NHL Team Guide: Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings were founded in 1967 and were part of the NHL’s expansion from six to twelve teams. The Kings qualified for the postseason in their very first year of existence and continued to have some success through the 1970s and ‘80s, but the Kings would make many early playoff exits.
The Kings success rose in the 1980s with one of the hallmark trades in league history. Los Angeles acquired Wayne Gretzky, which helped the rise of hockey in the L.A. region. The Kings would finally reach a Stanley Cup final in 1993.
Kings fans can live stream the complete Los Angeles schedule on the FOX Sports GO app. Nationally televised games of the Kings can be viewed on NBC and NBCSN. Most of the Kings NHL schedule can be watched on TV on FOX Sports West, the team’s regional broadcaster.
All six new NHL teams in 1967 became members of the new West Division. The Kings have survived a number of moves and realignments and now currently are in the Pacific Division in the Western Conference.
As mentioned, the Kings struggled early on to win any sort of championship. The franchise did not win a division title until the 1990-91 season when the team went 46-24-10 and won the Smythe Division. It is still the only division title in franchise history.
The Kings have won three conference championships. The first came in 1992-93 when Los Angeles defeated Toronto in seven games. The Kings would go on to lose in the Stanley Cup Finals to Montreal.
Los Angeles has won two Stanley Cup titles winning the first in 2011-12 and then returned to win in 2013-14. The Kings have made a total of 30 playoff appearances since the franchise started in 1967.
Home of the Kings
The Kings played at The Forum for 32 years before moving to their current home – the Staples Center. Beginning in 1999-2000, the Kings play their home NHL schedule at the Staples Center. The arena seats 18,230 fans for hockey games.
The Kings have had a number of great players in their organization. Gretzky, of course, is one but he played 10 seasons in Edmonton before his eight in L.A. Still, the Great One is the fourth-leading scorer in Kings history with 918 points. The franchise’s leading scorer is Marcel Dionne who totaled 1,307 points in 12 seasons with the Kings. Ironically, Dionne’s best season was in 1979-80 when he scored 137 points. He tied for the NHL lead that season with Gretzky, but Dionne won the Art Ross Trophy because he had scored two more goals than his counterpart. Dionne, a Hall of Famer, also won the Ted Lindsay Award twice and the Lady Byng Trophy twice.
Luc Robitaille has a statue outside of the Staples Center and for a good reason. He is the second-leading scorer in franchise history with 1,154 points. His 557 goals are also tops in Kings history. Robitaille did three stints in L.A. totaling 14 seasons. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1987 as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year, played in eight All-Star games, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
Author: Dan Anderson