Los Angeles Kings Team History
Prior to the Kings arrival in the Los Angeles area, both the Pacific Coast Hockey League (PCHL) and the Western Hockey League (WHL) had several teams in California, including the PCHL’s Los Angeles Monarchs of the 1930s and the WHL’s Los Angeles Blades of the 1960s. When the NHL decided to expand for the 1967 – 1968 season amid rumblings that the 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. Los Angeles has a large number of expatriates from both the Northeastern United States and Canada, which Cooke saw as a natural fan base.
Construction on Cooke’s new arena, the Forum, was not yet complete when the 1967 – 1968 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 the Philadelphia Flyers 4–2. For the next two months, the Kings played their home games both at Long Beach and at the Sports Arena. The “Fabulous Forum” finally opened its doors on December 30, 1967, with the Kings being shut out by the Flyers, 2–0.
In 1987, coin collector Bruce McNall purchased the Kings from Buss and turned the team into a Stanley Cup contender almost overnight.
McNall bought a 25 percent stake in the Kings from Jerry Buss in 1986, and bought an additional 24 percent in 1987 to become the team’s largest shareholder. He was named team president that September, and purchased Buss’ remaining shares in March 1988.
On August 9, 1988, McNall acquired the league’s best player, Wayne Gretzky, in a blockbuster trade with the Edmonton Oilers. The trade rocked the hockey world, especially north of the border where Canadians mourned the loss of a player they considered a national treasure. McNall also changed the team colors to silver and black.
On August 9, 1988 when he acquired the NHL’s biggest star, Wayne Gretzky, along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski, from the Edmonton Oilers for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, three first-round draft choices and US$15 million. McNall raised Gretzky’s annual salary from less than $1 million to $3 million, which, in turn, triggered a dramatic rise in NHL salaries throughout the 1990s.
The Kings also made an even bigger move in 1999, along with the Los Angeles Lakers, as they left the Great Western Forum and moved to 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 the modern amenities that fans and athletes would want in a brand-new facility.
The 2012 Stanley Cup Final was the championship series of the National Hockey League (NHL) 2011 – 2012 season, and the culmination of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. This was the 119th year of the Stanley Cup’s presentation. The Western Conference playoff champion Los Angeles Kings defeated the Eastern Conference playoff champion New Jersey Devils four games to two, capturing the first Stanley Cup title in the team’s 45 year history, dealing the Devils just their second Stanley Cup Finals defeat in five tries and first since 2001. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.
The 2014 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League (NHL)’s 2013 – 2014 season, and the culmination of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. This was the 121st year of the Stanley Cup’s presentation. The league realigned its divisions prior to the season, and changed the structure of the playoffs, but the championship series remained the same. The Western Conference champion Los Angeles Kings defeated the Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers four games to one to win their second championship in franchise history, marking the first time since 2007 that the championship series was determined in fewer than six games. Their Stanley Cup winning run of 26 playoff games was the longest of any Stanley Cup winning team in history.
The Los Angeles Kings are a professional ice hockey team based in Los Angeles. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). 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. The Kings called The Forum in Inglewood, California (a suburb of Los Angeles), their home for thirty-two years until they moved to the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles to start the 1999–2000 season.
1967 – Present National Hockey League
1967 – Present Los Angeles Kings
Kings – Owner Jack Kent Cooke chose Kings as the team nickname from entries submitted in a fan contest. He wanted his club to take on “an air of royalty” with the team wearing the same colors as the NBA franchise Cooke owned, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Stanley Cup 2
2013 – 2014, 2011 – 2012
1999 – Present Staples Center
1967 – 1999 The “Fabulous” Forum
1995 – Present Philip Anschutz and Edward Roski, Jr.
1994 – 1995 Joseph Cohen and Jeffrey Sudikoff
1987 – 1994 Bruce McNall
1979 – 1987 Jerry Buss
1967 – 1979 Jack Kent Cooke
4 Rob Blake
16 Marcel Dionne
18 Dave Taylor
20 Luc Robitaille
30 Rogie Vachon
99 Wayne Gretzky
1995 – Present Bailey
*Blue is this team’s history