Los Angeles Kings

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The Los Angeles Kings play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.

Founded on February 9, 1966, when Jack Kent Cooke was awarded an NHL expansion franchise for Los Angeles, the Kings called the The Forum in Inglewood, California (a suburb of Los Angeles) their home for thirty-two years until they moved to Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles to start the 1999–2000 season.

After two fairly successful seasons in the beginning, the Kings hit upon hard times, mostly due to poor management. Kings general managers established a history of trading away first-round draft picks, usually for veteran players (many of them NHL stars on the downside of their careers), a problem that would hinder the franchise for years to come.

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 on June 23, 1975, in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings. Dionne was already a superstar in the NHL and he made an immediate impact in the 1975–76 season, scoring 40 goals and adding 54 assists for 94 points in 80 regular season games. He led the Kings to a 38–33–9 record (85 points), earning them a second place finish in the Norris Division.

Behind Dionne’s offensive prowess, the strong goaltending of Rogie Vachon, and the speed and scoring touch of forward Butch Goring, the Kings swept the Atlanta Flames out of the first round of the playoffs, but were eliminated in the second round by the Boston Bruins in seven games. The Kings would defeat the Flames and lose to the Bruins in the following year’s playoffs as well.

On January 13, 1979, 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. This line combination, known as the “Triple Crown Line,” would go on to become one of the highest-scoring line combinations in NHL history.

In 1987, coin collector Bruce McNall purchased the Kings from Buss, and he turned the team into a Stanley Cup contender almost overnight on August 9, 1988, when he acquired the league’s best player, Gretzky himself, in a blockbuster trade with the Oilers that rocked the hockey world.

The Kings have not had a great deal of success in their history, winning their division just once in 1990–91, and failing to get out of the first round of the playoffs twelve times in the twenty-four seasons they qualified for post-season play, advancing past the second round just once. Indeed, the high point in Kings franchise history was when they won their conference championship for the only time, advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals in the 1992–93 season only to lose the series to the Montreal Canadiens in five games.

More recently, the Kings have only made the playoffs 4 times since that finals appearance in 1993, advancing to the second round only once in 2000-01. They have a ton of young talent that is really starting to mature into veteran players and they should make some noise in the Western conference in coming years.

1st Round Draft Picks
 

Franchise Scoring Leaders

Year # Player Player
G
A
Pts
2009 5 Brayden Schenn Marcel Dionne
550
757
1,307
2008 2 Drew Doughty
Luc Robitaille
557
597
1,154
2008 13 Colten Teubert Dave Taylor
431
638
1,069
2007 4 Thomas Hickey Wayne Gretzky
246
672
918
2006 11 Jonathan Bernier Bernie Nicholls
327
431
758
2006 17 Trevor Lewis Butch Goring
275
384
659
2005 11 Anze Kopitar Jim Fox
186
293
479
2004 11 Lauri Tukonen Charlie Simmer
222
244
466
2003 13 Dustin Brown Rob Blake
152
311
463
2003 26 Brian Boyle Mike Murphy
194
263
457
2003 27 Jeff Tambellini  
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