With the LA Kings tearing through the opposition in this seasons playoffs, a couple of players are coming to the fore front as MVP candidates. Goalie Jonathan Quick has been spectacular right from the first face off, while Dustin Brown is making a case with his timely offense and strong physical play. Both of these players (as well as star Anze Kopitar who has been unreal) are still young and are either in the prime of their careers or are just entering there prime. So with so much hockey left in them, could they one day be considered some of the best LA Kings players of all time? This franchise has had some spectacular talents, so let’s take a look back at the Top 5 Kings players of all time, keeping in mind that Quick, Brown and Kopitar may not be left off this list for long.
5. Rob Blake- Blake first joined the Kings in the 1989-90 season, and was named to the all rookie team in 1990-91. He captained the Kings from 1996-2001 and won the Norris Trophy as the NHLs best defenseman after a strong 1997-98 season. In 2001, Blake was traded to the Colorado Avalanche, but returned to the team before the 2006-2007 season and played two more years with the club. Blake is fourth on the Kings all time games played list, seventh in assists and seventh in points. He is also fourth on the teams all time penalty minutes list, and was one of the most feared hip checkers of all time.
4. Dave Taylor- Dave Taylor was a member of the Kings famed Triple Crown Line. He played for the Kings from 1977-1994, and scored 112 points during the 1980-81 season. He served as team captain from 1985-89, and is the lowest drafted player to score 1000 career points, being drafted in the 15th round (210th) in 1975. Taylor’s number 18 is retired by the Kings. Taylor sits first on the Kings all time games played list, third in goals, third in assists and third in points.
3. Luc Robitaille- Robitaille joined the Kings prior to the 1986 season, and took home the Calder Trophy after scoring 45 goals and collecting 39 assists in his first season. Robitaille scored more than 40 goals in each of his first 8 seasons, including 3 seasons with 50 plus goals. His top season was 1992-92 when he potted 63 goals, he also served as captain this season in place of an injured Wayne Gretzky. Robitaille won a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2001-2002, and returned to the Kings in 2003-2004 to become the teams all time leading goal scorer, passing Marcel Dione by scoring his 551st goal with the team. He retired in 2005-2006 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009. On the Kings career leaders list, Robitaille sits second in games played, first in goals, fourth in assists, and second in points.
2. Marcel Dionne- Dionne played 12 seasons with the Kings and was part of the teams Triple Crown Line. Dionne won the Art Ross Trophy in 1979-80, tying for the league scoring lead with Wayne Gretzky with 137 points, but scoring two more goals then the Great One. Dionne also won the Ted Lindsay award in 1979 and 1980, and the Lady Byng in 1975 and 1977. Dionne had eight 100+ point seasons, which is third behind Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. He sits fourth among all time goal scorers with 731. On the Kings career list, Dionne is third in games, second in goals, first in assists and first in points.
1. Wayne Gretzky- The Great One made an immediate impact in LA, scoring on his first shot on goal in a Kings uniform in the first game of the regular season. Gretzky led the Kings to their only Stanley Cup finals appearance, and in 8 seasons with the team, he surpassed 100 points 5 times (two of the seasons he didn’t get 100 points he played less then 50 games). His best season with the Kings was his first, when he tallied 54 goals and 168 points, taking home the Hart Trophy as league MVP. In 1990, Gretzky was named Male Athlete of the Decade by the Associated Press. Gretzky’s biggest influence on the Kings may have actually come off the ice. After being traded to LA, the teams attendance increased, as did fan interest. If not for Gretzky, hockey in LA might not be where it is today. Despite playing only six full seasons with the club, Gretzky sits sixth on the teams all time goal list, second on the teams assists list, and fourth on the teams point list.
I hope you enjoyed this Top 5, and if you did gimme a shout on Twitter @qbaby21. Enjoy the rest of the playoffs.