L.A. Kings Win Stanley Cup

In the days when Montreal won the Stanley Cup nearly every spring, the mayor will announce details of a brief holiday tournament.

"The parade will follow the usual route," all he had to say, and everyone knew what that meant.

There is not a usual route to Los Angeles Kings, who won the first title Monday Cup of his 45-year existence. They will celebrate Thursday with a parade, which begins at noon, with tickets only rally scheduled to begin at 2:30.

They really took an unusual route to get here, but if a few things go right, they can become familiar parade of ritual.

"We built this for the long term. This is a good young team with key tied, and we have the resources to keep our core guys and looking to add" Tim Leiweke, the Kings governor and chief executive officer of parent company AEG, said on Tuesday.

"We want to compete for a long time."

Parity is due to the wage system the NHL cap makes it difficult to build and maintain long-standing rivals. Success brings demands for higher wages, and each team can stretch your budget just yet. Cap problems forced the 2010 champion Chicago Blackhawks to part with 10 heart and soul players and several players are role soon after his victory, and they were not the same.

Physical and psychological toll exacted on two intense months of playoff hockey is also working against the repeat. Players are often required surgery and rehabilitation for injuries and not in the best shape to start the next season. No team has won back-to-back titles since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. In the 2011 champion Boston Bruins [team stats] and vice-Vancouver Canucks lost in the first round of this season.

Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that kings could be more than one hit.

They are supported by a hot fan Leiweke, which allowed them to hold close to the cap limit this season. "I never wanted anything in my career the way I wanted it," he said Monday at the same time on the ice Staples Center. "I am proud of our players and how they struggled this year."

Most of their key players have signed long-term, except for the playoff MVP Jonathan Quick, who has a one-year contract. Kings can begin negotiations to extend it to July 1, and that will be a priority. Re-signed center Jarret Stoll, who can become unrestricted free agent July 1, is another must do. Winger Dustin Penner, and the right to unrestricted free agency, did for the regular season with a lackluster performance of assertive play-offs, but may have to take a cut of $ 4.25 million he earned last season.

In addition, the Kings' relatively short trip the playoffs, possibly leaving them in better shape than other recent champions. They zip in the first three rounds with two losses and is not pushed to the New Jersey Devils fought back to win Game 4 and 5. If they pay less physical price than usual - and it is not yet known what the players have injuries that will require attention - their chances of recurrence could be improved.

What is encouraging fans of that victory over the Kings was on the minds of minutes after the Cup clinching victory over the Devils.

"I think it can be expected now. We must be one of the favorites next year," said Penner. "We were in this year, and did not live up to it until now."

Coach Darryl Sutter, always thinking ahead, thinking about the future of a second mark at the end of Game 6.

"The first thing you think of as a coach, these guys are all young enough, they have to try again," he said Monday, sitting next to fast on the post-match press conference.

Comments (0)