Posted January 19, 2013 on
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The Los Angeles Kings raised their first Stanley Cup championship banner Saturday in a joyous ceremony delayed more than three months by the NHL lockout.
With help from the family of a victim of the Sandy Hook massacre, the Kings hung their black-and-white banner in the rafters at Staples Center and received their championship rings before their season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The ceremony was the culmination of Los Angeles' improbable rampage through the postseason last year, when the Kings became the first eighth-seeded team to capture the Cup.
The Kings hadn't played on the Staples Center ice since June 11, when they completed a six-game victory over the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup finals. With the 6-1 win, the 45-year-old franchise secured its first NHL championship.
After a lengthy video presentation in the darkened arena while fans waved glowsticks, Nancy Anschutz - the wife of Kings owner Phil Anschutz - handed the ring boxes to the players as they skated to center ice.
After the Stanley Cup's handlers brought the trophy through the crowd and onto the ice, the Kings relayed it around the perimeter of the rink, with each player raising it one more time.
Even two injured Kings suited up for the ceremony: Anze Kopitar, the club's co-scoring leader in the postseason, and defenseman Willie Mitchell, the oldest player on last year's team. Los Angeles retained every player who skated in the playoffs last season, a remarkable feat in pro sports.
The Kings' leaders then picked up the banner from the family of Ana Marquez-Greene and Los Angeles hockey stars Marcel Dionne and Rogie Vachon, skating it across the ice and raising it to the rafters amid thunderous applause.
Los Angeles' accomplishments during its 16-4 run through the postseason are well-known to every Kings fan by now.
Starting with their upset of Presidents' Trophy-winning Vancouver, the Kings set NHL records by leading all four of their playoff series 3-0 and winning 10 straight road games. Los Angeles thrashed the Western Conference's top three seeds, never played an elimination game, and only trailed for about 184 minutes in the entire postseason.
With plenty of time to plan during the lockout, the Kings also made a few changes to their arena to honor their first championship, notably moving their banners and retired numbers off the Staples Center wall and hanging them in the rafters.
The Kings had followed the tradition of the Lakers, their co-tenants in the Forum and Staples, by hanging their banners on the walls of the arenas. But after doubling their number of banners from two to four, the Kings joined every other NHL team and moved their banners into the rafters.
The club also made new banners for the transition, hanging its Western Conference title banner before fans even entered the arena next to a similar new banner celebrating the 1992-93 conference title. The Kings hung new ones for their five retired numbers, including Dionne, Vachon and Wayne Gretzky.
The Kings' celebration began early Saturday outside the arena, where thousands of black-jerseyed fans gathered for a street fair. General manager Dean Lombardi and Kings ownership executive Tim Leiweke greeted fans at the door and even handed out hot dogs.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in the building, but didn't go on the ice.
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The L.A. Kings received their Stanley Cup rings and raised their championship banner on Saturday. See video of the ceremony here.
The Stanley Cup champion Kings took care of another bit of housekeeping an important one by finalizing the contract extensions of General Manager Dean Lombardi, Coach Darryl Sutter and executive Luc Robitaille on Friday morning.
Lombardi also holds the title of team president and Robitaille is the team's president in charge of business operations.
As reported earlier this...
LOS ANGELES The moment was more than seven months in the making, but it still felt right on time. When the Stanley Cup championship banner rose above the ice and into the rafters at Staples Center on Saturday, Los Angeles Kings players watched it admiringly. They had made it happen.
This was their day, their achievement. An NHL-imposed lockout forced them and the rest of the league...
Their celebration may have been delayed, but on Saturday afternoon the Los Angeles Kings finally got to commemorate their Stanley Cup championship — and they did so in fashion.
Before opening the season against the Chicago Blackhawks (albeit with a 5-2 loss), the Kings were given their rings, but sunglasses may be necessary when viewing the bling. After winning the Cup as an 8th...
If only the Los Angeles Kings gripped their sticks as gently as they gripped their Stanley Cup banner.
After raising the team's first championship banner into the rafters at Staples Center, Los Angeles turned in a nightmarish first period en route to a 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks as the National Hockey League resumed play on Saturday after a lockout that consumed the...
After a Stanley Cup championship run that stunned everybody but the players in the Los Angeles Kings' locker room, they're all back to attempt the improbable again.
Pro sports teams rarely stay together for long these days, but the Kings are an exception. Everybody who touched the ice last spring during the eighth-seeded club's run to the franchise's first title...
The 2012 NHL Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings on Friday announced they have signed general manager Dean Lombardi, head coach Darryl Sutter and president of business operations Luc Robitaille to multiyear contract extensions. "We are ecstatic that we have kept our leadership team in place both on the hockey side with Dean and Darryl and on the business side with Luc and...
We did it T
The Los Angeles Kings lifted their Stanley Cup championship banner yesterday at Staples Center. The Kings proceeded to lose 5-2 to the Blackhawks. Congrats to the Kings again for winning the toughest trophy in sports.-TO
Game On Garth
NHL Lockout Is Over
Who has time to respond to disrespectful comments coming from a man who takes bathroom pictures, when you’re dating Los Angeles King Jarret Stoll?
FOX Sports correspondent Erin Andrews certainly didn’t have the time or energy.
After appearing on the Ryan Seacrest Morning Show, Stoll made his relationship with Andrews public, after photos of the two surfaced during an New Year’s...
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Marian Hossa had two goals and an assist, Corey Crawford made 19 saves, and the Chicago Blackhawks crashed the Kings' Stanley Cup championship celebration with a 5-2 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday.
Captain Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who jumped to a 3-0 lead on Michael Frolik's goal less than...
Finally the Pacific Division #1. Los Angeles Kings- The defending Stanley Cup Champs are back and they are ready to take a run at repeating, which would make them the first team since the Red Wings in 97/98 to repeat as champions. Most people worry about a Stanley Cup hangover but with this team, but to me [...]
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