One of the newest
"I feel like I've just been elected King of England!" Jack Kent Cooke told Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail.
They finally won the
Since debuting in October 1967, after Cooke paid $2 million to join the NHL, they've had 24 head coaches, eight general managers and four ownership changes.
The first team featured a nickname-heavy cast — as per Cooke's wishes — with the likes of Eddie "The Jet" Joyal and Bill "Cowboy" Flett joining players with less politically correct monikers.
Four players with a significant Kings' affiliation are in the Hockey Hall of Fame: Marcel Dionne (inducted in 1992),
From their quirky early days to the more recent glory days, much has unfolded for the Kings.
A decade-by-decade look at the highs and lows of an often eclectic franchise, which was once in bankruptcy, had a former owner (Bruce McNall) land in prison and a coach (Pat Quinn) suspended by the league for accepting a job with the
1967 to 1977
Highlight(s): Rogie and Marcel.
There were two superstars to savor in the first decade: Goaltender Rogie Vachon and the gifted scorer Marcel Dionne, who oozed charisma.
Vachon arrived first in 1971, via a trade with the
Though the Kings' famed
General Manager Jake Milford traded Terry Harper, Dan Maloney and a draft choice for the rights to Dionne and Bart Crashley, a defenseman with a perfect hockey name.
Dionne electrified the Forum, in the 1976-77 season becoming the first player in team history to score 50-plus goals (53) and put up 100-plus points (122).
The Triple Crown line, first formed in the seventh game of an eight-game trip in January 1979, combined for 161 goals in the 1980-81 season.
Times columnist Jim Murray, taking note of the goal-scoring proficiency, quipped that the threesome maybe should have been called The Red Light Line.
Lowlight: Without a doubt, the 1969-70 team set the franchise mark for futility on several levels.
Fewest wins: 14. Fewest road wins: two. Most losses: 52. Most road losses: 30.
Those marks still stand. The Kings finished with 38 points and won three games in January and none in February.
Pursuing trivia: Legend has it that Gene Carr, acquired in a trade with the
1977 to 1987
Highlight: Miracle on Manchester.
Reportedly, then-Kings owner Jerry Buss had seen enough in a playoff game against the
The Kings trailed, 5-0, after two periods in Game 3 of the best-of-five-game series against Wayne Gretzky and Co. They were feeling disrespected by the Oilers and chipped away at the lead and tied the score with five seconds left in regulation.
Daryl Evans, the team's current radio analyst, scored the winning goal in overtime, giving the Kings a 6-5 victory, and they went on to upset the heavily favored Oilers in five games.
Lowlight: Dance Party.
Kings Coach Don Perry was suspended for six games by the NHL in the 1981-82 season for directing enforcer Paul Mulvey to leave the bench to join a brawl in a game at Vancouver. Mulvey refused. There were several reported variations of what he allegedly said to Mulvey. Most were along the lines of, "Go out there and don't dance."
So you get the idea. …
Pursuing trivia: The Kings drafted not one but two future Hall of Famers in 1984. One was Robitaille in the ninth round. The other, a fourth-rounder named Tom Glavine, never played a minute in the NHL but won 305 games as a pitcher for the
1987 to 1997
Highlight: The blockbuster trade for Gretzky in the summer of 1988.
Then-owner Bruce McNall stunned the sports world by pulling off the biggest deal in NHL history, acquiring Gretzky, Mike Krushelnyski and Marty McSorley from the Oilers in exchange for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, three future first-round draft picks and $15 million.
Very soon, celebrities flocked to the Forum. The Kings went from 68 points in the 1987-88 season to 91 in 1988-89. Gretzky and Co. upset the Oilers in the opening round of the 1989 playoffs. The pinnacle would come in 1993, when the Kings beat the
Lowlight: The fun-loving, heady days of McNall's empire came to a crashing halt when the owner went to prison in 1997 after a federal criminal investigation into his banking practices. This followed the Kings' bankruptcy in 1995 and Gretzky's departure, via a trade to the
Pursuing trivia: The Kings led late in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final in Montreal when McSorley was caught with an illegal stick. They lost in overtime and then dropped the next three games too.
Since then, no Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup.
1997 to 2007
Highlight: This was widely considered a lost decade in terms of playoff success with the exception of one stirring spring. That would be 2001, starting with a first-round series against the Detroit Red Wings. They beat the Red Wings, four games to two, prevailing in overtime of Game 6.
In the next round, they staved off elimination by winning in double overtime of Game 6 of the
Lowlight: The Kings made the playoffs in 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002 — winning one round — and did not reach postseason play again until 2010. There was a 69-point season in 1998-99 and a 68-point effort in 2006-07, which happened to be the first season of Dean Lombardi's tenure as general manager as he attempted to sift through the wreckage.
The lowest point may have been the end of the 2003-04 season, when the Kings lost their last 11 games, going 0-9-0-2 during the longest losing streak in franchise history.
Pursuing trivia: Three key cogs in the Kings' Cup-winning seasons — captain
2007 to present day
Highlight(s): The first Stanley Cup is always the sweetest and the Kings had to wait 45 years for it, beating the
Their second Stanley Cup championship in 2014 was a far tougher path, a testament to their survival skills. Three times the Kings won Game 7 on the road, rallying from a 3-0 series deficit in the opening round against the San Jose Sharks.
Lowlight: What seemed like continuation of a dreadful run, in fact, ended up benefiting the Kings. They recorded a 71-point season in 2007-08, using seven goalies along the way. And who doesn't remember the vaunted Daniel Taylor and Jean-Sebastien Aubin?
Still, that lowly result, enabled the Kings to pick No. 2 at the entry draft in Ottawa in 2008 and they snapped up