Los Angeles Kings: Why Franchise’s Stanley Cup Win Is an Even Bigger Win for NHL

You’d be hard-pressed to convince me that the NHL is actually doing something right.

But as Doc Emrick regally announced, “The Kings are the kings!” and Los Angeles claimed its first Stanley Cup title with Monday’s 6-1 Game 6 win at Staples Center, all signs pointed toward precisely that shocking development. 

After dusting the Devils at home, the final numbers are pretty impressive. A No. 8 seed goes an astonishing 16-4 in the Stanley Cup playoffs, suffering just a single road loss in the process and knocking off the top three seeds in the Western Conference.

Not only is this Cinderella story the franchise’s first title since its creation in 1967, but in winning, the Kings also became the lowest-seeded team in sports history to win a title. And that parity is something Gary Bettman will likely be feeling pretty good about as he drifts off to la-la land tonight.

Yes, it’s true: The league that brought you the glowpuck, the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season and a franchise in Atlanta might actually be moving in the right direction.

Give Bettman and his league some credit: These aren’t your parents’ Stanley Cup champions.

No, they’re not the Red Wings, featuring a core group of players that’s been together for a decade.

Nor are they the Rangers or Blackhawks—wealthy, well-established sides in big hockey markets.

Nor are they the Maple Leafs or Canadiens, teams with rich histories and renowned for their passionate fans.

If they were World Series champions, they’d be the Miami Marlins, not the New York Yankees.

But that’s OK; it’s a new breed of NHL champion—a bunch of relative no-names. And that’s something Bettman and his cohorts must be delighted with.

The Kings roster and coaching staff is a mosaic of NHL...

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