Los Angeles Kings
“When did Los Angeles get a hockey team?”
“Wait a minute. These aren't the Lakers!”
“Wait a minute. These aren't the Lakers!”
“Wait a minute. I thought they played basketball in Sacramento”
“We had Wayne Gretzky once!”
The Los Angeles Kings are supposedly an NHL hockey team, located out in Los Angeles, California. They supposedly had Wayne Gretzky at one point. They were even NHL champions at one point... somehow they managed that.
A late revival (1912-1918)
In 1912 the idea of a hockey team was still a rumor, but was voted by the government "in" and the Ducks (then known as the Hinterland Ducques), "out". The hardest part about this was that they needed an arena and they had no choice but to start their franchise at The Forum. They were forced to play on highly waxed floors since ice was unknown in the Los Angeles area at the time.
In 1914 the franchise won their first Stanley Cup after only 2 years in existence, and you could tell that Shark fans were pissed. The team would then go into a decline until the late 1970s.
A start of a decline (1918-1920)
In 1918 people started to realize that the Kings sucked, and it came at a bad time because L.A. wouldn't finance the Kings, stating that they thought they were "big boys now.". The minor league Blades arrived in town, innovatively playing with ice cubes attached to their boots and the puck, threatening the Kings' hold on the dozen or so ice hockey fans in Southern California.
In 1920, construction of a new arena started, but failed. The plans for the arena would not go into effect until 1972 when the Ice Follies announced a series of 25 shows if enough ice could be found.
The end of a decline (1920-1922)
In 1921 The Kings finally got up on their feet, stood up together as a whole, and said "f*** you" to the NHL and its staff. They would then serve a 20 year penalty of being forced to suck. The team would try to keep this secret, but since it's on here, I don't think it was very secret!!!
In 1922 the end of the decline started a whole franchise decline. This wasn't the "decline era", It was the "King era".
It was the end of the penalty, but the Kings were still sucking, so the Kings had to take crystal meth before each game to kill AT LEAST one player per game. A sad, sad, time in Los Angeles it was. However, this technique would be later adopted by the Flyers in the 1970s. But, these are the Kings we're talking about so, who gives a f***? The Kings were as bad as a cat humping a squirrel, and that was soon their primary logo of the 1940s.
After a hiatus of 25 years, The Kings were back. However, as most of their old players were in retirement homes or were unfamiliar with playing the game on ice, the team built itself up through the expansion draft. A motlier crew there could never be, including Canadians who could not skate as fast as a cat riding on a Roomba. The Maple Leafs, in typical fashion, let goalie Terry Sawchuck get taken by the Kings, thought to be too ancient. He played phenomenally for the Kings, stopping shot after shot. Unfortunately, the Kings forgot to draft any defensemen, leaving Sawchuck to deal with 50 shots on goal per game. The only other player seemingly worth his salt was wing Bill "Cowboy" Flett, a rodeo cowboy in the off-season, who was then threatened by the owner for riding his favorite horse during games. The rest were expert at losing sticks and throwing sticks.
Remarkably, being in the patsy expansion division, the Kings qualified for the playoffs with like 10 or 12 points. Their season topper there was to incur a penalty shot, the first in the playoffs for many years. The Kings were then eliminated by a pre-game accident with a Zamboni, with the latter going on to meet the St. Louis Blues. The Blues then took their division but lost in the Stanley Cup finals to Montreal. The Habs were required to play 7-to-9-year-old Pee Wee leaguers to keep the scoring respectable but still dominated, sweeping the expansion Blues 4-0. The Kings could only watch the proceedings on television, all the while dropping and throwing their sticks. The frustration was so great that several players were reported to have gotten into a fistfight, with everyone missing with their punches. At season's end, since the Lady Byng Trophy could only be given to one player and not a whole team, the Kings were instead given a year's supply of creampuffs for their play.
Kings management decided a return to traditional NHL methods was in order. This was to make a lousy offer for the Detroit Red Wings's star center Marcel Dionne, which was naturally, stupidly and duly accepted by Detroit management. The Kings now had their first player who could skate and actually shoot a puck into the correct goal. With the Kings deciding a Terry Sawchuck comeback wasn't in the cards (as he died in 1970), they acquired goalie Rogie Vachon. Vachon, given the boot in favor of Ken Dryden by Montreal, rose to the occasion as a starter for the Kings. With Dionne meshing perfectly with his linemates Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor, he became a scoring machine, forcing Kings fans to actually watch their team when they were on the attack rather than expecting them to be lamely defending against a continuous volley of slap shots. However, the Kings failed to reach even the second round of the playoffs for many years, as management forgot to hire defensemen. Even with Marcel Dionne bravely throwing himself in front of slap shots time after time, owner Jack Kent Cooke figured that this was just how hockey was played.
Anticipating his imminent death from having to play two positions at once, Dionne became a mentor to later stars Luc Robitaille, Steve Duchesne and Jimmy Carson, not to mention enforcer Tonya Harding. This brought him into conflict with coach Pat Quinn who believed in kicking opponents in the crotch rather than trying to score goals. Upset with the Kings only able to make the second round of the playoffs, Dionne left for the Rangers who were only able to make the first round of the playoffs.
Under the ownership of ancient coin smuggler and bank fraud artist Bruce McNall, the Kings finally had an owner that was not an inherent cheapskate. In fact, McNall went to the other extreme, offering Wayne Gretzky US$3 million to play for the Kings. Gretzky, accustomed to getting paid in barrels of crude oil. salmon and shiny trinkets, jumped at the offer and history was made. That made it possible for all pro hockey players to become the overpaid drug-fueled assholes that their baseball and American football counterparts already had become, except with hockey sticks.
Gretzky made the move so he would no longer be harassed by jealous parents from his Pee Wee hockey days, since they couldn't find Los Angeles to stalk him. However, he was branded a traitor to Canada, and was constantly pursued by Mountie assassins. While "The Great One" scored "just" 168 points in his first season with the Kings, they were eliminated from the playoffs by the Flames. McNall had spent all his money on Gretzky and had none left for real defensemen. The team even failed to get an adequate enforcer when so many potential candidates were right under its nose, languishing in Los Angeles jails.
Despite his success, his transition to the Kings was difficult. Insisting on wearing his old lucky Edmonton Oilers jersey, he confused his own teammates frequently, though this proved to be very effective when the Kings met the Oilers. Even more, his teammates were frequently surprised at finding a pass delivered right on their sticks and tended to fall over or run into the boards afterwards in shock. This led to Gretzky caroming passes off his line mates until he could get a bounce to set up his own shot. Another method was to throw a pass high into the air to give him time enough to set up behind the opponent's net and take his own pass. Slowly, his teammates realized that he wanted to set up chances for them to score goals rather than just skating in circles around the star. This proved to be timely as Luc Robitaille's grandmother was starting to jump onto the ice at home games in order to tackle Gretzky for showing up her grandson.
Due to owner McNall's shenanigans, the Kings were forced into bankruptcy in 1995. Selling off all their good players and the number one Zamboni, the team was still in dire straits. Gretzky asked to be traded to someplace where they actually played hockey and moved on. The team was bought by Philip "Bargain Basement" Anschutz and Edward Roski so the players finally had sticks to use in games rather than leftover foam fingers.
The Kings descended into mediocrity. Fans complained that nothing was being done to acquire better players while the owners only needed someone to take up space in their newly-built StapLess Center when the Ice Capades wasn't in town. Karma was realized in the 1999-2000 season when the Kings traded popular defenseman Rob Blake to the Colorado Avalanche, the team that would beat the Kings in the playoffs and go on to win the Stanley Cup. Since Robitaille was becoming a star, he was offered a pay cut and went on to the Red Wings, who also won the Stanley Cup in 2002. This proved to be a positive for the team as young players realized that they needed to become Kings and then ex-Kings in order to win a Stanley Cup championship ring.
2012 to date
Now with established stars like goalie Jonathan Quick, forwards Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, plus an ACTUAL defenseman, Drew Doughty, the Kings made a serious run for the Stanley Cup in the 2011-2012 season. After installing the mandatory revolving door for hockey coaches in StapLess Center, Darryl Sutter completed the picture as their coach. In the playoffs, they were able to dominate over former expansion mediocrities-turned-powerhouse teams in the west. They then defeated the former expansion mediocrity New Jersey Devils in the finals for their first Stanley Cup, with Montreal and Chicago fans alike left rolling on the floor in agony or destroying their television sets.
The Kings came very close the next season but failed to make the finals. In the 2013-14 season, they courageously sandbagged their regular season, finishing 6th in the West, carefully instructing new winger Marian Gaborik not to score too much. Tanned and rested going into the playoffs, the Kings still took most of their series to 7 games. They then beat the New York Rangers for the Stanley Cup, confident that the Rangers would roll over and die as ice hockey tradition has dictated.
Since then, the Kings have proudly wallowed in the depths as cellar dwellers, even failing to reach the playoffs in 2014 due to a few lifetime suspensions and the inability of weaker modern players to play in full-body casts. Whether they will reach the overall historic levels of crud of the Toronto Maple Leafs remains to be seen.
Partial season-by-season record
This is a partial list of the middle period of mediocrity accomplished by the Kings. For a full season-by-season history, actually take the time to see their website.
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime losses/Shootout losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|2004–05||Season cancelled due to Gary Betman losing all the NHL's money|
|2005–061||7||8||3||--||5||9||2||5||1||9th, Pacific||Did not show up|
|2006–07||54||75||41||--||14||68||27||23||11||1st, Western||Did not show up|
|2007–08||2||1,000||24!!||--||7||71||231||66||30||45th, Pacific||Did not qualify|
|2008–09||82||34||37||--||11||79||207||234||112||79th, Eastern||Did not qualify|
Franchise individual records
- Sucking then making it into the playoffs in two years
- Trading Wayne Gretzky for someone who we don't even give a crap about
- For stealing the Winnipeg Jet's last regular season game puck
- For going from purple and yellow to silver and purple
- To have a lion as a Kings mascot
- For even grasping Wayne Gretzky
- For having Luc Robitaille
- For actually maintaining a Lakers-dominant fanbase
|National Hockey League|
|Leastern Conference||Worstern Conference|
|New Jersey Devils||Boston Bruins||Winnipeg Jets||Chicago Blackhawks||Calgary Flames||Anaheim Ducks|
|New York Islanders||Buffalo Sabres||Carolina Hurricanes||Columbus Blue Jackets||Colorado Avalanche||Dallas Stars|
|New York Rangers||Montreal Canadiens||Florida Panthers||Detroit Red Wings||Edmonton Oilers||Los Angeles Kings|
|Philadelphia Flyers||Ottawa Senators||Tampa Bay Lightning||Nashville Predators||Minnesota Wild||Phoenix Coyotes|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||Toronto Maple Leafs||Washington Capitals||St. Louis Blues||Vancouver Canucks||San Jose Sharks|
|Vegas Golden Knights|
|Seasons (structure) · Stanley Cup (Playoffs–Finals–Champions) · Presidents' Trophy · All-Star Game · Draft · Players (Association) · All-Star Teams · Awards|
|History · Timeline · Defunct teams · NHA · Original Six · 1967 Expansion · WHA · Streaks · Droughts · Hall of Fame (members) · Rivalries · Arenas · Rules · Violence|