A royal flashback, the top ten LA Kings of the 1990s

LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
LA Kings Marty McSorely
LA Kings (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Players ten through six.

Number ten: Steve Duchesne (1990-1991, 1998). If his 1980’s time with the LA Kings were included, Duchesne would have been higher on this list. Even still, the first two seasons of the 1990s saw Duchesne as the defacto number one defenseman for the Kings, and he produced like it – posting 62 points in each season to go along with being named to the all-star team in both. Duchesne briefly returned to the LA Kings for the 1998-99 season, playing 60 games before being traded to the Flyers for Dave Babych and a draft pick.

Number nine: Dmitri Khristich (1995-1997). Khristich only played two seasons for the Kings, but they were productive ones. The Kings traded a first and fourth-round pick to the Washington Capitals for him and Byron Dafoe in 1995, and in 151 games played in LA, Khristich scored 46 goals to go along with 74 assists for a total of 120 points. We would never see what Khristich could do in the playoffs for the silver and black as the team would not make it in either season. He was traded once again with DaFoe in 1997, this time to the Boston Bruins for Jozef Stumpel, Sandy Moger, and a fourth-round draft pick.

Number eight: Kelly Hrudey (1990-1996). Hrudey was the undisputed number one goaltender for the LA Kings in the first half of the 1990s. Playing during the time of “firewagon” hockey, Hrudey did not get a lot of help on the defensive side of the game, but he still managed a record of 135-131-53 with nine shutouts and a goals-against-average of 3.47. Hrudey backstopped the Kings to the 1993 Stanley Cup Final, where they lost in five games to the Montreal Canadiens in a series that was closer than it looks, as three of those games went to overtime.

Number seven: Marty McSorley (1990-1993, 1994-1996). Known as an enforcer and “Wayne Gretzky’s bodyguard,” Marty McSorley was more than that for the LA Kings in the 1990s. In 347 games played for the Kings in the ’90s, McSorley’s stat line was 58 goals, 125 assists, and yes, 1,348 PIM – including a league-leading 399 in 1992-1993. Besides his fisticuffs, Marty developed into a staunch defenseman and team leader, as he wore an “A” on his sweater. McSorley even led the league in plus/minus for the 1990-1991 season with a +48. Although maligned by some for the illegal stick incident in game one of the 1993 Stanley Cup Final, the fact is the Kings may not have made it that far without his excellent play during that playoff season.

Number six: Tomas Sandstrom (1990-1994): The Finnish sniper was acquired along with Tony Granato in a blockbuster January 1990 trade with the New York Rangers for LA Kings fan favorite Bernie Nicholls. It was a trade that worked out, as both flourished in LA. In 235 games played for the Kings, Sandstrom had 117 goals and 137 assists for 254 points – averaging over a point per game. His best individual season came in 1990-1991 when he poured in 45 goals and 44 assists while adding 106 PIM. Sandstrom’s time in Los Angeles ended in 1994 when he was part of the trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins that brought Marty McSorley back to the Kings.