This is a series where the Crimespree writers will write why they love their favorite team.
Wayne Gretzky. I was only one year old when Gretzky was traded to Los Angeles, but he is easily a player that I can attribute to my love for hockey and the Kings. I can also thank my uncles for getting me into the game. Watching playoff games in the garage of my grandparents house is one of the things I remember best. 1993 was the closest to the Stanley Cup the Kings have been and as a six-year-old, all I knew was that I loved this team and I wanted them to be Champions. I never attended a live game until preseason in 2005. It was against the “Mighty” Ducks. Going to a live game made me love the sport even more, and I became even more of a crazy puckhead.
When Luc Robitaille became President of Buisness Operations in 2007, he brought the fans closer to the team. Hockey Fest became an annual event that got us an inside look of the organization, letting fans interact with Kings Management, Players and Alumni. It’s definitely an event that makes you feel like you are a part of the team.
The rivalry with the Anaheim Ducks makes going to Kings vs Ducks games interesting. The fans don’t like each other in the least bit, and its usually a “who can cheer louder in the other teams house” battle, with the occasional fight. It’s bound to happen sooner or later when you get these two fan-bases together. The rivalry was named the Freeway Face-Off in the 2007-08 season, with the loser of the season series donating to the winning teams charity. Every season, Kings fans travel to Anaheim for the “Duck Roast,” making the Ducks arena sound like a Kings home game. I have yet to participate in the Duck Roast, but it’s definitely on my list.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
Present day Kings. A few changes in Kings Management with a new head coach and assistant coach (Terry Murray and John Stevens) and the man with the plan, Dean Lombardi, the eight year playoff drought came to an end in the 2009-10 season. It looked like the Kings rebuilding stage was finally coming to an end. I was lucky enough to go to the first home playoff game at Staples Center last season, and I have never felt so much energy and excitement. The building was so loud you couldn’t hear the goal horn. It’s something I hope to experience many more times in the upcoming years. Players like Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty give hope to the organization and its fans. Drew Doughty is coming off of a successful sophomore season, winning Olympic Gold, gaining playoff experience and being a Norris Trophy finalist. All at 20 years old. The young team is exciting to watch and they are giving us a reason to cheer again.
I love this team more than I can possibly explain, and I hope to see them lift many Stanley Cups.