SBD/June 16, 2014/Franchises

Kings' Second Stanley Cup In Three Years Sends Hockey Craze In L.A. To Fever Pitch

Kings fans remained loyal despite the stigma of L.A. sports fans
The Kings defeated the Rangers on Friday night to win their second Stanley Cup in three years, and new fans of the team are "being born by the day," according to Vincent Bonsignore of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. Bonsignore: "The Kings have skated their way onto our radar in a major way through their brilliance and exhilarating play and championships, earning every second of our attention and adoration" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 6/16). The AP's Krysta Fauria wrote the Kings are "practically forcing a town never known for its love of the sport to take notice and embrace them" (AP, 6/14). Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille said, "There is a buzz around town. So many kids are playing hockey now that there is a shortage of ice time. What is cool about the fan base is they might have never played, but they're now hooked" (L.A. TIMES, 6/15). ESPN L.A.'s Arash Markazi wrote "long-suffering Kings fans" have always "remained loyal to their team." They are "outliers in a city known for being fair-weathered and fickle." They are "far from your clichéd L.A. sports fans who arrive to games late, leave early and believe their team is entitled to a championship regardless of who is on the roster." It is the "kind of bond between a team and its fans you might experience in a smaller market but has always separated Kings fans from their peers in this city." L.A. has "proven that you don't necessarily need to be a 'hockey town' to have great hockey fans" (ESPNLA.com, 6/14). In L.A., Bill Plaschke wrote the Kings have made an "indelible mark on the local sports landscape." They are L.A.'s "most successful and best-run pro sports franchise" (L.A. TIMES, 6/14).

CHECK, MATE: In N.Y., Andrew Knoll noted the Kings have "most of their top players under contract," which could "open a window of opportunity to add more banners to the rafters of Staples Center, which were once adorned exclusively with mementos of the Lakers’ championships" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/14). But in Boston, Amalie Benjamin wrote the Kings still have a "long way and some stiff competition before they can start talking about a dynasty" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/14). YAHOO SPORTS' Nicholas Cotsonika wrote the Kings were a "beast of a team -- deep, well-balanced, determined." Robitaille said, "I don’t care what sport you like or you love. Just look at what these guys have done. I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t know if I’ll ever see it again. It’s amazing.” Cotsonika wrote it is a "testament to the parity in the NHL, especially in the West, that the Kings lost 10 games and still won the Cup" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/14).
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Franchises, Los Angeles Kings, NHL

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