With a lull in LA Kings hockey due to postponements, let’s take an opportunity to stroll down memory lane.
Ah, the 1990’s – the time of pagers, Seinfeld, grunge, and the birth of the internet as we know it today. It was also a time of both fun and change in the world of hockey – with new teams, uniforms, and a certain “glow puck” making its appearance.
At the beginning of the ’90s, the Gretzky era was in full swing in Los Angeles. The LA Kings were now front-page news, and the team was exciting as ever. The culmination of The Great One’s time in LA was the magical run to the Stanley Cup Final in the spring of 1993.
The latter half of the ’90s was not so kind to the Kings. By 1996, Wayne Gretzky was gone, and from 1994-95 to 1998-99, Los Angeles would make the playoffs just once. Despite the lack of team success, there were certainly some talented players on the team during this time, as we will see.
For reference, we are using the 1989-1990 through 1998-1999 seasons only for determining who gets on this list. With that said, who were the best ten best LA Kings players to call the Great Western Forum home during the 1990s?
- Mike Donnelly (1990-1995). Donnelly was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in 1990 and would become a productive if not unheralded player for the LA Kings. He had two consecutive 29 goal seasons and helped get the Kings to the Stanley Cup Final in 1993.
- Stephane Fiset (1996-1999). In the three seasons of the 1990s that he played for the LA Kings, Fiset did not get a lot of help defensively. In 146 games played, he compiled a record of 57-70-14, but he also had a goals-against-average of 2.83 and earned nine shutouts.
- Dave Taylor (1990-94). I really wanted to include Taylor in the top ten, but this is a list based on the 1990’s alone, and by this time, his scoring production had dropped off, although his value as a leader was still immeasurable.
- Glen Murray (1997-1999). Murray was brought in at the 1997 trade deadline for Ed Olczyk. In 1997-98 he put up a stat line of 29 goals and 31 assists, which was a precursor of things to come – but most of his production would come in the 2000s, not the 1990s.
- Jozef Stumpel (1997-1999). Stumpel spent a total of six seasons in an LA Kings uniform, but only two of them were in the 1990s. In 141 games played in the ’90s, Stumpel put a respectable 34 goals and 79 assists for a total of 120 points.
Now onto our top ten list.