Los Angeles Kings

Enlarge Wayne Gretzky Luc Robitaille

Los Angeles Kings
2019–20 Los Angeles Kings season
Los Angeles Kings logo.svg
HistoryLos Angeles Kings
Home arenaStaples Center
CityLos Angeles, California
ColorsBlack, silver, white[1][2]
MediaFS West
Prime Ticket
Univision Deportes (1020 AM)
Owner(s)Philip Anschutz and Ed Roski
General managerRob Blake
Head coachTodd McLellan
CaptainAnze Kopitar
Minor league affiliatesOntario Reign (AHL)
Stanley Cups2 (2011–12, 2013–14)
Conference championships3 (1992–93, 2011–12, 2013–14)
Presidents' Trophy0
Division championships1 (1990–91)
Official websitenhl.com/kings

The Los Angeles Kings are a professional ice hockey team based in Los Angeles. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. The team was founded on June 5, 1967, after Jack Kent Cooke was awarded an NHL expansion franchise for Los Angeles on February 9, 1966, becoming one of the six teams that began play as part of the 1967 NHL expansion.[3] The Kings played their home games at The Forum in Inglewood, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, for 32 years, until they moved to the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles at the start of the 1999–2000 season.

During the 1970s and early 1980s, the Kings had many years marked by impressive play in the regular season only to be washed out by early playoff exits. Their highlights in those years included the strong goaltending of Rogie Vachon, and the "Triple Crown Line" of Charlie Simmer, Dave Taylor and Hall of Fame player Marcel Dionne, who had a famous upset of the uprising Edmonton Oilers in a 1982 playoff game known as the Miracle on Manchester. In 1988, the Kings traded with the Oilers to get their captain Wayne Gretzky, leading to a successful phase of the franchise that raised hockey's popularity in Los Angeles, and helped raise the sport's profile in the American Sun Belt region.[4] Gretzky, fellow Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille and defenseman Rob Blake led the Kings to the franchise's sole division title in 1990–91, and the Kings' first Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1993.

After the 1993 Finals, the Kings entered financial problems, with a bankruptcy in 1995, which led to the franchise being acquired by Philip Anschutz (owner of Anschutz Entertainment Group, operators of Staples Center) and Edward P. Roski. A period of mediocrity ensued, with the Kings only resurging as they broke a six-year playoff drought in the 2009–10 season, with a team that included goaltender Jonathan Quick, defenseman Drew Doughty, and forwards Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams. Under coach Darryl Sutter, who was hired early in the 2011–12 season, the Kings won two Stanley Cups in three years: 2012, over the New Jersey Devils, and 2014, against the New York Rangers while Quick and Williams respectively won the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Franchise history

NHL expansion and the "Forum Blue and Gold" years (1967–1975)

The Forum was the second home of the Kings. The Forum was home of the Kings from 1967 to 1999.

When the NHL decided to expand for the 1967–68 season amid rumblings that the Western Hockey League (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.[5] Following a fan contest to name the team, Cooke chose the name Kings because he wanted his club to take on "an air of royalty," 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.[6][7] 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 managed the Sports Arena (and still manages the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum today), had already entered into an agreement with the WHL's Los Angeles Blades (whose owners had also tried to land the NHL expansion franchise in Los Angeles) to play their games at the Sports Arena.[8] 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."[8]

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 another expansion team, the Philadelphia Flyers, 4–2.[9] The "Fabulous Forum" finally opened its doors on December 30, 1967, with the Kings being shut out by the Flyers, 2–0.[10] While the first two seasons had the Kings qualifying for the playoffs,[11] afterwards poor management led the Kings into hard times. The general managers established a history of trading away first-round draft picks, usually for veteran players,[12] and attendance suffered during this time.[13] Eventually the Kings made a few key acquisitions to resurge as a contender. By acquiring Toronto Maple Leafs winger Bob Pulford, who would later become the Kings' head coach, in 1970,[14] Finnish center Juha Widing in a trade from the New York Rangers,[15] and Montreal Canadiens goaltender Rogie Vachon in 1971,[16] the Kings went from being one of the worst defensive teams in the league to one of the best, and in 1974 they returned to the playoffs.[11]

Marcel Dionne and the "Triple Crown Line" (1975–1988)

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 Dionne from the Detroit Red Wings.[17] Behind Dionne's offensive prowess, the strong goaltending of Rogie Vachon, and the speed and scoring touch of forward Butch Goring,[18] the Kings played two of their most thrilling seasons yet, with playoff match ups against the then-Atlanta Flames in the first round, and the Boston Bruins in the second round, both times being eliminated by Boston.

Acquired by the Kings in 1975, Marcel Dionne was paired with Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer. The line, known as the Triple Crown Line, went on to be one of the highest-scoring line combinations in NHL history.

Bob Pulford left the Kings after the 1976–77 season after constant feuding with then owner Jack Kent Cooke, and General Manager Jake Milford decided to leave as well. This led to struggles in the 1977–78 season, where the Kings finished below .500 and were easily swept out of the first round by the Maple Leafs. Afterwards Vachon would become a free agent and sign with the Detroit Red Wings. The following season, Kings coach Bob Berry tried juggling line combinations, and 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.[14] Each player benefited from each other, with Simmer being the gritty player who battled along the boards, Taylor being the play maker, and Dionne being the natural goal scorer. This line combination, known as the "Triple Crown Line", would go on to become one of the highest-scoring line combinations in NHL history.[14][19] During the first three seasons of the Triple Crown Line, a period where Dr. Jerry Buss purchased the Kings, the Lakers, and the Forum for $67.5 million,[10] the Kings were eliminated in the first round. Then in the 1982 Stanley Cup playoffs, a Kings team that finished 17th overall and fourth in their division with 63 points, managed to upset the second overall Edmonton Oilers, led by the young Wayne Gretzky.[20] With two victories in Edmonton and one at the Forum – dubbed "Miracle on Manchester", where the Kings managed to erase a 5–0 deficit at the third period and eventually win in overtime – the Kings managed to eliminate the vaunted Oilers, but they wound up eliminated by eventual finalists Vancouver Canucks in five games.[21]

Despite Dionne's leadership, the Kings missed the playoffs in the next two seasons. A postseason return occurred in 1984–85 under coach Pat Quinn, where the Kings were quickly swept out of the playoffs by the Oilers in their second-straight Stanley Cup championship.[11] After a losing season in 1985–86, the Kings saw two important departures during 1986–87, as Quinn signed a contract in December to become coach and general manager of the Vancouver Canucks with just months left on his Kings contract – eventually being suspended by NHL President John Ziegler for creating a conflict of interest -[22] and Dionne left the franchise in March in a trade to the New York Rangers.[23] Despite these shocks, a young squad that would lead the Kings into the next decade, including star forwards Bernie Nicholls, Jimmy Carson, Luc Robitaille, and defenseman Steve Duchesne,[21] started to flourish under head coach Mike Murphy, who played thirteen season with the Kings and was their captain for seven years, and his replacement Robbie Ftorek.[24][25] The Kings made the playoffs for two seasons, but they were unable to get out of the first round given the playoff structuring forced them to play either the Oilers or the equally powerful Calgary Flames en route to the Conference Finals. In all, the Kings faced either the Oilers or the Flames in the playoffs four times during the 1980s.[26]

McNall brings Gretzky to LA (1988–1993)

Statue of Wayne Gretzky outside Staple Center. Gretzky played with the Kings from 1988 to 1996.

However, the 1988–89 season would be a big turning point for the franchise.[11] In 1987, coin collector Bruce McNall purchased the Kings from Buss and turned the team into a Stanley Cup contender almost overnight. After changing the team colors to silver and black,[7] McNall acquired the league's best player, Wayne Gretzky, in a blockbuster trade with the Edmonton Oilers on August 9, 1988. The trade rocked the hockey world, especially north of the border, where Canadians mourned the loss of a player they considered a national treasure.[27] Gretzky's arrival generated much excitement about hockey and the NHL in Southern California, and the ensuing popularity of the Kings is credited for the arrival of another team in the region (the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, renamed the Anaheim Ducks in 2006), as well as the arrival of a new team in Northern California (the San Jose Sharks)[28] and the NHL's expanding or moving into other Sun Belt cities such as Dallas, Phoenix, Tampa, Miami, and Nashville.[29]

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. The fourth overall Kings eliminated Gretzky's old team, the Oilers, in the first round of the 1989 playoffs before being swept out in the second round by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Flames.[26] Clashes between Gretzky and head coach Robbie Ftorek led to Ftorek's dismissal,[25] and he was replaced by Tom Webster.[30] The next season, where Gretzky became the league's all-time leading scorer,[31] was the inverse of its predecessor, with the Kings eliminating the defending champion Flames before falling to the eventual champion Oilers.[26] Gretzky spearheaded the Kings to their first regular season division title in franchise history in the 1990–91 season,[32] but the heavily favored Kings lost a close series against Edmonton in the second round that saw four games go into overtime.[33] After a third straight elimination by the Oilers in 1992, Webster was fired. General manager Rogie Vachon was moved to a different position in the organization and named Nick Beverley as his successor, and Beverley hired Barry Melrose, then with the American Hockey League's Adirondack Red Wings, as head coach.[34]

Melrose would help the Kings reach new heights in the 1992–93 season, even if Gretzky missed 39 games with a career-threatening herniated thoracic disk. Led by Luc Robitaille, who served as captain in Gretzky's absence,[35] the Kings finished with a 39–35–10 record (88 points), clinching third place in the Smythe Division.[36] Heavily contested series in the 1993 playoffs had the Kings eliminating the Flames, Canucks and Leafs en route to their first berth in the Stanley Cup Finals.[37][38] In the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals, the Kings faced the Montreal Canadiens. They won the first game 4-1, but late in Game 2, 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.[39] His suspicions proved to be correct, as the curve of blade was too great, and McSorley was penalized.[39] 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.[39] Montreal went on to win the game in overtime on another goal by Desjardins,[39] and the Kings never recovered. They dropped the next two games in overtime, and lost Game 5, 4–1, giving the Canadiens their league-leading 24th Stanley Cup in franchise history.[37][40]

Bankruptcy, move to the Staples Center, and rebuild (1993–2009)

The years after the 1993 playoff run were tough for the Kings, as a sluggish start in the 1993–94 season cost them a playoff berth, their first absence from the postseason since 1986. However, Gretzky provided a notable highlight during that year on March 23, 1994, when he scored his 802nd career goal to pass Gordie Howe as the NHL's all-time leading goal-scorer. At the same time, McNall defaulted on a loan from Bank of America, who threatened to force the Kings into bankruptcy unless he sold the team. After the federal government launched an investigation into his financial practices, McNall finally sold the club to IDB Communications founder Jeffrey Sudikoff and former Madison Square Garden president Joseph Cohen.[41] 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.[42] They were forced to trade many of their stronger players, and the middling results led to Gretzky demanding a trade to a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. He would be dealt to the St. Louis Blues in 1996.[43]

Acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers in 1995, Mattias Norstrom was named as the team captain in 2001 and maintained the position until he was traded in 2007.

On October 6, 1995, one day before the 1995–96 season opener, a bankruptcy court approved the purchase of the Kings by Phillip Anschutz and Edward P. Roski for $113.5 million.[44] The subsequent rebuild saw the Kings only return to the playoffs in 1998, led by captain Rob Blake and strong players Jozef Stumpel and Glen Murray, where the highly skilled St. Louis Blues swept the team in four games.[45] The Kings suffered though an injury-plagued season in 1998–99 as they finished last in the Pacific Division and missed the playoffs with a 32–45–5 record, leading to the dismissal of head coach Larry Robinson.[46]

The Kings, along with the Los Angeles Lakers, made an even bigger move in 1999, as they left The Forum after 32 seasons and moved to the 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 modern amenities.[47] With a new home, a new coach (Andy Murray), a potential 50-goal scorer in the fold, and players such as Blake, Robitaille, Murray, 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.[48] But in the 2000 playoffs, the Kings were once again dispatched in the first round, this time by the Detroit Red Wings in a four-game sweep.[49]

The 2000–01 season was controversial, 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 and fan favorite Rob Blake to the Colorado Avalanche.[50] Despite this, two players gotten in the deal, right wing Adam Deadmarsh and defenseman Aaron 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.[51] The heavily favored Red Wings suffered an upset, losing in six games for the Kings' first playoff series win since 1993.[37] In the second round, the Kings forced seven games in their series against the Avalanche, but lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champions.[49]

Afterwards, during the off-season, Luc Robitaille turned down a one-year deal with a substantial pay cut and ended up signing with Detroit, as the Red Wings represented his best chance at winning the Stanley Cup, and like Tomas Sandstrom before him in 1997, Robitaille won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2002.[52] The Kings started off the season with a sluggish October and November, and then found their game again to finish with 95 points. They in fact were tied in points with the second place Phoenix Coyotes, and only finished third in the Pacific Division and seventh in the West due to a goals-for differential—the Coyotes having 228 and the Kings having 214 as a team. In the playoffs they met the Colorado Avalanche once again, this time in the first round. The series would prove to be a carbon copy of their previous meeting, with the Kings behind three games to one and bouncing back to tie the series, only to be dominated in the seventh game and eliminated.[53] The next seasons would be major disappointments as the Kings hit another major decline, missing the postseason up until the 2009–10 season.

Return to the playoffs and Stanley Cups (2009–2014)

Drafted by the Kings in the late–2000s, Anze Kopitar (left) and Drew Doughty (right) helped the team become playoff contenders in the early–2010s.

During the 2009–10 season, the team had built a consistent roster with goalie Jonathan Quick, defenseman Drew Doughty, and forwards Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams.[54] Finishing sixth overall in the West with 101 points, just the third 100-plus point season in franchise history, and establishing a franchise record with a nine-game unbeaten streak, the Kings returned to the playoffs, where they lost to a highly skilled Vancouver Canucks team in six games.[55] The Kings entered the 2011 playoffs as the seventh seed in the West and played San Jose in the first round. Despite Anze Kopitar's absence with injury, the Kings pushed the series to six games until an overtime goal by Joe Thornton qualified the Sharks.[56]

A bad start to the 2011–12 season resulted in coach Terry Murray being fired, with Darryl Sutter being chosen as his replacement. The Kings were much improved under Sutter, finishing with the eight seed, having rounded out the season with a 40–27–15 record for 95 points. The Kings then headed into the 2012 playoffs against the Presidents' Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks. After playing two games in Vancouver and one in Los Angeles, the Kings were up 3–0 in the series, a franchise first. By winning Game 5 in Vancouver, the Kings advanced to the Conference Semi-finals for the first time since the 2000–01 season, whereupon they swept the second-seeded St. Louis Blues, advancing to the Western Conference Finals for only the second time in franchise history. In doing so, the Kings also became the first NHL team to enter the playoffs as the eighth seed and eliminate the first- and second-seeded teams in the Conference. They then defeated Phoenix in five games to reach the Finals, culminating in an overtime goal by Dustin Penner in Game 5, and thus becoming the second team in NHL history to beat the top three Conference seeds in the playoffs (the Calgary Flames achieved the same feat in 2004, ironically also under Darryl Sutter) and the first eighth seed to accomplish the feat.[57]

Los Angeles faced the New Jersey Devils in the Final, defeating them in six games to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.[58] With the Game 6 victory occurring on home ice at Staples Center, the Kings became the first team since the 2007 Anaheim Ducks to win the Stanley Cup at home, as well as the second Californian NHL team to do so.[59] The Kings became the first eight seed champion in any of the North American major leagues, the first Stanley Cup champion that finished below fifth in its conference, and the third to finish below second in its division (after the 1993 Canadiens and the 1995 Devils).[57] Goaltender Jonathan Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player during the playoffs, and soon after signed a ten-year contract extension on June 28.[60]

Dustin Brown with the Stanley Cup during the Kings' victory parade, after defeating the New Jersey Devils in the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.

Due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout, the 2012–13 Los Angeles Kings season began on January 19, 2013, and was shortened to 48 games.[61] The Kings finished the season as the fifth seed in the West and began the defense of the Cup on the road against the St. Louis Blues, who they swept in the 2012 playoffs.[62] After losing the first two games, the Kings won four in a row to eliminate the Blues in six games.[63] In the second round, they then played a very tough San Jose Sharks team, this time with home ice advantage. In the first game, Jarret Stoll suffered an injury from the Sharks' Raffi Torres, who ended up being suspended for the rest of the series. The Kings eventually won in seven games. In the Western Conference Finals, they faced the number one seed in the West and Presidents' Trophy winner, the Chicago Blackhawks. After dropping the first two games, the Kings won Game 3 with Jeff Carter suffering an injury from Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith, who was suspended for Game 4 as a result. After losing Game 4, the Kings battled the Blackhawks through two overtime periods in Game 5, with Patrick Kane eventually scoring the game-winning goal that won the game and the series, sending the Blackhawks to the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals and ending the Kings' season.[64]

During the 2013–14 season, the Kings acquired Marian Gaborik, and qualified for their fifth straight playoffs with the sixth-best result of the West.[65] In the first round of the 2014 playoffs, the Kings played their in-state rivals, the San Jose Sharks. After losing the first three games to the Sharks, the Kings became the fourth team in NHL history to win the final four games in a row after initially being down three games to none, beating the Sharks in San Jose in the deciding Game 7. In the second round, the Kings played another in-state rival, Anaheim. After starting the series with two wins, the Kings lost three-straight games, trailing the series three games to two. However, for the second time in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Kings were able to rally back after being down in the series and defeated the Ducks in Anaheim in Game 7. In the third round, the Kings jumped out to a three games to one lead against Stanley Cup-defending Chicago, but were unable to close out the series in the fifth and sixth games. On June 1, 2014, the Kings advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in three years after winning Game 7, 4–3, in overtime through a goal from Alec Martinez, clinching their third Western Conference title in franchise history.[66] The Kings became the first team in NHL history to win three Game 7s en route to a Stanley Cup Finals berth. Not only were the Kings the first team in history to accomplish this feat, they also managed to win all game sevens on opposing ice.[67] For the third time, the Kings were finalists after finishing third in their division and sixth or lower in their conference.[57]

Parade held for the 2014 Kings team, shortly after they won their second Second Cup, June 2014.

In the Final, the Kings faced the Eastern Conference-winning New York Rangers, who had defeated the Montreal Canadiens in six games in the Eastern Finals.[68] The Kings won the Stanley Cup in five games, culminating with an Alec Martinez goal in the second overtime of Game 5 at Staples Center. The championship run had a record-tying 26 playoff games (the 1986–87 Philadelphia Flyers and 2003–04 Calgary Flames being the others), with the Kings facing elimination a record seven times.[69] With their Game 7 victory in the Conference Finals and wins in the first two games of the Cup Finals, they became the first team to win three consecutive playoff games after trailing by more than one goal in each game.[70] Justin Williams, who scored twice in the Finals and had points in all three Game 7s throughout the playoffs, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.[71]

Playoff struggles (2014–present)

Having won two Stanley Cup championships in the last three years, the Kings entered the 2014–15 season as the early favorites to retain their title.[72] However, the Kings struggled often, with scoring slumps, defensemen losing games to injury and suspensions and frequent road losses.[73][74] A defeat to the Calgary Flames in the penultimate game of the season eliminated the Kings from playoff contention, while qualifying Calgary, which coincidentally missed the postseason during the Kings' five-season playoff streak. Despite finishing with a record of 40–27–15, the Kings became the first defending Stanley Cup champion to miss the postseason since the 2006–07 Carolina Hurricanes and only the fourth overall since the 1967 NHL expansion season.[75][76]

A face-off between the Kings and the San Jose Sharks, during Game 5 of the first round in the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs

At the start of the 2015–16 season. The Kings were expected to make the playoffs. They entered the playoffs as the fifth seed in their conference and second seed in their division. They faced the San Jose Sharks, but lost to them in five games. On June 16, 2016 the Kings named Anze Kopitar the 14th captain in team history, replacing Dustin Brown, who had led the team for the past eight seasons.[77]

The Kings celebrated their 50th anniversary during the 2016–17 season along with the other still active 1967 expansion teams (the St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers, and Pittsburgh Penguins), and for the first time since 2002, they hosted the NHL All-Star Game. Goaltender Jonathan Quick suffered an injury on opening night that sidelined him for most of the season, and the Kings struggled without him. Backup Peter Budaj filled the void, earning his first starting duties since his time with the Colorado Avalanche six years earlier, but near the trade deadline, the Kings traded him to Tampa Bay for another goalie, Ben Bishop who shared the crease with Jonathan Quick down the stretch, the superstar having returned from his injury.[78] Despite the trade, the Kings ultimately missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons and, in the offseason, fired General manager Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter. Assistant general manager Rob Blake was promoted to be the new general manager and John Stevens took over as head coach after serving as associate head coach for the Kings for several seasons.[79][80] In the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, the Vegas Golden Knights drafted defenseman Brayden McNabb, who had been left unprotected by the Kings.[81] In the next season, the Kings clinched the playoffs as a wild card, but were swept by the expansion Golden Knights.

On November 4, 2018, the Kings fired Stevens as head coach after the team started the 2018–19 season 4–8–1, and replaced him with Willie Desjardins.[82][83] In Desjardins' debut on November 7, the Kings defeated the Ducks 4–1.[84] The Kings finished the 2018-19 season in last place in both the Pacific Division and Western Conference with 71 points and they missed the playoffs for the third time in five seasons.

The Kings hired Todd McLellan as their next head coach on April 16, 2019. The 2019-20 season was highlighted by several rebuilding moves, as players such as Kyle Clifford, Derek Forbort and Alec Martinez were all traded away. The team notably won the 2020 NHL Stadium Series in a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche, which saw Tyler Toffoli score the league's first hat trick in an outdoor regular season game. Toffoli was traded to the Vancouver Canucks two days after the feat. In their later portion of the season, the Kings called up several prospects including Mikey Anderson and Gabe Vilardi, as the team went on a 7-game win streak, showcasing their deep and talented prospect pool. This win streak, however, would mark the end of their season; the NHL would pause its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as part of their plan to return to play, the regular season was officially ended, and the Kings were one of seven teams left out of the playoffs. They were automatically entered into the first phase of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery, in which the Kings received the second overall pick.

Team identity

Uniforms and logos

The original logo of the Kings used from 1967 to 1982.

The Los Angeles Kings debuted in the NHL wearing purple – officially, "Forum blue" – and gold uniforms.[7] The original design was simple and straightforward, featuring monochrome striping on the shoulders and tail, as well as purple pants with white and gold trim. Later on, white trim was added on the numbers, and names were also added, while tail stripes were adjusted. At one point, gold pants were used to pair with the gold uniforms during the 1970s. A variation of the original crown logo, with a contrasting color background, was used with this uniform.[7]

From 1980 to 1988, the Kings modified their uniforms to include a contrasting yoke that extends from sleeve to sleeve. White was also added to the socks, on the tail stripes, and at the bottom of the yoke, but the color was removed from the pants. The names and numbers were also modified to a standard NHL block lettering.[7]

Just in time for Wayne Gretzky's arrival, the Kings' colors changed to black and silver, mirroring those of the Los Angeles Raiders. The new uniforms did not deviate much from the prior design, save for the color scheme, a new primary Kings logo, and a switch from a contrasting yoke color to sleeve stripes. With minor changes to the text and pant striping, the uniforms were used until the 1997–98 season.[7]

The primary logo used by the Kings from 1982 to 1988.

The Kings briefly reintroduced purple and gold to the color scheme upon unveiling an alternate jersey for the 1995–96 season. The uniform featured a gradually fading black splash, medieval-inspired serif text, and a logo of a bearded figure wearing a golden crown. The so-called "Burger King" jersey proved to be unpopular with fans, and was scrapped after only one season.[7][85]

For the 1998–99 season, the Kings unveiled new logos, uniforms and a new purple-silver-white color scheme, as black and silver had become associated with gang colors. The shade of purple was a lighter shade than the one used in the "Forum blue and gold" era. The new primary logo was a shield and crest featuring three royal symbols–a sunglass-clad lion, a crown and the Sun.[86] The jerseys featured the shield logo with hints of purple on the yoke, sleeve stripes and tail. By coincidence, this was the same color scheme as the NBA's Sacramento Kings. The bottom of the jerseys read the city name. A purple alternate jersey featuring the updated secondary crown logo was unveiled for the 1999–2000 season. In 2002, the crown logo became the primary while the shield logo was demoted to alternate status. The socks on the black and purple uniforms also switched designations to match their counterparts. Upon moving to the Reebok Edge design in 2007, the jerseys were updated without the tail stripes. The purple-tinged road jerseys were used until the 2010–11 season, while the home jersey was demoted to alternate status in 2011 and remained in use until 2013.[7][87]

The Kings' logo from 1988 to 1998. The word mark was used on their black helmets from 2008 to 2013, and white helmets from 2011 to 2013.

In 2008, the Kings unveiled an alternate jersey inspired from the 1988–98 Kings motif. The current logo, now in a black and silver banner with the updated crown logo and 'LA' abbreviation on top, made its debut with the jersey. Three years later, the Kings completed the transition back to the classic black and silver by unveiling a new away jersey, which unlike the home jersey, features a black and silver tail stripe. The Kings script from their 1988–98 logo returned on the helmets, and would stay that way until 2013, when they were replaced by the current Kings script.[7]

From the 2010–11 to the 2016–17 seasons, the Kings have also worn their classic purple and gold jerseys from the late 1970s as part of "Legends Night" on select home dates. Minor changes in the uniform include the NHL shield logo on the neck piping, as well as the use of the Reebok Edge design.[88]

Kings' logos used from 1998 to 2011. The shield logo (left) served as the team's primary logo until 2002, when the alternate crown logo was designated as the Kings' primary logo. The shield logo was retained as the team's alternate logo until 2011.

The Kings wore silver jerseys with white trim, black stripes and shoulder yoke during the 2014 NHL Stadium Series. The uniforms featured a metallic treatment of the alternate crown logo in front. The sleeve numbers were slightly tilted diagonally, while the back numbers were enlarged for visibility purposes. A new 'LA' alternate logo was placed on the left shoulder yoke.[89] For the 2015 Stadium Series, the Kings wore a tricolored jersey featuring the team's silver, black and white colors. Both the sleeve and back numbers are enlarged, while white pants were used with this jersey.[90]

As part of the Kings' 50th anniversary in the 2016–17 season, the team wore commemorative silver alternate jerseys with a black shoulder yoke and striping for every Saturday home game. The logos and lettering were accented with metallic gold, while a purple neckline featured five gold diamonds to symbolize the Kings' original colors.[91]

Adidas signed an agreement with the NHL to be the official manufacturer of uniforms and licensed apparel for all teams, starting with the 2017–18 season, replacing Reebok.[92] The home and away uniforms that were debuted in the 2007–08 season remained identical with the exception of the new Adidas ADIZERO template and the new collar. With the new collar, the NHL shield was moved to the front and center on a pentagon with a new "Chrome Flex" style.[93] The waist stripes on the road white jersey became curved instead of being straight across.

For the 2018–19 season and beyond, the Kings brought back their silver alternate uniforms last used in the 2016–17 season minus the metallic gold elements in the logo and numerals.[94]

During the 2019–20 season, the Kings brought back the 1992–98 white uniform (with black letters and silver trim) as a heritage uniform for two games.[95]

The 2020 NHL Stadium Series saw the Kings wear special black and white uniforms with "LA" tilted upward in front, along with chrome helmets. The uniforms took cues from the angular architecture and aircraft of the United States Air Force Academy.[96]


The mascot of the Kings since 2007 is Bailey, a 6-foot lion (6-foot 4 inches with mane included) who wears No. 72 because it is the average temperature in Los Angeles. He was named in honor of Garnet "Ace" Bailey,[97] who served Director of Pro Scouting for seven years before dying in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.[98][99][100] Bailey is the second mascot, after Kingston the snow leopard in the early 1990s.[97]


The Kings have developed strong rivalries with the two other Californian teams of the NHL,[101] the Anaheim Ducks – who also play in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, leading to the rivalry nickname "Freeway Face-Off" as both cities are separated by the Interstate 5 -[102][103] and the San Jose Sharks – which also showcases the contrast between Northern and Southern California.[104] The Kings eliminated both teams during the 2014 Stanley Cup run, and have played outdoor games with them for the NHL Stadium Series, losing to the Ducks at Dodger Stadium in 2014 and beating the Sharks at Levi's Stadium the following year.[101]

Season-by-season record

List of the last five seasons completed by the Kings. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Los Angeles Kings seasons[105]

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
2015–16 82 48 28 6 102 225 195 2nd, Pacific Lost in First Round, 1–4 (Sharks)
2016–17 82 39 35 8 86 201 205 5th, Pacific Did not qualify
2017–18 82 45 29 8 98 239 203 4th, Pacific Lost in First Round, 0–4 (Golden Knights)
2018–19 82 31 42 9 71 202 263 8th, Pacific Did not qualify
2019–20 70 29 35 6 64 178 212 7th, Pacific Did not qualify

Players and personnel

Current roster

Updated July 20, 2020[106][107]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
10 Canada Michael Amadio C R 24 2014 Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
44 United States Mikey Anderson D L 21 2017 Fridley, Minnesota
23 United States Dustin Brown RW R 35 2003 Ithaca, New York
77 Canada Jeff Carter (A) C/RW R 35 2012 London, Ontario
8 Canada Drew Doughty (A) D R 30 2008 London, Ontario
29 Czech Republic Martin Frk RW R 26 2019 Pelhrimov, Czech Republic
15 Canada Ben Hutton D L 27 2019 Prescott, Ontario
19 United States Alex Iafallo LW/C L 26 2017 Eden, New York
9 Sweden Adrian Kempe LW L 24 2014 Kramfors, Sweden
11 Slovenia Anze Kopitar (C) C L 33 2005 Jesenice, Yugoslavia
22 United States Trevor Lewis C/RW R 33 2006 Salt Lake City, Utah
46 United States Blake Lizotte C L 22 2019 Lindstrom, Minnesota
56 Canada Kurtis MacDermid D L 26 2013 Quebec City, Quebec
12 United States Trevor Moore LW L 25 2020 Thousand Oaks, California
40 United States Cal Petersen G R 25 2017 Waterloo, Iowa
32 United States Jonathan Quick G L 34 2005 Milford, Connecticut
3 United States Matt Roy D R 25 2015 Canton, Michigan
6 Sweden Joakim Ryan D L 27 2019 Rumson, New Jersey
42 Canada Gabriel Vilardi C R 21 2017 Kingston, Ontario
51 Canada Austin Wagner LW L 23 2015 Calgary, Alberta
26 Canada Sean Walker D R 25 2018 Keswick, Ontario

Team captains

Head coaches

Darryl Sutter was the head coach of the Kings from 2011 to 2017.


General managers

Rob Blake is the present general manager for the Kings. He was named to the position in 2017.

Team owners

Team and League honors

Retired numbers

Luc Robitaille's number was retired by the Kings on January 20, 2007. He was later inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
Los Angeles Kings retired numbers
No. Player Position Tenure No. retirement
4 Rob Blake D 1990–2001
January 17, 2015
16 Marcel Dionne C 1975–1987 November 8, 1990
18 Dave Taylor RW 1977–1994 April 3, 1995
20 Luc Robitaille LW 1986–1994
January 20, 2007
30 Rogie Vachon G 1972–1978 February 14, 1985
991 Wayne Gretzky C 1988–1996 October 9, 2002[112]


Hall of Famers

The Los Angeles Kings presently acknowledge an affiliation with a number of inductees to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Inductees affiliated with the Kings include 18 former players (five of whom earned their credentials primarily as Kings) and three builders of the sport.[114] The three individuals recognized as builders by the Hall of Fame includes former Kings head coaches, and general managers. In addition to players and builders, athletic trainers were inducted into the Hall of Fame through the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society, and the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers.[115] Two athletic trainers from the Kings organization were inducted into the Hall of Fame, Peter Demers in 2007, and Mark O'Neill in 2016.[114][115]

Three sports broadcasters for the Kings were also awarded the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for their contribution to hockey broadcasting including Jiggs McDonald (1990), Bob Miller (2000), and Nick Nickson (2015).[114][116] In 2005, Helene Elliott, a sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times was awarded the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for her contributions to sports journalism.[117]

Franchise records

Regular-season scoring leaders

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

Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
Marcel Dionne C 921 550 757 1,307 1.42
Luc Robitaille LW 1,079 557 597 1,154 1.07
Dave Taylor RW 1,111 431 638 1,069 .96
Anze Kopitar* C 1,073 333 617 950 .89
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
Dustin Brown* RW 1,183 299 354 653 .55
Drew Doughty* D 919 117 385 502 .55
Rob Blake D 805 161 333 494 .61
Player Pos G
Luc Robitaille LW 557
Marcel Dionne C 550
Dave Taylor RW 431
Anze Kopitar* C 333
Bernie Nicholls C 327
Dustin Brown* RW 299
Butch Goring C 275
Wayne Gretzky C 246
Charlie Simmer LW 222
Mike Murphy RW 194
Player Pos A
Marcel Dionne C 757
Wayne Gretzky C 672
Dave Taylor RW 638
Anze Kopitar* C 617
Luc Robitaille LW 597
Bernie Nicholls C 431
Drew Doughty* D 385
Butch Goring C 384
Dustin Brown* RW 354
Rob Blake D 336

Playoff scoring leaders

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise playoff 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

Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
Wayne Gretzky C 60 29 65 94 1.57
Luc Robitaille LW 94 41 48 89 .95
Anze Kopitar* C 79 21 45 66 .84
Dave Taylor RW 92 26 33 59 .64
Justin Williams RW 73 22 32 54 .74
Jeff Carter* C 73 26 27 53 .73
Drew Doughty* C 84 16 35 51 .61
Dustin Brown* RW 85 19 28 47 .55
Tomas Sandström RW 50 17 28 45 .90
Marcel Dionne C 43 20 23 43 1.00
Player Pos G
Luc Robitaille LW 41
Wayne Gretzky C 29
Jeff Carter* C 26
Dave Taylor RW 26
Justin Williams RW 22
Anze Kopitar* C 21
Marcel Dionne C 20
Dustin Brown* RW 19
Tomas Sandström RW 17
Bernie Nicholls C 16
Player Pos A
Wayne Gretzky C 65
Luc Robitaille LW 48
Anze Kopitar* C 45
Drew Doughty* D 35
Dave Taylor RW 33
Justin Williams RW 32
Tomas Sandström RW 28
Dustin Brown* RW 28
Mike Richards C 27
Jeff Carter* C 27
Recording 10 shutouts during the 2011–12 season, Jonathan Quick holds the franchise record for most shutouts in a season.
Regular season records
Team records


Daryl Evans is the Kings' current radio color commentator.

In 1973, the Kings hired Bob Miller as their play-by-play announcer. Considered to be one of the finest hockey play-by-play announcers, Miller held the post continuously until retirement in 2017, and is often referred to as the Voice of the Kings. He received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the NHL Hockey Broadcasters Association on November 13, 2000, making him a media honoree in the Hockey Hall of Fame,[116][118] and he also earned a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.[119] Miller has written two books about his experiences with the team, Bob Miller's Tales of the Los Angeles Kings (2006),[120] and Tales From The Los Angeles Kings Locker Room: A Collection Of The Greatest Kings Stories Ever Told (2013).[121] On March 2, 2017, citing health reasons, Miller announced his retirement after 44 years with the team, and finished his career broadcasting the final two games of the 2016–17 Kings season.[122] The Kings named NBCSN announcer Alex Faust as Miller's replacement, play-by-play announcer the team on TV for the 2017–18 season on June 1, 2017.[123]

On September 18, 2018. the team announced that it would cease terrestrial radio broadcasts, and had partnered with iHeartMedia to form the Los Angeles Kings Audio Network, which streams exclusively on the iHeartRadio platform. The deal also includes pre-game shows and other ancillary content streaming on iHeartRadio. Two pre-season games were simulcast by KEIB before the transition was completed.[124][125]

Television: Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket

Radio: iHeartRadio

Public address:

Affiliate teams

The Kings are currently affiliated with the Ontario Reign in the American Hockey League. Previous affiliates included the Manchester Monarchs, Lowell Lock Monsters, Springfield Falcons, New Haven Nighthawks, Binghamton Dusters and Springfield Kings of the AHL; Manchester Monarchs and Reading Royals in the ECHL; Long Beach Ice Dogs, Phoenix Roadrunners and Utah Grizzlies in the International Hockey League; and the Houston Apollos of the Central Hockey League.[127]

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