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The Los Angeles Kings have been one of the better teams in the NHL over the last decade, having won 2 Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014. But having just made it into the playoffs last season and being swept by the Golden Knights in the 1st round, all signs point to the end of this group's run and towards a rebuild. They do not look like a team that can make the playoffs anymore, let alone make a deep run. In 2012 Coach Darryl Sutter got a Conn Smythe performance from goaltender Jonathan Quick. In 2014 it was Justin Williams who rode to the trophy, and Dustin Brown was the team captain for both Stanley Cup runs and Drew Doughty, the perennial Norris trophy candidate, was securing the back end.
But Darryl Sutter retired in June 2018 and in the modern-day NHL that is all about youth and speed, several of the Kings' best players are the wrong side of 30 and removed from their prime. All franchises go through rebuilds, and that time will be now if not soon for the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings were part of one of the biggest trades in professional sports history in 1988 when they acquired Wayne Gretzky and two others from the Edmonton Oilers for two players, three first-round draft picks and $15 Million in cash, a groundbreaking trade in that day and age. With 'The Great One', the L.A. Kings only made it as far as the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993, which they lost to the Montreal Canadiens. They have seen a lot of great players over the years, and have retired the numbers of (4) Rob Blake, (16) Marcel Dionne, (18) Dave Taylor, (20) Luc Robitaille, (30) Rogie Vachon, and of course (99) Wayne Gretzky.