feature: Sustaining Success - LA Kings Insider

In case you missed my feature that went up yesterday, here’s a link. It’s a story about the organization’s hockey and business operations working in lockstep with each other, and how success breeds more success. While this would be difficult to sustain without a winning team, the team’s business side has done an excellent job in cultivating the hockey fandom brought about by a team that has played 60 playoff games over the last three seasons and is 9-1 in its last 10 playoff series.

“We’ll go out for dinner, the beards we all have don’t help,” Doughty says. “But back in the day we could just pretty much roll in anywhere, and there’s no way anyone would know who you were, no possible way, and now it kind of seems everywhere we do go, we are getting recognized. It’s kind of more like when you’re back home in Canada.”

“It’s changed drastically. I don’t know if I like it better or not. I for sure don’t like it better, actually.”

He’s speaking of the public recognition, not the team’s success, and he’ll live with it. Sustaining Success

Recommended from The Globe and Mail: Thanks to Kings, hockey is hot in L.A.

Several additional quotes that didn’t make it into the article:

Luc Robitaille, on Philip Anschutz’s communication with the team:
He’ll chat with Dean. He’ll chat with me. He’ll chat with Dan. But his message to us…we built the plan and he’ll always come back and say stick to the plan. He’s very involved now. It’s a lot of fun to see him all year to come to the games and to send us e-mails after wins, but that being said, he lets the hockey people do what they have to do. Like I said, the biggest thing he always reminds us is you guys built a plan, stick to the plan. That’s what we’re doing as an organization and we’re not going to veer from it.

Robitaille, on his sense of pride in this Kings team:
I think this team has been absolutely incredible. You look at what they’ve done the last three years and it’s the character the players have shown and obviously the passion our fans have shown. That Game 6 here in LA in the Conference [Finals] that was as loud a building I’ve ever heard in the NHL and it’s truly incredible. I just think what’s happening right now, it’s never been seen. The Gretzky era in the 90’s, it was great, but these guys have blown by them by a mile.

Drew Doughty, on his initial impressions of Los Angeles as a hockey market:
It was a little surprising to me when I first came, because I didn’t really know too much about the fanbase here, and I had never been to California in my life. I was a fan growing up, so I always had a love to be an LA King, and when I finally got here, the team had kind of been in the dumps for a little while and had not been very good throughout the regular season and hadn’t been in the playoffs for a little bit. When I got here, one of the main things before I got drafted was Dean wanted me to come here and be a winner and take this team to the Cup Final, and here we are again. But we’re not satisfied with just the Cup Final. We want to win.

Previous features:
Culture Shift and Identity
Prairie Dogs
Backbone of Experience
Game 7 Mentality
Northern Roots
Great Expectations
Alec Martinez: Ready to Play
Ice Chirps
Rogie and Quick
Their Move
Jumping Off Point
Weekend in Manch
Silver and Black Lining
Winter’s Spell
Culture Shift
Five-Ringed Granger
Loosened Reign
Halfway There
Robyn’s Flight
Net Gains
Mark Morris: An Open Door
Darryl Sutter: Playing Hardball
Another Go
Dining Out with Willie Mitchell
Kings of CHLA
West is Best
Their Words
Numbers Aside
Follow Me
Talk About It
Padded Down
Little Time for Rest
Make Them Better
Comfort Level
Getting There
Will to Win
Buying In
Fine Tuning
Battle Tested
Smooth and Selke
Up, Up and Away
In Their Eyes
Work in Progress
Scuderi’s Actions Speak
Brown’s Model a Path for Doughty

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.