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) /
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LA Kings Wayne Gretzky
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Glenn Cratty /Allsport) /

Players five through one.

Number five: Tony Granato (1990-1996). In the other part of the aforementioned Bernie Nicholls trade, Granato gets the nod over Sandstrom for fifth place on this list based on the fact that he played two more seasons for the Kings in the 1990s. For three consecutive seasons, he had goal totals of 30, 39, and 37 goals, respectively, which included 37 goals and 45 assists in 1992-1993 for a career-best 82 points. Granato had 30 even-strength goals in 1991-1992, which was good for fifth in the NHL, and he had eight game-winning goals that season as well, which was fourth in the league.

Number four: Jari Kurri (1991-1996). Kurri came to the LA Kings in May of 1991 via a three-way trade involving the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers. In his five seasons in LA, Kurri had a statline of 108 goals and 185 assists in 331 games played. Wayne Gretzky missed significant time in the 1992-1993 season, and Kurri was one of the players who really stepped up to help fill the void and not only get the Kings into the playoffs but also a cinderella run to the Stanley Cup Final. That season, Kurri moved to center from the wing for a period of time and had his best individual season in Los Angeles, posting 27 goals and 60 assists for 87 points.

Number three: Rob Blake (1990-1999). The only player on this list to have played all ten seasons in the 1990s with the LA Kings, Blake would develop into a dominating defenseman and team captain by the end of the decade. A two-time all-star selection and the 1998 Norris Trophy winner as the NHL’s best defenseman, Blake was the anchor of the Los Angeles defense. In 531 games played from 1990-1999, Blake had 103 goals and 220 assists for 323 total points, while his best individual offensive season came in 1993-1994 when he scored 20 goals to go along with 48 assists for 68 points. Blake was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014.

Number two: Luc Robitaille (1990-1994, 1997-1999). Robitaille would have easily been number one on this list if the greatest player of all time wasn’t playing for the LA Kings at the same time. A six-time all-star in the 1990s for the Kings, his numbers during the decade were simply incredible. In 542 games played, he poured in 303 goals which are far and away the most of any King for the ’90s. Like Kurri, Robitaille stepped up in a big way during Wayne Gretzky’s absence in the 1992-1993 season, when he had the best individual season of his hall of fame career with 63 goals and 62 assists for 125 points.

Number one: Wayne Gretzky (1990-1996). When Wayne Gretzky was traded to the LA Kings in August of 1988, it forever changed the game of hockey, and his impact on the team was massive in the 1990s. In the 461 games he played for LA, he scored 192 goals to go with a mind-blowing 558 assists for 750 total points. Gretzky won the Art Ross trophy as the NHL’s scoring champion in 1990, 1991, and 1994 and was a four-time all-star. Despite missing about half of the 1992-1993 regular season with a back injury, during the playoffs, he had 15 goals and 25 assists for 40 points – the third-best playoff total of his illustrious career and almost carried the Kings to an unlikely Stanley Cup championship.