It took the LA Kings 45 years to win their first Stanley Cup. During that time frame, tons of players wore the team’s uniform. All-time greats such as Wayne Gretzky and Marcel Dionne played for the Kings. Many players have found success after leaving the Kings, and quite a few have gone on to win the Stanley Cup with different teams. Let’s look back at a few:
The Kings traded Butch Goring to the New York Islanders on March 10, 1980, and the deal went on to become the gold standard of trade deadline acquisitions, since it played a large role in the Islanders’ winning four consecutive Stanley Cups immediately afterward. This trade, however, was only favorable to the Islanders. Goring provided the Islanders with much-needed center depth and became the team’s second-line center. The Islanders won their first Stanley Cup 44 days after the deal. They won the Stanley Cup in each of Goring’s first four seasons on the team, before losing to the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final during his fifth season.
Goring played a large part in the Islanders Stanley Cup victories. He had 62 points in 78 playoff games during the span of the Islanders four Cup wins, and he even won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP in the 1981 playoffs.
Rob Blake was traded to the Colorado Avalanche at the 2001 trade deadline. The former Norris Trophy winner put the already-strong Avalanche onto another level. Following the deadline, he put up 10 points in the final 13 regular season games, while in the playoffs, he had 19 points in 23 games played, which ranked sixth in the league and first among defensemen. The Colorado Avalanche bested the New Jersey Devils in seven games to win the Stanley Cup – with Blake playing an important role.
Blake played with the Avalanche for four seasons following their 2001 Cup victory before returning to the Kings in the 2006-07 season. He also played for the Kings in the 2007-08 season before heading to San Jose for two seasons to finish off his career. He is now LA’s general manager and could help them bring home another Stanley Cup someday.
Steven Reinprecht was included as an additional piece in the Rob Blake trade. In his 2000-01 rookie season, Reinprecht had 29 points in 59 games played before being sent to Colorado. He put up seven points in 21 regular season games played for the Avalanche in 2000-01. Following this, he put up five points in 21 games played during the Avalanche’s 2001 Stanley Cup run.
It took Steve Duchesne a while to win the Stanley Cup after leaving LA. He was a great defenseman for the Kings and represented the team in the 1989 All-Star Game, but was traded in 1991 to the Flyers as part of the package that brought Jari Kurri to LA. He then bounced around the league for a while, even though he made two All-Star games following the trade. He spent time playing for Philadelphia (twice), Ottawa, St. Louis, Quebec, and for LA again in 1998-99.
Duchense ended up signing with the Detroit Red Wings for the 1999-00 season. He stayed with Detroit for three years and won the Cup in 2002 before announcing his retirement.
Speaking of the 2002 Red Wings, Kings legend Luc Robitaille played for them. He signed with Detroit in the summer of 2001 due to a salary dispute with the Kings (From ‘Luc Robitaille Signs With Red Wings,’ AP NEWS, 07/03/2001). He put up 50 points in 81 games played in the 2001-02 season, and added an additional nine points in 23 playoff games – showing he was a veteran who could still contribute.
Following the Wings Stanley Cup victory, Robitallie played for them in the 2002-03 season. He returned to play for the Kings in the 2003-04 and 2005-06 seasons, and is now serving as the club’s President and Alternate Governor. He was also in the team’s front office during their 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup wins, making him the only player on this list to have won a championship while working for the Kings.
Bobby Carpenter has a unique distinction on this list – he won the Stanley Cup as both a player and as a coach. He was a first-liner, and a one-time NHL All-Star with the Washington Capitals during his tenure with them (1981 to 1986). His best season with the Caps was 1984-85, where he scored 53 goals and had a total of 95 points. By the time he became a King in 1987, he had already been traded once that season. He spent three seasons with the Kings and played in 109 games, posting 83 points.
Fast forward to 1995, and Carpenter had played for Boston and Washington after leaving LA and was a fourth-line center for the New Jersey Devils. They won the Stanley Cup in 1995, and Carpenter had five points in their playoff run. In 2000 and 2003, he served as an assistant coach for the Devils, who won the Stanley Cup in both of those seasons.
Brad Stuart was a good, journeyman defenseman. Throughout his 19-year career, he had two stints with San Jose and also played for Colorado, Boston, Calgary, Detroit and LA. In the 2007 offseason, Stuart signed a one-year contract to play for the Kings. In 63 games played with LA (all in 2007-08), he had 21 points. On February 26, 2008, he was traded to Detroit for a second-round and fourth-round pick. He was acquired by the Red Wings to serve as a veteran defenseman.
Stuart went on to win the 2008 Stanley Cup with the Red Wings while playing on a very good blue line with the likes of Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski and Chris Chelios.
The most recent addition to this list is Brayden Schenn. He was drafted fifth overall by the Kings in 2009. His time in LA was largely forgettable. In the 2009-10 season, he played in one game for the Kings and had zero points. In 2010-11, he played in eight games for LA and posted two assists. On June 23, 2011, the Kings traded Schenn, a second-round pick, and Wayne Simmonds to Philadelphia for Mike Richards and Rob Bordson. Mike Richards won two Stanley Cups with the Kings, so this deal worked out for LA, even though Philadelphia acquired the better players.
Schenn played in 428 games for the Flyers and he scored 109 goals and added 137 assists for a total of 246 points. On June 23, 2017, the Flyers traded Schenn to the St. Louis Blues. His first season (2017-18) with St. Louis went really well, as he set career highs in goals (28), assists (42), points (70) and takeaways (56). These were really good numbers, and they showed that he could be a top player in the NHL. However, St. Louis missed the playoffs.
In the following season (2018-19), as everyone knows, St. Louis went from last place in the Western Conference in January to Stanley Cup champions in June. Schenn played an important role in this championship and historic regular-season comeback for the Blues. In the regular season, he was third on the Blues in points (54) and second in assists (37). In the 2019 playoffs, he had five goals and seven assists (12 points) in 26 games. These were all good numbers, but his physical presence also played a large factor in the Blues winning the Stanley Cup.
I am a lifelong hockey fan who will be covering the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks here at The Hockey Writers. Before joining The Hockey Writers I spent two years blogging about hockey.
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