The Los Angeles Kings are an NHL team that played in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division. Since the franchise began in 1967, the Kings have made more than 30 playoff appearances, raising Stanley Cup Championship banners in 2012 and 2014. With their home in the Staples Center, Los Angeles has retired the numbers of stars like Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille. The Los Angeles Kong’s reached the playoffs in their inaugural 1967-1968 season but found little success in their first few years in the NHL. The mid-1970’s saw the Kings make the playoffs five straight years behind star Marcel Dionne. In 1978-1979, Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer join Dionne to created the “Triple Crown Line”. The Kings would put together nine consecutive years of reaching the playoffs that stretched into the mid-1980’s. Marcel Dionne would rack up his 600th career goal in 1984-1985, but the star veteran was traded the next season. Enter Luc Robitaille that same year, who won the Calder Trophy while scoring 45 goals. After the 1987-1988 season, the Los Angeles Kings pulled off a blockbuster trade, landing Wayne Gretzky. “The Great One” won the MVP in 1988-1989 and the Kings beat Gretzky’s old team, the Edmonton Oilers, in the first round of the playoffs but could not advance any further. The next year, Wayne Gretzky won the league scoring title and passed the legendary Gordie Howe with his 1,851st point. The Kings would claim their first-ever Pacific Division title in 1990-1991. The following season, they would overcome the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs on their way to playing the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Conference Finals. Down three games to two, Wayne Gretzky scored a goal in overtime of Game 6 to ensure the Kings still had life. “The Great One” topped that with a hat trick in Game 7, and Los Angeles was headed to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Finals. In 1993-1994, Wayne Gretzky surpassed Gordie Howe as the NHL’s leader in goals scored, but that was to be his final highlight as a King as he was traded to the St. Louis Blues the next year.
The 1997-1998 season saw the Kings return to the playoffs, largely due to the re-acquisition of Luc Robitaille and the play of Norris Trophy-winner Rob Blake. Los Angeles would repeatedly make the playoffs as the 2000s began, and 2005-2006 became an important transition year. Luc Robitaille would retire, along with his 668 career goals, but new faces like Valeri Bure and Jeremy Roenick joined the team. Jonathan Quick emerged as one of the NHL’s best goaltenders in 2009 and adding Colin Fraser in the 2011-2012 season fueled a remarkable run. Despite being the eighth seed in the playoffs, the Kings upset the Vancouver Canucks in five games in the first round and then swept the St. Louis Blues in their next series. Red-hot LA needed only five games to knock off the Phoenix Coyotes on their way to the Stanley Cup FInals. The Finals saw the Kings play the New Jersey Devils and their star goalie Martin Brodeur. Jonathan Quick overshadowed Brodeur all series, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy, as the Kings won in six games, taking home their first ever Stanley Cup. The defending champs got off to a good start in the 2012-2013 playoffs, defeating the St. Louis Blues in the opening round. The San Jose Sharks would push the Kings to seven games, but the Kings prevailed. The push for a repeat ended, as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Kings in five games. Retaining most of the championship squad, the Kings were tested in the 2013-2014 playoffs as the San Jose Sharks were up 3-0 in the first round. The resilient Kings would win the next four games, becoming only the fourth NHL team to win a playoff series when they were down three games to none. Facing the Anaheim Ducks in round two was not any easier as that series also went seven games before the Kings prevailed on the road. The team reached the conference finals for the third consecutive season to play the Chicago Blackhawks again. This time, LA would go on to the Stanley Cup Finals, clinching it with a dramatic 5-4 overtime win. Marian Gaborik led the league in playoff goals that year, including one to tie up Game 5, before LA claimed the Cup in overtime of that game. The Conn Smythe Trophy, as the league’s playoff MVP, went to fellow scoring star Justin Williams. In 2015-2016, Anze Kopitar was recognized with the Selke Trophy, as the league’s best defensive forward, and the Lady Byng Award for sportsmanship while Drew Doughty won the Norris Trophy.
When the Los Angeles Kings were granted an NHL franchise in 1967, people doubted hockey would find any fans in Southern California. The Kings have not only survived but thrived behind a passionate fan base. Those fans have gotten to cheer for Hall of Famers like Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille, and signed collectibles from stars like those two would be just as valuable as an Oscar or Emmy in any home in Hollywood. Kings fans can also relive the team’s Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014 with a wide range of autographed pucks and jerseys from stars like Jonathan Quick and Marian Gaborik. As the Los Angeles Kings are well-positioned to claim another Stanley Cup in the future, signed memorabilia from the team is sure to continue appreciating in value.
Collecting Los Angeles Kings Memorabilia