July 11, 2013 2:04 pm

I Was There #5: Banner raising ceremony

Throughout the remainder of the month, LAKI will be reviewing the top 10 moments of the Los Angeles Kings season as a recurring feature entitled “I Was There.”

KingsCast recently finished a similar endeavor, complete with screen grabs, video highlights and commentary. Alex Kinkopf’s #TopTen list is recommended as a great account of the 2012-13 season.

I Was There #5: Banner raising ceremony

On January 5 I woke up early to watch the United States and Sweden compete for the gold medal at the World Junior Championships, thrilled that there was competitive hockey to watch three and a half months into the prolonged NHL lockout. I had covered an Ontario Reign game the previous night.

Exactly two weeks later, I practically floated into Staples Center to cover hockey and the long anticipated ceremony that included this:


-courtesy KingsVision

The entire banner-raising ceremony can be watched here.

Aesthetic beauty: Very high. ‘Tis a fine banner.

Lasting impact: Extremely high. To watch a franchise raise its first banner is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and there’s no hyperbole there. That Los Angeles lost 5-2 that afternoon is irrelevant. The ceremony emphasized the franchise’s pinnacle achievement in contrast to the many lows that had been embedded in Kings fandom for the previous 44 years, and the memory of this ceremony will forever remain with everyone who was there. I walked downstairs to the section that my dad and my cousin were sitting in, and though every seat was taken, I was right there with them, watching their excitement as the Cup was raised once again on the Stanley Cup ice before the banner was lifted to the rafters. I’ll never forget that.

Previously on “I Was There”
#10: Toffoli’s first goal
#9: Quick passes Hrudey
#8: Kopitar’s goal versus Detroit
#7: Game 4 comeback over St. Louis
#6: Slava’s overtime game-winner

KingsCast #5: Jonathan Berni-Hey

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