Skip to content

Gretzky impressed by Kings: “They’re a much better team than we were in ’93”

May 24, 2012, 11:21 AM EST

Wayne Gretzky AP

Over at the L.A. Times, longtime NHL scribe Helene Elliott caught up with the catalyst of the last Kings team to make the Stanley Cup finals: Wayne Gretzky.

No. 99, who currently resides in L.A., said he’s thoroughly enjoyed the Kings’ postseason and plans on attending the their first home game on June 4 — the first time a Stanley Cup finals game will be played in L.A. in 19 years.

“It’s been unreal what they’ve done and what they’ve accomplished so far,” he said. “It’s been fun to watch. It’s been spectacular. They’ve been without question the best team in the Western Conference in the first three rounds of the playoffs and they deserve the accolades they’re getting. It’s no fluke.”

Some other nuggets from the Great One:

– He heaped huge praise on Darryl Sutter and loves the way Sutter tweaked Terry Murray’s defensive gameplan with more aggressive forechecking and puck pursuit (which, if you’ve watched the Kings at all these playoffs, looks like a bunch of starved dogs going after a bone.)

– While he doesn’t want to mess with tradition, Gretzky thinks the NHL could revise the Jack Adams process. “You look at changing the coach of the year award and picking it after the Stanley Cup playoffs and not before the playoffs start, I think [Sutter] would win in a landslide.”

– Gretzky thinks the current Kings are a “much better team than we were in ’93.” He has a point, especially when it comes to opponents. That Kings team finished 39-35-10 — 88 points, and caught some lucky breaks along the way: Chicago, the West’s top seed, lost in Round 1 to St. Louis. Same went for the No. 2 seed, Detroit, who lost to Toronto.

A far cry from the 2011-12 Kings, who knocked off the No. 1 (Vancouver), No. 2 (St. Louis) and No. 3 (Phoenix) seeds by themselves en route to the Cup final.

Latest Posts
  1. Sens loan Lazar to Team Canada for World Juniors

    Dec 18, 2014, 11:36 AM EST

    Colorado Avalanche v Ottawa Senators Colorado Avalanche v Ottawa Senators

    Where he’ll play alongside Rangers forward Anthony Duclair.

  2. Habs demote Andrighetto, who made a strong impression

    Dec 18, 2014, 11:32 AM EST

    Montreal Canadians v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    The 21-year-old had three points in four games.

  3. Penguins clear Fleury, continue to deal with mumps

    Dec 18, 2014, 10:47 AM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Carolina Hurricanes Getty Images

    Thomas Greiss is being isolated in case he also has the ailment.

  4. Beliveau’s family thanks community for ‘heartwarming tributes’

    Dec 18, 2014, 9:49 AM EST

    beliveauandfamily

    “He respected all of you unconditionally.”

  5. Video: Who are the Bruins targeting in trade talks?

    Dec 18, 2014, 2:05 AM EST

    Peter Chiarelli AP

    Chris Stewart is one name, which has been linked to Boston.

  6. Mark Howe on his father’s health: ‘He’s back in the ballgame’

    Dec 18, 2014, 1:40 AM EST

    Antti Niemi Antti Niemi

    He’s even walking under his own power according to the report.

  7. Treliving: ‘We’ve got the right guy steering the boat’

    Dec 18, 2014, 12:45 AM EST

    Brad Treliving AP

    Calgary signed Bob Hartley to a multi-year extension Wednesday.

  8. Video: Is Peter DeBoer’s job on the line in New Jersey?

    Dec 18, 2014, 12:15 AM EST

    50667_panthers_penguins_hockey-peterdeboer

    The Devils have lost five straight.

  9. Video: Lehigh Valley Phantoms score 3 in 21 seconds

    Dec 17, 2014, 11:15 PM EST

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Jason Akeson was in on the action for the Flyers’ affiliate.

  10. Turris, Anderson lead Sens over Devils

    Dec 17, 2014, 10:15 PM EST

    Craig Anderson AP

    New Jersey has now lost five straight.

  11. Holland: ‘I’m not against fighting’

    Dec 17, 2014, 9:30 PM EST

    Ken Holland

    Detroit ranks 30th this season in fighting majors.

  12. Penguins recall goaltender Jeff Zatkoff

    Dec 17, 2014, 8:45 PM EST

    SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 11: Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff #37 of the Pittsburgh Penguins stops a shot by the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on October 11, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Penguins 6-3. Getty Images

    Marc-Andre Fleury is unavailable Thursday.

  13. Blues’ Schwartz (foot) placed on IR

    Dec 17, 2014, 7:45 PM EST

    St. Louis Blues v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

    Jaskin recalled from the American Hockey League.

  14. Watch Live: Bruins at Wild (8 p.m. ET)

    Dec 17, 2014, 7:20 PM EST

    David Krejci David Krejci

    Boston looks to snap a three-game skid.

  15. Bruins activate Krejci from IR

    Dec 17, 2014, 6:35 PM EST

    David Krejci David Krejci

    Has not played since Nov. 18.

Featured video

Next steps for the Oilers after Eakins

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (4268)
  2. D. Krejci (2918)
  3. C. Crawford (2439)
  4. B. Bishop (2402)
  5. C. Kunitz (2246)
  1. J. Toews (2080)
  2. O. Palat (1960)
  3. C. Perry (1891)
  4. B. Elliott (1712)
  5. J. Boychuk (1502)