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Fanspeak: Gretzky voted best player in Kings franchise history

Aug 1, 2014, 7:05 PM EDT

Wayne Gretzky AP

This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.

Los Angeles Kings

1. Wayne Gretzky – 1,321 Votes

2. Luc Robitaille – 767 Votes

3. Jonathan Quick – 238 Votes

4. Other – 161 Votes

Even though he sits just 16th all-time in games played for the Kings — heck, Sean O’Donnell played more — it’s hard to deny Gretzky’s place atop this list, or the impact he had on hockey in Los Angeles. No. 99 brought the Kings the type of Hollywood limelight normally reserved for the Lakers, and paced the team to its first-ever Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1993.

In short, he put hockey in the map in L.A.

Here’s what the No. 2 guy on this list, Robitaille, said about Gretzky’s impact (per The Hockey News):

Here in L.A., Wayne is The Guy. He made us a respectable franchise. People became believers because of him. You talk to Drew Doughty, he’ll tell you he wanted to play for the Kings because he’d seen and heard about Gretzky.

We have a history and obviously there was Marcel Dionne, but Gretzky and that trade changed the NHL.

(Oddly enough, Dionne failed to crack the top three on the list.)

Gretzky’s time with L.A. also produced a number of numbers and awards. He won his last Hart Trophy as league MVP in a Kings uniform (in 1989), and captured three Art Ross trophies as the regular season scoring champ.

All told, he finished his L.A. career with 918 points in 539 games — a 1.7 points-per-game average — and, during the ’93 Cup run, scored a staggering 40 points in 24 games.

So yeah, no real surprise No. 99 is the No. 1 King of all time.

  1. lowenni - Aug 1, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    What? Wayne Gretzky was good at hockey?

  2. billiam55 - Aug 1, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    surprised kings fans even know who he is.

  3. bleedrangerblue - Aug 1, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Marcel Dionne.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:13 PM

      OK, Dionne was good too, but Eddie “The Jet” Joyal was head and shoulders above them all.

  4. bleedrangerblue - Aug 1, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    Then Mark Hardy

  5. lakeshoreleafsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Oh brother. If Gretzky is voted the best player in Kings history, then LA Kings’ history SUCKS

  6. sjsharks66 - Aug 1, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    I think it should be justin williams

    • nightfireop - Aug 1, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      kinda going off topic here, but could you imagine how much growth yotes or cats would have if their owners pulled “the trade” with sidney crosby?

  7. zinger99 - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    Never forget Juha Widing!!

  8. 19inarow - Aug 2, 2014 at 5:21 AM

    I hope Mr. Dionne doesn’t read these things.

  9. dubblelznhell - Aug 2, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Gretzky played 500 some odd games with the Kings and still almost got 1000 points.


    • lakeshoreleafsfan - Aug 2, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      Of course. It’s easy to garner so many points over your career when NHL protocol dictates that he be protected from actually having to earn his “success” instead of his “success” being manufactured and handed to him on a silver platter. NHL did with the Gretzky yesterday, they’re doing it with Crosby today and they’ll do it for the next manufactured NHL “superstar” tomorrow

      • anthj99 - Aug 2, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        You must be retarded.

  10. zinger99 - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Something a Buffalo fan would say.

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