Wasn't it just the other day that the Kings' run at the Stanley Cup ended at the Forum in Montreal? . . .
Actually, it was 118 days ago, but that still constitutes the shortest hiatus in the history of Southern California's senior NHL franchise, which opens the season tonight at the Forum in Inglewood against the Vancouver Canucks. . . .
For the first time, a cup will be presented to the Kings during a pregame ceremony--the Campbell Cup, symbolic of postseason supremacy in the Campbell Conference, now known as the Western. . . .
The Kings are more famous for their offense, but three exceptional young defensemen--Rob Blake, Alexei Zhitnik and Darryl Sydor--should be the backbone of the franchise for the rest of the decade. . . .
The Hockey News rates Blake as the 16th-best player in the league. Gretzky is ranked eighth and Luc Robitaille 23rd. . . .
Five Kings hold or share NHL records, 59 of the 72 belonging to Gretzky. . . .
Jimmy Carson set his record when he played in 86 games during the 1992-93 regular season, 52 for the Kings and 34 for the Red Wings. Then he didn't dress for six of the Kings' 24 games in the playoffs. . . .
King season-ticket sales reached 12,000, an increase of 1,000 from a year ago. . . .
The Dodgers' rout of San Francisco on closing day might have helped them in more ways than one. It will be more difficult for the Giants to put out the big bucks to re-sign Will Clark now that they won't reap any postseason profits. . . .
Matt Williams, who said Orel Hershiser was on his case all day Sunday from the Dodger dugout, threatened to retaliate by hitting a few line drives up the middle the next time Hershiser pitches against the Giants. . . .
Remember when a 100-RBI season was something really special? Fifteen American Leaguers and 10 National Leaguers reached that plateau this year. . . .
A lot of baseball people did worse jobs than Manager Art Howe and General Manager Bill Wood, who were fired by the Houston Astros on Tuesday. . . . John McEnroe might have made the best Davis Cup captain the United States ever had. . . .
The sentimental favorite in the Breeders' Cup Classic Nov. 6 at Santa Anita will be Diazo, ridden by Laffit Pincay and trained by Bill Shoemaker. . . .
With NBA camps set to open this week, three of the first four picks--Chris Webber, Anfernee Hardaway and Jamal Mashburn--are unsigned. . . .
Johnny Mitchell, whose New York Jets play the Raiders on Sunday at the Coliseum, has become one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL. Of course, Boomer Esiason might have something to do with that. . . .
Rick Mirer impresses me more with Seattle than he did with Notre Dame. . . .
Detroit Lion Coach Wayne Fontes will be on the hot seat as long as his quarterback situation remains muddled. . . .
I still think Marshall Faulk, who isn't getting much help from his blockers at San Diego State, will be a terrific pro. . . .
It might not quite be Miami at Florida State, but Louisville at West Virginia also will be an attractive matchup of unbeatens Saturday. . . .
Name Game: Schaminsky Peyton of Texas Southern ran for three touchdowns and passed for two in a victory over Knoxville College. . . .
Anyone who played football for Pepperdine or against the Waves, who dropped the sport in 1961, is invited to attend a luncheon Oct. 14 at Del Contes Restaurant in Torrance. . . .
"Football put Pepperdine on the map after World War II," school official Dave Gorrie said. "They're a very tight group--a bunch of good old warriors." . . .
Both the Kansas City Chiefs and Harlem Globetrotters trained at the University of Wisconsin River Falls this year and broke camp confident of having winning seasons.