(Ed. Note: There’s entirely too much sunshine in the summer. So your friends at Puck Daddy are offering a month of thrown shade and perpetual gloom. Behold, our Summer of Disappointment series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to recall the biggest bummer moments, teams and players in franchise history! Please wade into their misery like a freezing resort pool, and add your own choices in the comments!)
Written by Richie Conroy
Most Disappointing Team: 2005-2006 Los Angeles Kings
Well, this is a loaded question given our franchise's history of futility so I will do my best to narrow it to one instance.
AEG decided to blow up the front office. Murray was fired as coach. Luc retired. Jeremy Roenick had to dance. Somehow Sean Avery was still gainfully employed by this team while leading the NHL in penalty minutes. And the team had a gigantic free-fall for the entire second half of the season that left them out of the playoffs once again despite being atop the Western Conference before Christmas.
The only bright light was the hiring of Dean Lombardi as GM in April, otherwise LA would still be wallowing in mediocrity.
Most Disappointing King: Jeremy Roenick
He didn't want to be there in the first place. He was essentially forced out of Philly via the Forsberg signing. Whether it was actually injuries or his give-a-[crap] Meter was at an all time low that year, it was a disaster from the very start. He was about eight years removed from being in his prime and had career lows in points.
Thanks for nothing J.R.
Most Disappointing Moment in Kings History: 2nd round of 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs vs. San Jose
Usually, "epic collapse" and "San Jose Sharks" these days in hockey go hand in hand in the same sentence.
However this time it was on LA.
The Kings were still a team that barely knew what the word "playoffs" signified and as such, blew a 4-0 lead in game 3 in OT as well as giving away the series in Game 6 in OT due to continued power play failures. This series highlighted why Anze Kopitar is in fact "Raccoon Jesus" due to his unavailablity via shattered ankle. After this, the Kings realized they were close, but still had more building to do. But hey it could have been MORE disappointing, at least it wasn't a 3-0 blown lead, right San Jose!?
Most Disappointing Kings Transaction: Larry Murphy to Washington for Ken Houston and Brian Engblom
Ugh...This was just all kinds of awful. Four Cups. Hall of Famer. Records for rookie assists and pts by a defenseman.
Ok cool, lets trade him for a guy who retires at the end of the year (Ken Houston) and the West Coast/Diet Coke Pierre McGuire (Brian Engblom).
LA even had a Legends Night honoring Murphy this year even though only played 4 SEASONS! It was incredibly cringeworthy to watch.
"Uhhh you were awesome for us early in your career but we traded you and you won a bunch of Cups after......hooray!!!" It would be like getting rid of Drew Doughty in the present day. Thank god they have learned our lesson.
I would have loved to see what could have been possible once Gretzky arrived a few years later......
Most Disappointing Kings Coach/Executive: Bruce McNall
Before there was a John Spano....there was Bruce McNall.
Talked the talk, walked the walk, but in the end was a complete fraud and set the franchise back by 10 years due to bankruptcy of the franchise and a fun time in jail.
If fans of other teams in the NHL ever wanted to point a finger at a typical LA/Hollywood film-producing douchebag....here you go guys, have at him. Bank defaults, prison sentences, sketchy coin-collecting (?) operations...Bruce did it all. He wrote checks he couldn't cash and it made the late 1990's seem like on big giant blur for the Kings that we all wanted to just forget.
You got Gretz but you dismantle any chance of success for years to come.
Most Disappointing Kings Fashion Choice: 1998-2002 jerseys
The popular choice for ugly Kings jerseys is the short-lived "Burger King" jerseys of the mid 90's however, these are so awesomely bad we have embraced them as priceless amongst fans. We even have a Burger King appreciation night! (s/t @TheRoyalHalf).
So as a cult classic, I could never rip on this jersey. However, the 1998-2002 main jerseys are something only its mother would love.
City name all the way at the bottom of the shirt? Yeah, that's noticeable!
A lion with freaking sunglasses on? Sweet guys.
Purple and black? Man...just killing it.
This was just all kinds of goofy and just screams "Yes, we have no intention of making the playoffs or being at all competitive in the NHL".
Switching to the crown as the main logo was a step in the right direction but these jerseys were just god-awful for so long. The Kings take the cake in the NHL when it comes to jersey identity crisis (Vancouver is a close 2nd) so hopefully the silver and black is here to stay for a bit. Then again....AEG will probably threaten to sell the team after every year they win the Cup again so who knows.
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Other disappointments (in order of appearance): New York Rangers • Calgary Flames • St. Louis Blues • New York Islanders • Dallas Stars • Boston Bruins • Colorado Avalanche • Washington Capitals • Ottawa Senators • Arizona Coyotes • Minnesota Wild • Edmonton Oilers • San Jose Sharks • Winnipeg Jets • New Jersey Devils • Florida Panthers • Carolina Hurricanes • Buffalo Sabres • Montreal Canadiens • Tampa Bay Lightning • Chicago Blackhawks • Columbus Blue Jackets • Nashville Predators • Detroit Red Wings • Anaheim Ducks • Philadelphia Flyers • Pittsburgh Penguins • Vancouver Canucks • Toronto Maple Leafs