolor="#EEEEEE" ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Home arena | style="vertical-align: top; "|Staples Center |- ! style="vertical-align: top; "|City | style="vertical-align: top; "|Los Angeles, California |- ! colspan="2" style="vertical-align: top; background-color: white; text-align: center; "|[2] |- bgcolor="#EEEEEE" ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Colors | style="vertical-align: top; "|Black, white, aluminum

|- ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Media | style="vertical-align: top; "|FS West Prime Ticket KTLK (1150 AM) |- bgcolor="#EEEEEE" ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Owner(s) | class="agent" style="vertical-align: top; "|[3]Anschutz Entertainment Group (Philip Anschutz, chairman) |- ! style="vertical-align: top; "|General manager | class="agent" style="vertical-align: top; "|[4]Dean Lombardi |- bgcolor="#EEEEEE" ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Head coach | class="agent" style="vertical-align: top; "|[5]Darryl Sutter |- ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Captain | class="agent" style="vertical-align: top; "|[6]Dustin Brown |- bgcolor="#EEEEEE" ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Minor league affiliates | style="vertical-align: top; "|Manchester Monarchs (AHL) Ontario Reign (ECHL) |- ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Stanley Cups | style="vertical-align: top; "|0 |- bgcolor="#EEEEEE" ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Conference championships | style="vertical-align: top; "|1 (1992–93) |- bgcolor="#EEEEEE" ! style="vertical-align: top; "|Division championships | style="vertical-align: top; "|1 (1990–91) |}

The Los Angeles Kings are a professional ice hockey team based in Los Angeles,California. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of theNational Hockey League (NHL). The team was founded on February 9, 1966, when Jack Kent Cooke was awarded an NHL expansion franchise for Los Angeles,[1] becoming one of the six teams that began play as part of the 1967 NHL expansion. The Kings calledThe Forum in Inglewood, California (a suburb of Los Angeles), their home for thirty-two years until they moved to the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles to start the 1999–2000 season.[2]

The Kings won their division for the only time in their history in 1990–91.[3] They have qualified for post-season play in twenty-four seasons, advancing past the first round twelve times, and past the second round once.[4] The franchise won their conference championship and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals in the 1992–93 season, losing to the Montreal Canadiens in five games.[5]

Contents[edit | edit source]

 [hide] *1 Franchise history

[edit]Franchise history[edit | edit source]

[edit]The "Forum Blue and Gold" years (1967–68 to 1987–88)[edit | edit source]

Prior to the Kings' arrival in the Los Angeles area, both the Pacific Coast Hockey League(PCHL) and the Western Hockey League (WHL) had several teams in California, including the PCHL's Los Angeles Monarchs of the 1930s and the WHL's Los Angeles Blades of the 1960s.[6] When the NHL decided to expand for the 1967–68 season amid rumblings that the WHL was proposing to turn itself into a major league and compete for the Stanley Cup, Canadian entrepreneur Jack Kent Cooke paid the NHL $2 million to place one of the six expansion teams in Los Angeles.[7] Los Angeles has a large number of expatriates from both the Northeastern United States and Canada, which Cooke saw as a natural fan base.[8]

[7][8]LA Kings primary logo from 1967–82.

Cooke was thus awarded one of the six new NHL expansion franchises, which also included theCalifornia Seals, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues.[7] He named his team the Kings, and picked the original team colors of purple (or "Forum Blue," as it was later officially called) and gold because they were colors traditionally associated with royalty. The same color scheme was worn by the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), which Cooke also owned.[9][10]

Cooke wanted his new NHL team to play in the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, home of the Lakers. But the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission, which manages the Sports Arena and theLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum to the present day, had already entered into an agreement with the Blades (whose owners had also tried to land the NHL expansion franchise in Los Angeles) to play their games at the Sports Arena.[11] Frustrated by his dealings with the Coliseum Commission, Cooke said, "I am going to build my own arena...I've had enough of this balderdash."[11]

Construction on Cooke's new arena, the Forum, was not yet complete when the 1967–68 season began, so the Kings opened their first season at the Long Beach Arena in the neighboring city of Long Beach on October 14, 1967, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 4–2.[12] For the next two months, the Kings played their home games both at Long Beach and at the Sports Arena.[1] The "Fabulous Forum" finally opened its doors on December 30, 1967, with the Kings being shut out by the Flyers, 2–0.[6]

[9][10]LA Kings primary logo from 1982–88.

The Kings made the Forum their home for the next 32 seasons.[2] Players like Bill "Cowboy" Flett,Eddie "The Jet" Joyal, Eddie "The Entertainer" Shack and Real "Frenchy" Lemieux helped introduce the Los Angeles area to the NHL in the team's first few seasons.[6] Such player nicknames were the brainchild of none other than Cooke himself.[6]

In their first season, the Kings finished in second place in the Western Division, just one point behind the Flyers.[13] The Kings were the only expansion team that had a winning record at home, but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Minnesota North Stars, losing the seventh game at The Forum on April 18, 1968, 9–4.[14] In their second season behind head coachRed Kelly, the Kings finished fourth in the West Division—the final playoff berth.[15] But after eliminating the Oakland Seals in the first round of the playoffs in seven games, the Kings were swept out of post-season play in the second round by the St. Louis Blues.[14]

After two fairly successful seasons, the Kings hit upon hard times, mostly due to poor management. Kings general managers established a history of trading away first-round draft picks, usually for veteran players (many of them NHL stars on the downside of their careers), a problem that would hinder the franchise for years to come.[16] The Kings' attendance also suffered during this time, leading Cooke to muse that the reason so many Northeasterners and Canadians moved to Southern California was that "they hated hockey."[8]

In 1972, the Kings made two key acquisitions. First, the rise of rookie goaltender Ken Dryden in Montreal made their #1 goalie Rogatien Vachon expendable and the Kings obtained him in a trade. After years of a "revolving door" in goal, Vachon solidified the position, often in spectacular fashion. For the next 5 years, the Forum was often filled with chants of "Rogie!, Rogie!" as Vachon made many a great save. In addition, the Kings obtained former Toronto Maple Leafs winger Bob Pulford, first as a player and then as their head coach.[1] Under Pulford's disciplined direction, the Kings went from being one of the worst defensive teams in the league to one of the best. It took him just two seasons to lead the Kings back to the playoffs and in 1974, they faced the Chicago Blackhawks, only to be eliminated in five games.[14]Pulford eventually led the team to three of the most successful seasons in franchise history, including a 105-point season in 1974–75 that is still a franchise record.[17]

[11][12]LA Kings crown logo, used on their jerseys from 1967–88.

In 1973, the Kings hired Bob Miller as the their play-by-play announcer, and he has held that post continuously since that time. Miller, considered to be one of the best hockey play-by-play announcers in the NHL, is often referred to as the "Voice of the Kings." He was inducted into theHockey Hall of Fame on November 13, 2000,[18][19] and his first book, Bob Miller's Tales of the Los Angeles Kings, was published in 2006.[20]

After being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in both 1973–74 and 1974–75, the Kings moved to significantly upgrade their offensive firepower when they acquired center Marcel Dionneon June 23, 1975, in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings. Dionne was already a superstar in the NHL and he made an immediate impact in the 1975–76 season, scoring 40 goals and adding 54 assists for 94 points in 80 regular season games.[21] He led the Kings to a 38–33–9 record (85 points), earning them a second place finish in the Norris Division.[21]

Behind Dionne's offensive prowess, the strong goaltending of Rogie Vachon, and the speed and scoring touch of forward Butch Goring, the Kings swept the Atlanta Flames out of the first round of the playoffs, but were eliminated in the second round by the Boston Bruins in seven games.[14] The Kings would defeat the Flames and lose to the Bruins in the following year's playoffs as well.[14]

On January 13, 1979, Dionne found himself on a new line with two young, mostly unknown players: second-year right winger Dave Taylor and left winger Charlie Simmer, who had been a career minor-leaguer.[1] This line combination, known as the "Triple Crown Line," would go on to become one of the highest-scoring line combinations in NHL history.[1][22]

After the Triple Crown Line's first season together, Dr. Jerry Buss purchased the Kings, the Lakers, and the Forum for $67.5 million, but the Simmer-Dionne-Taylor combination remained intact.[6] The next season, the Triple Crown Line dominated the NHL, scoring 146 goals and 182 assists, good for 328 points.[1] The entire line, along with goalie Mario Lessard, was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game that season, which was played at the Forum.[1] In that 1979–80 season, Dionne won the Art Ross Memorial Trophy for winning an NHL scoring title that season with 137 points on 53 goals and 84 assists.[1] But even with the Triple Crown Line's ability to dominate, the Kings still could not get out of the first round of the playoffs until 1982.[14]

That year, the Kings opened the playoffs against the Edmonton Oilers, who were led by a young but fast-rising star by the name of Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky was only in his third year in the league, but he dominated the NHL like no other had before from the moment he stepped onto NHL ice in his rookie season. By the 1981–82 season, he was already the most dominant player in the league, and had made the Oilers one of the elite teams in the NHL, on their way to winning four Stanley Cup championships in the 1980s.[23] The Oilers finished with 111 points, the second-best record in the league, while the Kings barely made the playoffs with only 63 points.[24] The Kings won Game 1 in Edmonton on April 7, 1982, 10–8, in the highest scoring Stanley Cup Playoff game ever.[25] The Oilers recovered to win in overtime in Game 2,[14] and the teams headed to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4.

Game 3 would be one of the most amazing in hockey history and was later dubbed the "Miracle on Manchester" (the Kings arena, the Forum, was on Manchester Boulevard). In that game, played on April 10, 1982, Gretzky led the Oilers to a commanding 5-0 lead after two periods and it seemed like the Kings were headed for a blowout loss. But the Kings began an unbelievable comeback in the third period, tying the game on a goal by left winger Steve Bozek at 19:55 of the third period and sending the game into overtime.[26]

Bozek's goal set the stage for what was to come. At 2:35 of the overtime period, Kings left winger Daryl Evans fired a slap shot off a face-off in the right circle of the Edmonton zone, beating Oilers goaltender Grant Fuhr over his right shoulder to give the Kings an incredible come-from-behind, overtime victory, 6-5.[26][27] The Miracle on Manchester, the greatest comeback in NHL playoff history,[28] is also the greatest moment in Kings franchise history as of 2007.[1] Not only did the Kings complete a miraculous comeback against the vaunted Oilers, but they also went on to eliminate them from the playoffs in five games.[27]

Despite Dionne's leadership, the Kings missed the playoffs in the next two seasons, and were quickly swept out of the playoffs by the Oilers in 1985, when the Oilers won their second straight Stanley Cup championship.[14] Dionne's time with the Kings ended on March 10, 1987, when he was traded to the New York Rangers.[29] But by this time, the Kings had new skaters to help lead them into the next decade, including star forwards Bernie Nicholls, Jimmy Carson, Luc Robitaille, and defenseman Steve Duchesne.[26]

Even before the Dionne trade the Kings were sent reeling when coach Pat Quinn signed a contract to become coach and general manager of the Vancouver Canucks with just months left on his Kings contract. NHL President John Ziegler suspended Quinn for the rest of the season and barred him from taking over Vancouver's hockey operations until June. Ziegler also barred him from coaching anywhere in the NHL until the 1990–91 season. In Ziegler's view, Quinn's actions created a serious conflict of interest that could only be resolved by having him removed as coach.[30]

Despite these shocks, the Kings made the playoffs in the next two seasons, but they were unable to get out of the first round. Part of the problem was that the way the playoffs were structured (teams were bracketed and seeded by division) made it very likely that they would have to get past either the powerful Oilers or Calgary Flames (or both) to reach the Conference Finals. In fact, the Kings faced either the Oilers or the Flames in the playoffs four times during the 1980s.

However, the 1988–89 season would be a big turning point for the franchise.[14]

[edit]Silver and Black Era (1988–89 to 1997–98)[edit | edit source]

[13][14]LA Kings logo from 1988–98.

In 1987, coin collector Bruce McNall purchased the Kings from Buss and turned the team into a Stanley Cup contender almost overnight. On August 9, 1988, McNall acquired the league's best player, Wayne Gretzky, in a blockbuster trade with the Edmonton Oilers. The trade rocked the hockey world, especially north of the border where Canadians mourned the loss of a player they considered a national treasure.[31] McNall also changed the team colors to silver and black.

In Gretzky's first season with the Kings, he led the team in scoring with 168 points on 54 goals and 114 assists, and won his ninth Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player. He led the Kings to a second-place finish in the Smythe Division with a 42-31-7 record (91 points), and they ranked fourth in the NHL overall.

The Kings faced Gretzky's old team, the Oilers, in the first round of the 1989 playoffs. They fell behind 3 games to 1, but rallied to take the series in seven games, helped in no small part by nine goals from Chris Kontos, a little-known player who had just recently been called up from the minor leagues. However, the Kings were quickly swept out of the playoffs in the second round by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Flames.

The next season saw Gretzky become the league's all-time leading scorer. On October 15, 1989, in Edmonton, he assisted on a Bernie Nicholls goal to tie Gordie Howe's career record of 1,850 points, then broke it late in the contest on a game-tying goal against Bill Ranford. The goal forced overtime, where Gretzky capped a spectacular night by scoring again to win the game for Los Angeles.[32] At season's end, the Kings finished fourth and faced the defending champion Flames in the first round. This time, they defeated Calgary in six games, two of which had dramatic overtimes — Game 3 was won with a shorthanded goal by Tony Granato, and Game 6 ended with a strange goal by Mike Krushelnyski while he was flat on his back. However, the Kings were swept in the second round by the eventual champion Oilers, who were seeking revenge for the loss of the previous year.

Gretzky spearheaded the Kings to their first (and at present, only) regular-season division title in franchise history in the 1990–91 season with a 46-24-10 record (102 points, the second best point total in franchise history). Notably, it was the first time in 10 years that a team fromAlberta had not finished first in the Smythe. However, the heavily favored Kings struggled in the playoffs, winning the first round against theVancouver Canucks in six games but losing a close series against Edmonton in the second round that saw four games go into overtime. The1991–92 season, the Kings' 25th as a franchise, witnessed seven Kings players score over 20 goals; Gretzky himself had a then-career low in scoring yet still finished third in the league behind Pittsburgh Penguins teammates Mario Lemieux and Kevin Stevens. Despite this, Los Angeles again failed to thwart their Edmonton rivals in the post-season, losing to the Oilers in the first round. This marked the third straight year that the Gretzky-led Kings were eliminated from the playoffs by Gretzky's former teammates.

The Kings would reach new heights in the 1992–93 season, but the campaign started badly when it was learned that Gretzky had suffered a career-threatening herniated thoracic disk before the season began. The concern was not mainly whether Gretzky would be able to play that season, but if he would ever be able to play again. But even without their captain and leading scorer, the Kings got off to a blistering 20-8-3 start,[33] with left-winger Luc Robitaille, who won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the 1986–87's NHL Rookie of the Year, filling in as captain for the ailing Gretzky. Robitaille led the team until Gretzky returned after missing the first 39 games.[34] Robitaille would go on to retire at the end of the 2005–06 season as the highest-scoring left winger in National Hockey League history.[35]

Robitaille and Gretzky, along with former Oilers' winger Jari Kurri, forwards Tony Granato and Tomas Sandstrom, defensemen Rob Blake,Marty McSorley, and Alexei Zhitnik, and goalie Kelly Hrudey, guided the Kings through a rough middle portion of the season until they found their game once again in the last three months of the campaign to qualify for post-season action. Although Gretzky came back to score 16 goals and 49 assists (65 points) in just 45 games, it was Robitaille who was the Kings' impact player that season, leading the team in scoring with 63 goals and 62 assists (125 points) in 84 regular season games, setting new NHL all-time records for goals and points scored by a left winger in a single season.[33] The Kings finished with a 39-35-10 record (88 points), clinching third place in the Smythe Division.

First-year head coach Barry Melrose had his team's offense running on all cylinders when the 1993 playoffs began, and they scored an amazing 33 goals in their first-round series against the Calgary Flames.[36] In the second round, the Kings faced the heavily-favoredVancouver Canucks, a team that had beaten the Kings rather handily five times in seven games during the regular season, and had not lost to the Kings in their four meetings in Vancouver. But the Kings would go on to eliminate the Canucks in six games, with the pivotal victory coming in Game 5 at Vancouver, which was tied 3-3 at the end of regulation play. The teams were still tied after the first overtime period, but winger Gary Shuchuk scored at 6:31 of the second overtime period, giving the Kings a 3-2 series lead, and dealing the Canucks an emotional and, as it turned out, fatal blow.

In the Campbell Conference Finals, the Kings were even more of an underdog against the Doug Gilmour-led Toronto Maple Leafs. But with Gretzky at the helm, the Kings eliminated the Leafs in a hard-fought seven-game series that included two overtime games and a Game 6 win for the Kings, who were facing elimination after losing Game 5 in overtime—they trailed the Leafs in the series, 3-2.[37] In Game 6, Toronto scored two third period goals and tied the game at 4-4 at the end of regulation play. But in overtime, Luc Robitaille fed Gretzky a perfect pass and Gretzky scored to give his team a dramatic 5-4 victory and send the teams back to Toronto for a Game 7. In the final contest, Gretzky scored a hat trick (three goals) and had an assist to lead the Kings to a 5-4 win and a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history.[37][38]

In the Stanley Cup Finals, the Kings faced the Montreal Canadiens, who had breezed through the playoffs and were well-rested. The Kings defeated the Canadiens in Game 1, 4-1. Game 2, however, proved to be the turning point in the series. Late in the contest, with the Kings leading by a score of 2-1, Canadiens coach Jacques Demers requested a measurement of Kings defenseman Marty McSorley's stick blade. His suspicions proved to be correct, as the curve of blade was too great, and McSorley was penalized. The Canadiens pulled their goalie,Patrick Roy, giving them a two-man advantage, and Eric Desjardins scored on the resulting power play to tie the game. Montreal went on to win the game in overtime on another goal by Desjardins, and the Kings never recovered. They dropped the next two games in overtime, and were shelled 4-1 in Game 5 as the Canadiens won their 24th Stanley Cup in franchise history.[37][39]

Despite the stinging defeat at the hands of the Canadiens in the finals, Gretzky and the Kings had generated excitement about hockey and the NHL that had never been seen before in Southern California. As soon as Gretzky donned a Kings jersey, the Forum was sold out for every game — virtually overnight, a Kings game became the hottest ticket in town. The popularity of Gretzky and the Kings also led to the NHL awarding an expansion team to Anaheim, California; in 1993 the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (who became the Anaheim Ducks on June 22, 2006) would become the Kings nearest rival, just 35 miles to the south. Gretzky's popularity in Southern California also led to the NHL expanding or moving into other Sun Belt cities such as Dallas, Phoenix, Tampa, Miami, and Nashville.

McNall's profile also rose during this time. In 1992, he was elected chairman of the NHL's Board of Governors, the second-most powerful post in the league. His support of Gary Bettman tipped the scales in favor of Bettman's election as the league's first Commissioner. However, only two years later, McNall was forced to sell the team to IDB Communications founder Jeffrey Sudikoff and former Madison Square Gardenpresident Joseph Cohen in the wake of a federal investigation into his financial practices. He ultimately pled guilty to five counts of conspiracy and fraud, and admitted to obtaining $236 million in fraudulent loans from six banks over 10 years.[40]

It later emerged that McNall's free-spending ways put the Kings in serious financial trouble. At one point, Cohen and Sudikoff were even unable to meet player payroll, and were ultimately forced into bankruptcy in 1995.[41] They were forced to trade many of their stronger players, resulting in a roster composed of Gretzky, Blake, and little else. The Kings missed the playoffs for four seasons, from 1993–94 to1996–97.

[edit]Staples Center era (1998–present)[edit | edit source]

[15][16]Kings' primary logo from 19982002. (Would later serve as the team's alternate logo from (20022011. Still in use in their alternate sweaters as of2011)

Phillip Anschutz and Edward P. Roski bought the Kings out of bankruptcy court in October 1995 and began a rebuilding phase. Meanwhile, Gretzky, who was by this time on the downside of his career, stated publicly that he wanted the team to acquire a forward capable of scoring fifty goals per season and an offensive defenseman. If they failed to do that, he wanted to be traded to a team that was a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

After all he had done for the game by that time, Gretzky wanted another chance to win an elusive fifth Stanley Cup before retirement. But his public statements forced the Kings' hand, since no team would now give them equal value in a trade because of his demands — the Kings would be at a huge disadvantage in any trade, and this would badly hurt their rebuilding program.

On February 27, 1996, Gretzky was traded, this time to the St. Louis Blues, for forwards Craig Johnson, Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, a first-round pick in the 1997 draft (Matt Zultek) and a fifth-round choice in the 1996 draft (Peter Hogan).[42] None became stars for the Kings, although Gretzky himself was an unrestricted free agent by season's end, and only played 18 regular season games for the Blues. Like Marcel Dionne before him, Gretzky ended up with the New York Rangers.

Shortly after Gretzky was traded, the often-maligned general manager Sam McMaster was fired and was replaced by former Kings winger Dave Taylor.[43] But the rebuilding phase for Taylor was a tough one, as the Kings continued to flounder—they failed to make the playoffs until the 1997–98 season.[37] After another disappointing season in1998–99, then-head coach Larry Robinson, who also played three seasons for the Kings from 1989–92 and had been an assistant coach on the New Jersey Devils' 1995 Cup team, was fired.

Taylor turned to Andy Murray, who became the Kings' 19th head coach on June 14, 1999. Taylor's hiring of Murray was immediately criticized by media across North America because of Murray's perceived lack of experience — up to that point, his only head coaching experience had been at the international level with the Canadian National Team and at the US high school level. Indeed, Taylor took a gamble on Murray, hoping it would pay off.[44]

But Taylor was not finished dealing that summer. Shortly after hiring Murray, Taylor acquired star right-wing Zigmund Palffy and veteran centerBryan Smolinski on June 20, 1999, in exchange for center prospect Olli Jokinen, winger prospect Josh Green, defenseman prospect Mathieu Biron and the Kings' first-round pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.

[17][18]Staples Center, viewed from Figueroa Street, the southeast side of the arena.

The Kings also made an even bigger move in 1999, as they left the Great Western Forum and moved to Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, which was built by Anschutz and Roski. Staples Center was a state-of-the-art arena, complete with luxury suites and all the modern amenities that fans and athletes would want in a brand-new facility.

With a new home, a new coach, a potential 50-goal scorer in the fold and players such as Rob Blake, Luc Robitaille, Glen Murray, Jozef Stumpel, Donald Audette, Ian Laperriere, and Mattias Norstrom, the Kings improved dramatically, finishing the season the 1999–2000 season with a 39-31-12-4 record (94 points), good for second place in the Pacific Division. But in the 2000 playoffs, the Kings were once again eliminated in the first round, this time by the Detroit Red Wings in a four-game sweep.

[edit]2000-01[edit | edit source]

The 2000–01 season was a controversial one, as fans began to question AEG's commitment to the success of the Kings because they failed to significantly improve the team during the off-season. Adding fuel to the fire was the February 21, 2001, trade of star defenseman Rob Blake, who had won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman in 1998.[45]

In that deal, the Kings sent Blake and center Steven Reinprecht, to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for right wing Adam Deadmarsh, defenseman Aaron Miller, center prospect Jared Aulin and a first-round pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft (Dave Steckel). Deadmarsh and Miller became impact players for the Kings, who finished the 2000–01 season with a 38-28-13-3 record (92 points), good for a third place finish in the Pacific Division and another first-round playoff date with the Detroit Red Wings.[46]

The heavily-favored Red Wings — many predicted another four-game sweep — made easy work of the Kings in Games 1 and 2 at the Joe Louis Arena, but the Kings got back in the series with a 2-1 win in Game 3 at Staples Center.[37]

In Game 4, the Red Wings took a commanding 3-0 lead after two periods. This set the stage for yet another unbelievable playoff comeback for the Kings, highly reminiscent of the "Miracle on Manchester," back in 1982. Seldom-used forward Scott Thomas, a career minor-leaguer, scored a power play goal at 13:53. The Red Wings were called for a penalty with just under three minutes to play and Kings' coach Andy Murray gambled and pulled his goalie to give his team a two-man advantage. The gamble paid off as Jozef Stumpel would follow with another power play goal at 17:33. Finally, Bryan Smolinski tied the game at the 19:07 mark. In the overtime, Deadmarsh stole the puck from Red Wings' star defenseman Chris Chelios in the right corner behind the Detroit net, and threw a centering pass to center Eric Belanger, who scored the game-winning goal at 2:36 to lift the Kings to a miraculous come-from-behind win, now known as the "Frenzy on Figueroa," or the "Stunner at Staples."[45][47] That win would lead to the Kings eliminating the Red Wings in Game 6 by winning four straight games after going down 2-0 in the series. It was the Kings' first playoff series win since 1993.

In the second round, the Kings went up against another elite team, the Colorado Avalanche, led by superstars Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg,Patrick Roy, Ray Bourque, and Rob Blake. The Kings took the eventual champions to seven games but lost the series, 4-3.[37] The most memorable game of that series was Game 6 where goalies Patrick Roy of Colorado and Felix Potvin of the Kings battled to a 0-0 tie. The teams played through one overtime, and the Kings scored in the second overtime for a 1-0 win.

[edit]2001 through 2004[edit | edit source]

[19][20]The Kings' logo since 1998. It was the primary logo from 20022011 and now uses as an alternate logo since2011.

The 2001–02 started off with tragedy as team scouts Garnet "Ace" Bailey and Mark Bavis were both casualties of the September 11th attack. The team honored the two by wearing "AM" patches on their jerseys. Earlier in the season, the team acquired Jason Allison who was involved in a contract dispute along with Mikko Eloranta from the Boston Bruins in return for Jozef Stumpel and Glen Murray. At mid-season they held the 2002 NHL All-Star Game[48] while still fighting for a playoff spot in which they clinched seventh place in the Western Conference where they were matched with the heavily-favored Avalanche. After being bounced out of the playoffs in the first round by the Avalanche, the next two seasons would be major disappointments, as the team failed to make the playoffs in both seasons.

[edit]2005-06[edit | edit source]

Following the resumption of play after the 2004–05 NHL lockout, the Kings acquired Valeri Bure,Jeremy Roenick and Pavol Demitra for the 2005–06 season. Los Angeles began the new season strong, but the second half of the season saw the Kings once again stumble badly, freefalling from second in the Western Conference in early January to tenth place. On March 21, 2006, the team fired head coach Andy Murray, replacing him with interim head coach John Torchetti. With three games left in the season, Luc Robitaille, the team's all-time leading scorer and the NHL's all-time highest-scoring left winger, announced that, at the end of the year, he would be retiring from pro hockey.[35]

Just one day after the end of the Kings' 2005–06 regular season, AEG decided to clean house. On April 18, 2006, President/Hockey Operations and General Manager Dave Taylor and Director of Player Personnel Bill O'Flaherty were relieved of their duties, and Vice President and Assistant General Manager Kevin Gilmore was re-assigned to other duties within AEG. Torchetti and assistant coaches Mark Hardy and Ray Bennett, along with goaltending consultant Andy Nowicki, were also fired. Kings CEO Tim Leiweke also announced that he would no longer be the team's Chief Executive Officer.

On April 21, 2006, the Kings signed Philadelphia Flyers scout and former San Jose Sharks general manager Dean Lombardi as President and General Manager. He was signed to a five-year contract, signaling big changes in the near future for the franchise. Soon after he was hired, Lombardi quickly began to revamp the Kings' hockey operations and just barely over one month into his tenure as President and General Manager, on May 22, 2006, he hired Marc Crawford to be the Kings' 21st head coach.

[edit]2006-07[edit | edit source]

There were few highlights during the 2006–07 season. On January 13, 2007, the Kings made hockey history by putting Yutaka Fukufuji in goal for the third period of the game with the St. Louis Blues. This marked the first time in hockey history that a Japanese-born player played in an NHL regular season game. On January 20, 2007, the Kings retired Luc Robitaille's jersey in an hour-long ceremony prior to the game with the Phoenix Coyotes. It was the fifth Kings jersey to be retired by the team.

[edit]2007-08[edit | edit source]

Before the 2007–08 season, the Kings signed six unrestricted free agents, including center Michal Handzus, left wings Ladislav Nagy andKyle Calder, and defensemen Tom Preissing, Brad Stuart and Jon Klemm. However, despite opening the season with a win against the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in the first NHL regular season game in Europe at the new O2 Arena (also owned by AEG) in London, United Kingdom,[49] the new acquisitions did little to change the Kings' fortunes as the team finished with the second worst record in the league. On June 10, 2008, the team announced the firing of head coach Marc Crawford.[50]

In the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, the Kings had a busy day, starting with a 3-way trade with the Calgary Flames and the Anaheim Ducks. The Kings traded Mike Cammalleri to the Flames, and the 28th overall pick to the Ducks. The Kings received the 12th overall pick (which eventually was traded to the Buffalo Sabres for the 13th overall pick). The Kings used the 2nd overall pick to select defenseman Drew Doughty, and the 13th overall pick to select Colten Teubert.

[edit]2008-09[edit | edit source]

On July 17, 2008, the Kings hired Terry Murray, who became the 22nd head coach in franchise history.[51] on October 8, 2008, right wing Dustin Brown was named as the Kings’ fifteenth captain in franchise history.[52] Brown, 23, is also the youngest captain and the first American-born captain in Kings’ history.[52]

[edit]2009-10: Return to the Playoffs[edit | edit source]

During the 2009 offseason, the Kings traded for forward Ryan Smyth, known for his prowess in front of the opposing goaltender. They also signed defenseman Rob Scuderi, who won the Stanley Cup the previous year with Pittsburgh. The Kings were very successful during the2009-10 NHL Season, as they finished sixth overall in the West while still in the midst of a rebuild. They established a franchise record with a nine game unbeaten streak, and finished the season with 101 points, just the third 100+ points season in franchise history. However, they lost to a highly skilled Vancouver Canucks team in six games. A series in which the Kings led 2-1 at home up 3-2 entering the 3rd period only to let it slip away due to goaltending by Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo and late goals by the Sedin Twins. Despite the first round loss, many considered the season to be an outright success due to the age of the team and the setbacks from injuries to key players Ryan Smyth and Justin Williams. Forward Anze Kopitar spent most of the first half of the season in the top ten in the league in scoring, and finished 20th overall in points. Doughty was one of three finalists for the James Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman, and received the ‘Best Defenseman’ award on the team. This was the first time in eight years that the Kings made it to the playoffs.

[edit]2010-11[edit | edit source]

During the 2010 offseason, the Kings signed veteran and former on-ice captain for the Vancouver Canucks, Willie Mitchell, and added forwardAlexei Ponikarovsky after losing out on the controversial free agent signing of Ilya Kovalchuk. Mitchell's signing created a top defensive pairing along with Norris Trophy favorite Drew Doughty, and bolstered the chemistry of the locker room, after the departure of veterans Sean O'Donnell and Alexander Frolov.

The Kings were the 7th seeded Western Conference team in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and played San Jose in the first round. The team’s high scorer, Anze Kopitar, was injured and was not available for the playoffs. On April 25th, the Kings lost to the San Jose Sharks in game six of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, allowing the Sharks to advance.

[edit]Season-by-season record[edit | edit source]

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Kings. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Los Angeles Kings seasons[53]

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime losses/Shootout losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season GP W L OTL Pts GF GA Finish Playoffs
2006–07 82 27 41 14 68 227 283 4th, Pacific Did not qualify
2007–08 82 32 43 7 71 231 266 5th, Pacific Did not qualify
2008–09 82 34 37 11 79 207 234 5th, Pacific Did not qualify
2009–10 82 46 27 9 101 241 219 3rd, Pacific Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2-4 (Canucks)
2010–11 82 46 30 6 98 219 198 4th, Pacific Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2-4 (Sharks)

[edit]Players[edit | edit source]

[edit]Current roster[edit | edit source]


Updated January 1, 2012.[54]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
45 [21] Jonathan Bernier G L 23 2006 Laval, Quebec
23 [22] Dustin Brown (C) RW R 27 2003 Ithaca, New York
13 [23] Kyle Clifford LW R 20 2009 Ayr, Ontario
8 [24] Drew Doughty D R 22 2008 London, Ontario
44 [25] Davis Drewiske D L 27 2008 Hudson, Wisconsin
24 [26] Colin Fraser C L 26 2011 Sicamous, British Columbia
12 [27] Simon Gagne


LW L 31 2011 Sainte-Foy, Quebec
2 [29] Matt Greene (A) D R 28 2008 Grand Ledge, Michigan
47 [30] Trent Hunter RW R 31 2011 Red Deer, Alberta
3 [31] Jack Johnson D L 24 2006 Indianapolis, Indiana
11 [32] Anze Kopitar (A) C L 24 2005 Jesenice, Yugoslavia
22 [33] Trevor Lewis C R 24 2006 Salt Lake City, Utah
48 [34] Andrei Loktionov C L 21 2008 Voskresensk, Soviet Union
27 [35] Alec Martinez D L 24 2007 Rochester Hills, Michigan
33 [36] Willie Mitchell D L 34 2010 Port McNeill, British Columbia
21 [37] Scott Parse


RW R 27 2004 Kalamazoo, Michigan
25 [39] Dustin Penner LW L 29 2011 Winkler, Manitoba
32 [40] Jonathan Quick G L 25 2005 Milford, Connecticut
10 [41] Mike Richards C L 26 2011 Kenora, Ontario
15 [42] Brad Richardson LW L 26 2008 Belleville, Ontario
7 [43] Rob Scuderi D L 33 2009 Syosset, New York
28 [44] Jarret Stoll C R 29 2008 Melville, Saskatchewan
26 [45] Slava Voynov D R 21 2008 Chelyabinsk, Soviet Union
19 [46] Kevin Westgarth C R 27 2007 Amherstburg, Ontario
14 [47] Justin Williams RW R 30 2009 Cobourg, Ontario

[edit]Team captains[edit | edit source]

[edit]Hall of Famers[edit | edit source]



Broadcasters (Foster Hewitt Memorial Award Recipients)

[edit]Retired numbers[edit | edit source]

  • 16 Marcel Dionne, C, 1975–87, number retired November 8, 1990.
  • 18 Dave Taylor, LW/RW, 1977–94, number retired April 3, 1995.
  • 20 Luc Robitaille, LW, 1986–94, 1997–2001, and 2003–06, number retired January 20, 2007.
  • 30 Rogatien "Rogie" Vachon, G, 1972–78, number retired February 14, 1985.
  • 99 Wayne Gretzky, C, 1988–96, number retired by the league on February 6, 2000, and by the team on October 9, 2002.

[edit]First-round draft picks[edit | edit source]

[edit]Franchise scoring leaders[edit | edit source]

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game; * = current Kings player

Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
Marcel Dionne C 921 550 757 1307 1.42
Luc Robitaille LW 1079 557 597 1154 1.07
Dave Taylor RW 1111 431 638 1069 .96
Wayne Gretzky C 539 246 672 918 1.70
Bernie Nicholls C 602 327 431 758 1.26
Butch Goring C 736 275 384 659 .90
Jim Fox RW 578 186 293 479 .83
Charlie Simmer LW 384 222 244 466 1.21
Rob Blake D 734 152 311 463 .63
Mike Murphy RW 673 194 263 457 .68

[edit]NHL awards and trophies[edit | edit source]

Clarence S. Campbell Bowl

Art Ross Trophy

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Calder Memorial Trophy

Hart Memorial Trophy

James Norris Memorial Trophy

King Clancy Memorial Trophy

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

Lester B. Pearson Award

Lester Patrick Trophy

NHL Plus/Minus Award

[edit]Franchise individual records[edit | edit source]

[edit]Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

[edit]General managers[edit | edit source]

[edit]See also[edit | edit source]

[48] Los Angeles portal

[edit]References and footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Los Angeles Kings Communications Department (2007). 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. Los Angeles Kings. p. 4.
  2. ^ a b Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. pp. 5–6.
  3. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 129.
  4. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. pp. 202–203.
  5. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. pp. 5, 203.
  6. ^ a b c d e Los Angeles Kings Media Relations Department (1997).Los Angeles Kings 1997–98 Media Guide. Los Angeles Kings. p. 4.
  7. ^ a b Los Angeles Kings Media Relations Department (1993).1993–94 Kings Media Guide. Los Angeles Kings. p. 115.
  8. ^ a b Duhatschek, Eric et al. (2001). Hockey Chronicles. New York City: Checkmark Books. ISBN 0816046972.
  9. ^ Donovan, Michael Leo (1997). The Name Game: Football, Baseball, Hockey & Basketball How Your Favorite Sports Teams Were Named. Toronto: Warwick Publishing. ISBN 1895629748.
  10. ^ "Los Angeles Kings Uniform History". Los Angeles Kings. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  11. ^ a b Crowe, Jerry (2007-11-30). "Text Messages From Press Row". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
  12. ^ Los Angeles Kings Media Relations Department (1997). Los Angeles Kings 1997–98 Media Guide. Los Angeles Kings. p. 3.
  13. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 106.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Los Angeles Kings Communications Department.2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 202.
  15. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 107.
  16. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. pp. 178–187.
  17. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. pp. 113–115, 202.
  18. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 27.
  19. ^ "The Legends: Media Honourees: Foster Hewitt Memorial Winners". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 3, 2006.
  20. ^ Miller, Bob (2006). Bob Miller's Tales of the Los Angeles Kings. Sports Publishing, LLC. ISBN 1-58261-811-9.
  21. ^ a b Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 114.
  22. ^ Miller, Bob. Bob Miller's Tales From The Los Angeles Kings. pp. 105–109.
  23. ^ Diamond, Dan (ed.) (2000). Total Stanley Cup. Total Sports Publishing, Inc.. p. 7.
  24. ^ McCarthy, Dave (ed.) (2007). National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2008. Triumph Books. p. 152. ISBN 978-1-60078-037-0.
  25. ^ McCarthy, Dave (ed.). National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2008. p. 251.
  26. ^ a b c Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 5.
  27. ^ a b Miller, Bob. Bob Miller's Tales From The Los Angeles Kings. pp. 139–147.
  28. ^ Miller, Bob. Bob Miller's Tales From The Los Angeles Kings. p. 144.
  29. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 180.
  30. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE; 'Intolerable Position'". New York Times. 1987-10-07. Retrieved 2008-03-20.
  31. ^ Miller, Bob. Bob Miller's Tales From The Los Angeles Kings. pp. 123–127.
  32. ^ Weinberg, Rick. "Gretzky passes Howe as all-time scoring leader". ESPN. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  33. ^ a b Los Angeles Kings Communications Department.. 2006–07 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 204.
  34. ^ Sadowski, Rick (1993). Los Angeles Kings: Hockeywood. Sagamore Publishing. p. 29. ISBN 0-915611-87-2.
  35. ^ a b "Kings All-Time Great Left Wing Luc Robitaille Announces His Retirement" (Press release). Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2006-04-10. Retrieved 2007-05-07.
  36. ^ Sadowski, Rick.. Los Angeles Kings: Hockeywood. p. 145.
  37. ^ a b c d e f Los Angeles Kings Communications Department.2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 203.
  38. ^ Miller, Bob. Bob Miller's Tales From The Los Angeles Kings. pp. 155–160.
  39. ^ Miller, Bob. Bob Miller's Tales From The Los Angeles Kings. pp. 160–167.
  40. ^ Fischler, Stan (1999). Cracked Ice: An Insider's Look at the NHL.Lincolnwood, Illinois: Masters Press. ISBN 1570282196.
  41. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department (2002). Los Angeles Kings 2002–03 Media Guide. Los Angeles Kings. p. 8.
  42. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 182.
  43. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2006–07 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 5.
  44. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department (2005). 2005–06 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. Los Angeles Kings. p. 18.
  45. ^ a b Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2005–06 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 8.
  46. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2005–06 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. p. 205.
  47. ^ Miller, Bob. Bob Miller's Tales From The Los Angeles Kings. pp. 169–172.
  48. ^ Diamond, Dan. (2003). Total NHL: The Ultimate Source On The National Hockey League. Triumph Books: Printing Press. p. 420.ISBN 1-57243-604-2.
  49. ^ "Kings To Open 2007-08 NHL Regular Season In London"(Press release). Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2007-05-07.
  50. ^ "Kings Announce Coaching Change" (Press release). Los Angeles Kings. 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
  51. ^ "Kings Name Murray Head Coach" (Press release). Los Angeles Kings. 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  52. ^ a b "Kings Announce Team Captains For 2008-09" (Press release). Los Angeles Kings. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
  53. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department. 2007–08 Los Angeles Kings Media Guide. pp. 140–144.
  54. ^ "Kings Roster - Los Angeles Kings - Team". Retrieved 2011-10-23.
  55. ^ Robitaille served as captain to start the 1992–93 season, while Gretzky was injured. Gretzky resumed his role as captain when he returned to the lineup. Robitaille again served as captain for the 2 final games of his career.
  56. ^ Los Angeles Kings Communications Department (2010). Los Angeles Kings 2010-11 Media Guide. Los Angeles Kings. p. 203.

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