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In a young man’s game, let’s take it easy with the dynasty talk

Jun 16, 2014, 12:21 PM EST

Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty AP

In 2009, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, led by their 21-year-old captain, Sidney Crosby, and a 22-year-old Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Evgeni Malkin.

At the time, the Pens seemed like a dynasty in the making. They have not been back to the Stanley Cup Final since.

Because also at the time, there were some young guys in Chicago by the names of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith, and some other young guys in Los Angeles by the names of Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar.

Today, it’s the Blackhawks and Kings that are garnering the dynasty talk. No surprise there, given they’ve won four of the last five Stanley Cups, two for each franchise, and both clubs, among other things, have an elite two-way center and an elite defenseman.

And if you go back in time, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a champion that didn’t have at least one of those types of players. The Boston Bruins, who won in 2011, had/still have Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara. The 2008 Red Wings had Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom. The 2007 Ducks had two elite d-men in Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer, plus a young center in Ryan Getzlaf. And even the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes, though their blue line was relatively lacking, had a two-time Selke Trophy winner in Rod Brind’Amour and a young center in Eric Staal.

If that’s the blue print, there are teams today, besides L.A. and Chicago, with the makings of a champion. Look at Columbus, with Ryan Johansen, 21, and Ryan Murray, 20. There’s Tampa Bay, with Steven Stamkos, 24, and Victor Hedman, 23. The Blue Jackets and Lightning also have highly rated prospects in Alexander Wennberg and Jonathan Drouin, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars may need to upgrade their blue lines, but they’re led by young stars up front. The Florida Panthers are loaded with young talent. Ditto for the Buffalo Sabres.

And what about the players that haven’t even been drafted yet? In five years, Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, draft-eligible next summer, will be 22 years old, i.e. around the same age Crosby, Toews and Doughty won their first Stanley Cups.

Now, could the Kings become a dynasty? Absolutely. So could the Blackhawks. But let’s also remember how quickly things can change in a young man’s league like the NHL.

Five years ago, Los Angeles finished with the second-worst record in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

Five years ago, Chicago finally made the playoffs after missing five straight times.

Look at them now.

  1. aldog83 - Jun 16, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Forget the Dynasty talk.

    Let’s enjoy a 2nd history making run.

    If the Kings win again…

    Let the Media talk about Dynasties.

    Kings should discourage talk of Dynasty and let the performance on ice do the talking.

    GKG!

  2. cybernetikghost - Jun 16, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    The one thing that is the biggest variable, that the article failed to mention, is the goaltending situation of each of the teams. Detroit and Pittsburgh both had spotty goaltending since their championship days. Quick could very well implode in effectiveness for the Kings, but assuming he doesn’t (and I don’t think he will), this could be a very competitive team for some time. I don’t know how many cups you have to win to earn the title of “dynasty” but as far as the history of the franchise, this would be the closest the Kings have ever gotten to achieving it.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      Indeed, the last few seasons are the greatest in Kings history. A dynasty means you alone rule your domain for an uninterrupted period of time. To me that means winning the Cup at least twice in a row. Sharing it with the Hawks makes neither a dynasty, though both are excellent clubs.
      Except for the Oilers (4 in 5 years), all the great dynasties (Habs, Leafs and Isles) won at least 3 in a row. We might see that again, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

    • hockeydon10 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      People were loathe to call Detroit a dynasty after 97/98. Even after 2002 there was enough resistance that the “dynasty” talk faded to “modern dynasty”.

      It could happen with the two most recent winners, but fans and teams should just enjoy the moment instead of following the media’s pressure to find the next dynasty team. Until a team mimics the Oilers or Islanders, they’re not a dynasty.

  3. pop562 - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Go Kings Go!!!

  4. kc114 - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Eventually the young stars will want the big pay check. There’s are salary cap so that will make it difficult for teams to stay at a high level for more than a few years.

  5. Professor Fate - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    To sniff “dynasty” status a club must, “…among other things, have an elite two-way center and an elite defenseman.” Except that the phrase “among other things” glosses over the very real need to have four competent lines with players that know their roles and can execute them. To say nothing of a goaltender who can consistently make clutch saves.

    Two lights-out lines? Two very good lines and a decent third? If you can’t roll four lines regularly you will end up with your top lines on the ice too long. In today’s NHL a team without four quality lines will fade come playoff time. A record for total playoff games was set this year and the Kings needed 21 games just to make the finals. Despite having four pretty good lines, the subsequent five-game final had them “out of gas,” according to one of their players.

    I suppose if you had a couple of lines that could make short work of any series you might go quite far in the playoffs, but eventually you’ll meet a team that has the depth to negate that advantage, and every series requires at least four wins to advance. In today’s cap world the need for young talent regularly coming out of your system is more important than ever.

    • therealjr - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      To sniff *dynasty* status a club must…win Championships. They have two in the bank thus far. End of discussion.

  6. lateralous - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    I don’t think any of them will be a dynasty but Chicago, LA and Boston certainly look like the Devils, Avalanche and Red Wings of the late 90s early 2000s, always challenging for the cup.

  7. esracerx46 - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    5 years ago the Hawks won the Stanley Cup. 6 years ago (2008/2009) they made the playoffs and lost to Detroit in the Western Conference Final.

    Time really does fly

    • Jason Brough - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      2014 minus 2009 equals 5 years, does it not?

      • chanceoffleury - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        They’re talking about the Penguins, not the Hawks. I think they just mistyped.

  8. blomfeld - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Sure, and you need 4 x wheels in-order to win the Daytona 500 …

    With all due respect, all this talk here about ‘dynasties’ and such is for the birds and we ‘true’ Kings couldn’t care less about what you ‘experts’ think or say ! In fact, you people are nothing but a bunch of ‘reactionary’ fools who just sit there and ‘natter’ over that which has already happened. I mean seriously, where were all you clowns last September with this ‘stupid’ talk about a King’s dynasty ? Most of you ‘experts’ didn’t even give us Kings a chance of making the playoffs, let alone start a bloody dynasty ! And any time I personally spoke out about my conviction that ‘ours’ is an enterprise driven by providence and supreme righteousness, all you people could do was lash back with ‘hurtful’ insult, scorn and ridicule.

    Nonetheless, that which will be will be … and today is our special day ! :)

    GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

    • bullwinkle88 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      I just wish more people (say 500,000) who live in L.A. would agree with you. Many still think Getzky is still on the team!!!

      • 19inarow - Jun 16, 2014 at 11:08 PM

        For real? Daaaaaaamn.

  9. henrik4dawin - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Really good article Brough– I think that dynasty talk should only be relevant when there is a real dynasty around. ie. if Kings win next year we can talk of them being a dynasty, or if Chicago wins next 2 etc. Otherwise it’s crazy to say
    — they’ve been challenging for the cup for the last x number of years and have won it once or twice in x number of years so they’re basically a dynasty

  10. djshnooks - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Sorry, but I have to say…

    THE SABRES ARE COMING!!! :-)

    Think about it…two 1st round picks in 2012, two 1st round picks in 2013, one 1st rounder (trying to get another) in 2014, three 1st rounders in 2015…plus a load of talented 2nd round picks like JT Compher and Nick Baptiste (3 more this year), former 1st round picks in Joel Armia, Mark Pysyk, Tyler Ennis, Tyler Myers…and a lot of salary cap room to add free agents…as well as excellent returns in trades for Vanek, Miller, Pominville and others, bringing back Deslauriers and Fasching from the Kings, Carrier from the Blues and Larsson/Hackett from the Wild…plus they have Chris Stewart and Micheal Neuvirth from those deals they can trade for more, as well as Drew Stafford and Christian Ehrhoff who have garnered trade attention.

    They have been re-building using a model never used before…17 first and second round draft picks through three years.

    I know, they suck and cannot be taken seriously until they start winning again…but you cannot deny a couple things here…

    1.) Tim Murray’s resume and his knack for finding talent (see the draft in Anaheim where he got Corey Perry with “his” pick at the end of the first round.) That’s his thing.

    2.) How Murray is going about re-building this team…like the Kings, Blackhawks, Ducks and some of the other best teams.

    Building through the draft is proven to work. Like he said…you need to hit your high picks, but the 2nd/3rd rounds is where you are gonna win a Stanley Cup.

    Whereas Tallon in Florida is only worried about his two 1st rounders. You could argue that the Sabres will be the better built team because of that philosophy.

    It’s not a guarantee that this will turn into the Los Angeles Kings…but it’s almost a given it will not be the Edmonton Oilers either. They built from center-ice back, and Buffalo is building from the net out. They have better development, coaching, ownership, and managing in Buffalo.

    Either way, I’m stoked about this draft! :-)

  11. ronniethec - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    The sharks, over the last 10 seasons have averaged 103.5 points in the regular season. I would call the sharks a dynasty. Wait a minute. I meant travesty.

  12. atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    With all due respect to the Kings, because 2 cups in 3 years is impressive, a dynasty implies prolonged dominance, 2 cups doesn’t do that, once you get into the 3 and 4+ championships that’s when the dynasty talk can begin.

    Normally I don’t agree with Blohard on anything, but some of the comments in his rambling part way up the page were correct, I don’t think the Kings or their fans care about a dynasty label at this point, they’re just happy to be celebrating another cup.

    • nightfireop - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:26 PM

      even if a team wins 10 in a row you’ll find something to not acknowledge that unless it’s YOUR team.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:39 AM

        Are you talking about me or in general? Cause I personally would disagree, I’m a Calgary Flames fan and hate everything about the Edmonton Oilers but I’ll fully admit that the Oilers of the mid to late 80’s was the best hockey team I’ve ever seen, they were just incredible, and fully deserving of the dynasty label.

        What the Kings have done winning 2 of the last 3 cups is very impressive, I just think on a historical realm they’re not in the same conversation as the Canadiens, Islanders, and Oilers etc. yet, but they are young and have a good core of players, it’s very possible that they may one day enter that conversation.

  13. rupp246 - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Sabers suck now and will going forward.

  14. Hard to BeLeaf - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Dynasties are for chinese emperors.

    This is the Kings, they are a Monarchy :P

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