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Kings fans have suffered — oh, how they’ve suffered

Jun 5, 2012, 1:46 PM EDT

Kings fans Getty Images

The Los Angeles Kings are one victory away from their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. For hardcore fans of the club that’s been around since 1967, it hasn’t been easy keeping the faith. Below is a list of reasons why.

—- Out of their previous 43 season, Los Angeles missed the playoffs 18 times and lost in the first round 16 times.

—- Only three times have the Kings broken the 100-point barrier in a season. And in two of those seasons they lost in the first round, the other in the second round.

—- The Kings have just two banners hanging in the Staples Center, one for winning the Smythe Division in 1991 and one for winning the Campbell Conference in 1993, the year they lost in the finals to Montreal.

—- In the 18 seasons since making it to the finals, they’ve missed the playoffs 11 times.

—- In 1995, the Kings had to claim bankruptcy as a result of former owner Bruce McNall’s financial misdeeds. McNall ultimately went to prison for almost five years after pleading guilty to five counts of conspiracy and fraud.

—- In 1996, the Kings were forced to trade Wayne Gretzky to St. Louis at his behest. In return, they got Craig Johnson, Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, a first-round pick in the 1997 draft (Matt Zultek) and a fifth-round choice in the 1996 draft (Peter Hogan). Remember any of those guys?

There have been good times along the way as well – the Miracle on Manchester, Gretzky’s arrival, Mike Krushelnyski’s goal – but Wednesday could top it all.

  1. SmackSaw - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    There is a core fanbase in LA of about 30,000. They are rabid. They raised their kids to be hockey fans. Seriously, they are more rabid than Lakers and Dodgers fans. Raiders fans are close, but LA Kings fans are crazy.

    • blomfeld - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:14 AM


      • joethorntonisclutch - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:45 PM

        Yes. Flat out yes.

  2. hrudey - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    And as bad as the whole McNall fiasco was in the mid-90s, the god-awful putrescence of the lineup that the Kings were using at the time gave it a run for its… well, not money, obviously!

  3. florida76 - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    My only complaint about the Kings was their wrong decision to abandon the historical colors and logo of the purple/gold era when Gretzky was acquired. The Kings got it right in the beginning with the big crown on the purple/gold uniform set, no need to deviate from that basic look.

  4. highlander24 - Jun 5, 2012 at 4:18 PM


    • blomfeld - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:16 AM


      GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! … Today, tomorrow and forever !

  5. dannymac17 - Jun 5, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    its bad for me

    im a kings, clippers, chargers, liverpool and dodgers fan

    i havent known what its like to win in 20+ years

    go kings, bring some excitement to my life for the love of god.

    • hrudey - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      We moved away from California when I was 5, and because of the places I lived growing up, I ended up becoming a fan of:
      Indiana Pacers
      Chicago Cubs (because it was on WGN when I got home from elementary school, and later after they got Sandberg because I thought he was awesome).
      Jacksonville Jaguars (well, originally the Dolphins but as I lived in Jacksonville cumulatively about 2/3 of my life, when they got the team I switched. Working for the gameday operations staff didn’t hurt that, though)

      But by the time I was old enough to get set in my rooting interests (and look at the all the losing I’ve stuck with!), I still hadn’t lived anywhere where hockey was really big, so while I still have a soft spot for the Golden State Warriors or the Oakland As, the Kings were the one team that never got dislodged.

      If it weren’t for the University of Florida, I would have no idea what it was like as a fan to win a title, and until the 90s, that wasn’t exactly a productive bandwagon either! Meanwhile, I took my wife to her first hockey game in Colorado, when they played the Stars just after the Blake trade, and she became an Avalanche fan. This day has been a long, long, long time coming, but we’re emerging from the wilderness into paradise this evening!

  6. pantherpro - Jun 5, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Kings fans suck! How come there are thousands of Shark fans at games in the Staples Center yet up north in San Jose when the Kings play you can count their fans on two hands?

    SJ Sharkie

    • dannymac17 - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:28 PM

      well i guess ill take being a sucky kings fan who doesnt goto san jose with a stanley cup than a sharks fan with no stanley cup

    • ron05342 - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      Dude, there are not “thousands” of Shark fans at Staples, there are not even hundreds, or dozens at Kings games. Stop exaggerating.

      The few Sharks fans that do show up at Kings game don’t really know the game very well. Any hit at all and Sharks fans want a penalty. It is laughable to watch indignant Sharks fans crying and moaning about anything that happens against their team. Learn the game, Sharks fan.

    • hrudey - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:29 PM

      On the bright side, the Sharks fans can look back at the playoffs and take pride in the fact that they only lost two more games than the Kings did this postseason, and so far have only given up one more power play goal than the vaulted Kings penalty kill. Between that and finding a way not to get beaten in the conference finals, seems like it’s a good year for you guys too! Hope you keep it up!

  7. tylerrowland09 - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    I wouldn’t say we have suffered. I have been a Kings fan since age 9 when I moved to So. Cal back in 1992. We have had some teams that have made the playoffs, but faded. Ownership had been an issue throughout the 1990’s but we managed a few playoff appearances. But instead of letting tallent go. The Kings drafted a core of talent stuck through the growing pains and it has paid off. Also having a goaltender like Quick makes what has taken place possible!

    • ron05342 - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      Speak for yourself. I have been a Kings fan since I was 9 as well, in 1967. I have suffered greatly.

      • jason9696 - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        I’m a Leafs fan. So I’ve suffered a lot more than a Kings fan has. And it looks as though I will continue to suffer.

        On that note, I really hope the Kings win tonight. Their playoff run has been amazing. I don’t think anyone saw this coming.

  8. jimeejohnson - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    It is VERY ironic that the Kings even have a chance to win the Stanley Cup when the Sharks have been to the playoffs so many more times. That does not mean I like the Kings more than the Sharks, but it does mean I respect what the Kings have done and are probably going to do.

  9. martysbetter - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    If suffering is watching ‘the great one’ play for your team night in and night out for 8 years, sign me up.

  10. tk1966 - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Kings fans have suffered? You mean all three of them?

    But seriously, I’ve been in LA for about 10 years, and attended many games (mostly to see my team when they are here – which I see is usually the case when the Staples Center is filled by at least 1/2 by the visiting fans). And I’ve seen that there is almost no support for the Kings in this town. There are a few – a few- good, quality fans. But for the most part, the “fans” couldn’t care less. The media is even worse. They are an afterthought… if they are even thought of at all.The local sports talk station, who should advertise themselves as all Lakers, all the time, actually traveled to Jersey to broadcast live. This is a station that I can honestly say I have never heard even discuss the Kings in the last ten years.

    But now all that has changed with all these new lifelong Kings fans.

    I feel bad for the few real fans the Kings have had all along.

  11. malarzt - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    I Live in Las Vegas, NV. since 1995 Still a LA kings Weekend season ticket holder, and will travel anywhere whenever is possible to see The Kings play, as for the cheating Sharks I wouln’t pay a dime to see them, I don’t like going to the Circus, to old for that.

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