The 2019-20 NHL season will see the calendar turn the page on a memorable decade of hockey for the Los Angeles Kings. Regardless of last year’s result, the past 10 years have supplied a litany of memories for Kings fans. In an effort to capture the success of the past decade, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski compiled a list of All-Decade teams for each NHL organization.
Wyshynski listed the following skaters for the Kings’ super-successful run in the 2010s:
- C: Anze Kopitar
- LW: Tanner Pearson
- RW: Dustin Brown
- D: Drew Doughty
- D: Jake Muzzin
- G: Jonathan Quick
- Coach: Darryl Sutter
According to Wyshynski, the toughest decision for the Kings revolved around the wings.
The only questions here were on the wings. Could you go Justin Williams (102 goals, Conn Smythe, Mr. Game 7) as the right wing over Dustin Brown? An argument could be made, although Brown’s 768 games of service are hard to ignore.
And picking the definitive left wing for the Kings in the past decade means picking from Pearson, Dwight King, Kyle Clifford, Ryan Smyth, and Alex Iaffalo. And Milan Lucic and Ilya Kovalchuk, we guess. Pearson gets the edge.
You can read Wyshynski’s league-wide analysis at ESPN.
A Beacon of Hope
The Athletic’s Sean McIndoe delivered a bit of optimism when taking a closer look at 10 underperforming NHL sides. According to the list, coach Todd McLellan’s squad could be poised for a return to normal.
McIndoe discussed how the Kings’ roster is still packed with normally-reliable contributors, but the trade deadline could spark another round of turnover.
But maybe not quite as silly as you might think, if only because unlike almost all of these other teams, the Kings aren’t all that far removed from being decent. Last year was a disaster, but they had 98 points the season before that. That team had the same core as this one, albeit a few years younger. Get Kopitar and Doughty back to something like their 2018 level, mix in a strong year from a healthy Jonathan Quick and factor in a big upgrade behind the bench from Willie Desjardins to Todd McLellan, and the Kings could be in the mix in what figures to be a weak division. At least until they sell at the deadline.
You can read McIndoe’s full story at The Athletic (subscription required).
No Purple, No Love
The Kings’ sleek non-purple uniforms continued to receive harsh reviews in Sporting News’ rankings of NHL home jerseys. Sporting News’ Jace Mallory placed LA’s black-centric threads at No. 27 on the list.
Mallory suggests that the Kings should pivot back to purple.
Purple is the color of royalty, but the Los Angeles Kings managed to strip their uniforms of all purple in 2011. They featured some success early on with the new look - winning two Stanley Cups after all - but have since struggled to make a splash.
A return to prestigious purple might just be the change the Kings need. You know what they say, “if you look good, you feel good and if you feel good you play good.” It may not be grammatically correct but you get the point.
You can read the complete rankings at Sporting News.