The Los Angeles Kings' 1993-94 season could be best summed up as a catastrophe. A year after making the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in franchise history, the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in eight years and finished with an abysmal 27-45-12 record. It also marked the first of a four year playoff drought.
Things started off pretty weird as the Kings' decided to rip the heart directly out of the team in exchange for a 5th round pick from New Jersey. Thus sparking the vaunted "Corey Millen Curse" that L.A. would be unable to shake for the next 18 years.
There was even further folly as L.A. traded Marty McSorely away for Shawn McEachern after a strange RFA negotiation saga. Feeling as though they made a misstep, the team reversed the trade at the trade deadline. Who does that?
Anyhow, the 1994 Kings were awful and the 2014 Kings are awesome. The franchise is healthier and stronger than it has ever been by miles. With 23 wins this season, 27-year-old goalie Jonathan Quick will become the all-time franchise leader in that category. A year removed from winning the Cup and a few months removed from making another deep playoff run, L.A. should again contend this season. There really is little to complain about, but we here at JFTC will not let that stop us.
Let's take a look at 5 ways the 1994 squad had an advantage over the current one.
The 2014 Kings have pretty boring hairstyles. I mean aside from Anze Kopitar's pretty balling-ass hair, saying the other Kings even have "hairstyles" is really pushing it. L.A. lost a lot of ground in that department when they dumped Andre Loktionov last season.
By contrast, the 1994 Kings had cool hair in spades. From Kelly Hrudey's carefully quoffed sandy-beach mullet, to Charlie Huddy's hide-your-wife-and-kids drug mullet, to Wayne Gretzky's just-came-from-the-salon-and-scored-5-points-and-now-i'm-going-to-put-on-a-hairnet-and-go-to-sleep hairstyle, to Luc's fantasy novel hero hair; the 1994 squad really liked to floss.
4. Better Celebs
Check out this article from the Kings 2012 cup run about celebrities that were on hand from game 3 of the finals. Now, tell me...who in the shit are most of those people?
Compare that to:
Every night, there were stars all over the place. President Reagan and his wife Nancy were at all of our games and they were in the dressing room after the game meeting the players. After a game, I would walk into the dressing room and Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn would be in my office with Goldie's daughter Kate Hudson, who was just 14 then. The dressing room would always be full of Hollywood stars wanting to meet the players, outside limos would be lined up along the Forum to pick up guys at the Forum Club after the game, and the Forum Club was just a who's who of Hollywood stars. James Woods, was a big hockey fan and he was at all the games. Mary Hart from Entertainment Tonight was a huge hockey fan and she was always there both in the regular season and the playoffs.
Mary-fucking-Hart, you guys. 'Nuff said.
3. Wayne & Luc
Watching Jordan Nolan and Dwight King foosball the puck around the ice while the Kings cling to another 1-0 lead is pretty cool and all, but I mean watching Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille combine for goals was ok too I guess:
The Kings current uniforms are just a bad copy of the Greztky era uniforms, which were cooler in every single way. In fact, the Kings were recently voted worst dressed in a hard-hitting article from ESPN. And justly so, as the Kings' dull, corporate inspired look appears as though it was cooked up in a DeVry University graphic design workshop.
1. Kelly Hrudey
Jonathan Quick is pretty cool...I mean he cusses inappropriately and wins Conn Smythe trophies which is great and all, BUT Kelly Hrudey wore a turquoise bandanna and looked like he should be busy casually walking away from an explosion at all times:
If you've ever found yourself watching an LA Kings game and felt like there was something missing, the thing missing was probably the fact that Kelly Hrudey was not on the team.
And sure the Kings lost a lot of games in 1994 with scores like 4-7 or 5-8, but at least they looked great doing it.