Founded in 1967, the Los Angeles Kings were never really that strong of a professional hockey team in the NHL, until now! With two Stanley Cup Championships in the past three seasons, the Kings have finally gotten their game together and are now one of the strongest teams in the entire league, with countless star players ready to continue on this incredible dynasty.
Interestingly enough, since the Kings arrived in Los Angeles in 1967, it has never snowed in the city! The last recorded snowfall in LA was in 1962. The Kings were formed alongside 5 other franchises in a league-wide expansion in 1967. Due to the large amount of Northern transplants in Southern California, the booming area held a strong demand for ice hockey, despite the warm and sunny weather.
For much of their early history, the Kings would play in the Forum in South LA, though they now reside at Staples Center in downtown. While they performed fairly well for an expansion team, they were certainly far from contenders the majority of the time. However, they did have a fun manner of assigning nicknames to players like Real “Frenchy” Lemieux, Bill “Cowboy” Flett, and Eddie “The Jet” Joyal. Their first two seasons brought modest success and playoff appearances, but the Kings soon ended a sustained period of decline and hardship.
In 1975, Los Angeles assembled a powerhouse defensive unit that helped the team to a franchise record 105 points on the season, though the team unfortunately fell apart in the playoffs. Continued NHL Playoff failure would become a regularity of the Kings for quite some time.
A stronger offensive unit was constructed with Marcel Dionne and Butch Goring, and they played exceptionally well throughout the 70s. In the 80s, the Kings harbored the NHL’s finest attack, spearheaded by Dionne, Dave Taylor, and Charlie Simmer. The trio became known as the “Triple Crown Line”. Though the ultimate goal of a Stanley Cup title still remained out of reach, the era was known for a tremendous playoffs series against the Edmonton Oilers (featuring Wayne Gretzky). The Kings won that series, including one game in which they overcame a 5-goal deficit in the 3rd period!
Late in the decade, the Kings completed a massive overhaul under the direction of a new owner, new colors, and the acquisition of Wayne Gretzky himself! The dream would nearly come to fruition in 1993, but Los Angeles would lose in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The team would continue to struggle for nearly 20 years, but in 2012 the LA Kings stunned the hockey world! Stars like Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Quick, Justin Williams, Dustin Brown, Mike Richards, Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter, Dustin Penner, and Colin Fraser powered the Kings through the playoffs and to their franchise first Stanley Cup championship.
Since then the core of this team has remained in place and they were able to earn another title in 2014! Clearly one of the deepest and most talented teams that ice hockey has ever seen, this current Los Angeles Kings team is certainly building one of the great dynasties of our times. Expect big things to continue for the Kings!
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