There will be slight changes made in the banner raising ceremony that commemorates the 2014 Stanley Cup Champions when compared to the ceremony honoring the 2012 team.
While the players and coaches were presented with their rings on the ice on January 19, 2013 and took turns skating with the Cup prior to that afternoon’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, the on-ice pomp and circumstance prior to the October 8 game against the San Jose Sharks will be shorter, and players will receive their rings at a team event before opening night.
According to Mike Altieri, the Kings’ Vice President of Broadcasting and Communications, the actual ceremony for the fans in the building will 28 minutes long. However, the players will only be on the ice for roughly 11 to 12 minutes, which includes a three-minute warm-up after the celebration concludes. The Sharks will take the ice for the beginning of the three-minute warm-up, which will precede puck drop.
“I anticipate [the ceremony] probably not being as long,” Jarret Stoll said. “We want to obviously see the banner up there and drop the puck. We want to get the season going. The summer was great, but that whole night is special, to see the banner and to enjoy that for five minutes, and then we’re here. It’s a new season, so we’ll drop the puck.”
Watching the banner get raised to the rafters was a special moment two years ago, as Stoll articulated.
“It was really cool [for] us all to be standing in the corner as a group, as a team that went through it all,” he said. “We didn’t lose too many guys, but mostly it was our team in the corner to see it going up, and to see all the flashes going off in the crowd, the very first banner within this organization in this city, so yeah, it was special.”
Matt Greene recalled similar sentiments.
“It’s awesome raising the banner. That’s something that’ll be a lot longer than any of us,” he said. “That’s an honor to be able to be a part of a team that can put something up in the rafters. That’s a special feeling. You take that and then kind of move on. That’s over with, and start over again.”
After being honored, the Kings will look to avoid a script similar to the one that followed the 2013 ceremony, when they fell behind 4-0 to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks and lost 5-2.
“[The ceremony] just went on a little bit too long, I think, last time,” Matt Greene said. “We really weren’t too ready to come out and play, and Chicago came out and just beat the doors off us. I think we want to make sure we’re ready to go out more on point than we were because this is huge starting off in the division and against a team that we’re going to be fighting to make the playoffs against.”
Darryl Sutter was blunt about what he remembered about the prior ceremony, which was delayed due to the NHL lockout.
“We would’ve preferred to do it in October,” he said.
Matt Greene, on any particular thoughts on opening the season against San Jose:
No, I think it’ll just be a good game…They want to get off on the right foot, we want to get off on the right foot, so I think it’ll be a good game, You develop rivalries from playing against each other in the playoffs, and we’ve done that the last few years, so it’s going to be a good game, but I’m sure it’s going to be one of many on opening night.
Jarret Stoll, on whether he’s looking forward to opening the season against San Jose:
I think everybody’s looking forward to it. Just getting ready, getting our timing back, all these two and a half, three weeks just to be ready for the regular season. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. It’s pretty ironic, maybe, for the outside world to see who we’re playing, but in here it’s two points obviously for the standings. We prepare the same way, but it’s pretty interesting as well.