LA Kings: The three best players to play for the Kings and Ducks
The three best players to have played for both the LA Kings and Ducks.
Ever since the then-named Mighty Ducks of Anaheim joined the NHL in the 1993-94 season, a rivalry has steadily grown between them and their rivals just up the freeway, the LA Kings.
In the not-that-distant past, they both won Stanley Cups and were consistent contenders. They even met in an epic second-round playoff series in 2014, in which the Kings ended up winning in seven games on their way to their second Cup in three years.
The Kings and Ducks will meet at Staples Center on Tuesday for the first of eight games this season, though with both teams currently in rebuilds and there not being fans at the games. Things may not be quite as spicy between them this year. So with that in mind, we thought it might be a good time to instead take this opportunity to look back at some of the shared history between these teams and give you the top three players who suited up on both sides of the rivalry.
Keep in mind this list is mainly just going to look at the contributions the players made to each of these teams. For example, while you could say Jari Kurri had the most accomplished career of anyone to suit up for both the Kings and Ducks, Kurri’s best days came with the Edmonton Oilers, and he played just one unimpressive season for Anaheim late in his career.
We’ll start with the only player to win a Stanley Cup with both Southern California teams.
Dustin Penner broke out to score 29 regular season goals on Anaheim’s 2006-07 championship team. Looking like a promising young power forward, Penner became a restricted free agent after that season and would sign a five-year offer sheet worth $21.25 million with the Oilers. Ducks GM Brian Burke was grumpy about it but didn’t match it. Penner remains the most recent NHL player to change teams via offer sheet.
After parts of four up-and-down seasons in Edmonton, Penner returned to Southern California in a 2011 trade deadline deal with the Kings for defense prospect Colten Teubert, a first-round pick and a third-round pick. Penner was largely a bust with the Kings, scoring just 11 goals and 37 points in 117 regular-season games over parts of three seasons in LA.
He did, however, contribute 11 points in 20 playoff games during the Kings’ 2012 Stanley Cup run, including scoring two of LA’s biggest goals of that postseason. The first was the game-winner late in Game 1 of the Kings’ first-round series against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks.
The Kings would go on to take a 3-0 lead in that series and complete the stunning upset in five games. If Penner doesn’t score that goal and the Kings end up losing Game 1, who knows how the rest of the series might have played out?
Then there was his overtime goal in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Phoenix Coyotes that sent the Kings to the Stanley Cup Final.
After leaving the Kings, Penner returned for a second stint with the Ducks in the 2013-14 season. He was actually fairly productive, scoring 13 goals and 32 points in 49 games before somewhat surprisingly being dealt to the Washington Capitals at the trade deadline.