Poll II – Who should the LA Kings honor from 1988-99 era?

In tyring to select three worthy candidates to honor during next season’s LA Kings Legends Nights, you have to look back over their entire 45-year history. In doing so, it’s almost impossible to compare players from the ’70s with current stars. So, we’ve tried to make things easier by grouping players into three eras – (A) 1967-1987, the Early Years; (B) 1988-1999 the Gretzky Years and (C) 2000-2012 the Staples Center years.

A poll will be conducted for each group and the three players receiving the most votes in each one will advance. After the polls are completed for the three eras, we’ll run a final ‘super poll’ that will pit the nine winners (three from each era) against each other. The top three from that final poll will be declared the overall ‘winners.’

Group A winners were – Dave Taylor (69% of the votes), Jim Fox (25%) and Butch Goring (18%). People always like to ask who I would have voted for, so I’ll share this – I was a little surprised Jimmy Carson didn’t pull in more votes. That’s not meant as a slight to Butch Goring at all, he’s excellent choice as well. I just figured Taylor and Fox were practically shoe-ins from their era, which left one spot open. Carson was an extremely popular player in his day – and very productive too. So, I assumed Carson and Goring would be close in votes. But they weren’t. Carson – who once scored 55 goals in a season for the Kings – only ended up with 3% of the total votes.

Now, on to the next round.

The 1988-99 period will forever be known as the Gretzky Years. And more specifically, it will be remembered for the team’s 1993 run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Hence, that’s where the names on this list mainly come from. You’ll notice there are only 10 players, so names like Alexei Zhitnik, Larry Robinson, Steve Duchesne and Sean O’Donnell just barely missed the cut. Feel free to submit them as a write-in vote though if you feel strongly about it. Also of note, Glen Murray and Ian Laperriere were saved for the next round, when early next week we’ll take a look at the Staples Center Years.

Please select the three players on this list you feel are most worthy of being recognized by the Kings.

Poll closes Monday, March 26th at 10am PST.


20 Questions with number 20 – an interview with Luc Robitaille on eve of HOF

Rob Blake – the MayorsManor interview

MayorsManor podcast with Tony Granato

Hugging the Post with Kelly Hrudey – full MayorsManor interview

High / Low – Kelly Hrudey on Duty

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  1. Anthony Mendeola says

    Hrudey! The guy was 5′ nothin’, when was the last time a keeper that small made a run for the cup?!?!

  2. Kelly Hrudey. Under appreciated part of the early 90s teams. Loved watching him play more than any other goalie I’ve watched. He wasn’t the best, but he made the most of what he had.

  3. Blake – Norris trophy winner, former captain, won Olympic gold, and was one of the best defenceman to play for LA

    • Agreed! Rob Blake is the man, but I would be shocked if LA honored him because I guess you can say he left a bad taste in many Kings Fans! Still my favorite Kings player of all time!

  4. Rick Howe says

    I had to go with Gretzky.. There were others on the list that I like better but I believe without the Gretzky trade my beloved Kings franchise would have moved to another location. My write in vote would have Lappy because that man gave 100% every shift and was a true team leader!

  5. Luc Robitaille deserves it because of his intense dedication to the Kings

  6. Luc!! He bleeds Kings.

  7. Tony Granato has never gotten real recognition for his big time contributions to the Kings during that era.

  8. Not a popular vote by far but any man who plays (and scores) in the playoffs with a broken leg has earned my vote. Tomas is the poster boy for playoff hockey, grit, and determination. Nothing says TEAM like a player risking his cold hard cash for a chance at Lord Stanley’s Cup.

    • You are so right. As much as I loved Bernie we got warriors in Sandstrom and Granato

  9. The obvious choices are of course Robitaille and Gretzky and for obvious reasons. Two HOF and the first people that come to mind when you think of the LA Kings. I would love to see McSorely honored. However brief his time with the Kings was and him being the scapegoat for the Kings losing the 1993 Stanley Cup finals. I believe him to be one of the great people around the game. The way he takes time to sign and meet with everyone at numerous events is outstanding. Listening to stories from people who have meet and known him shows how much people genuinely like him.

  10. Trevor Linam says

    Wayne Gretzky is the player who brought fans from all over California. He really put hockey on the map in Cali. But he was also A huge reason why the Kings went to their only cup. He deserves this honor.

  11. Gotta go with Wayne Gretzky. His nickname “The Great One” speaks for itself. Scoring 54 goals in his first season as a member of the Kings in 78 games is awesome. Alternate Captain immediately and led the team to the playoffs. 672 assists as a member of the Kings and 246 goals which adds up to 918 points in 539 games as a King. Wayne Gretzky is “The Great One” and his statue outside of Staples Center shows how much he means to the organization. He should be honored and deserves this. He led us to the closest we’ve ever been to a Stanley Cup. Wayne Gretzky is my choice.

  12. Ever Morales says

    Robitaille, because he has done so much for the organization as a whole. He was drafted 171st overall by the Kings, and retired as a King. became the first player in Kings history to win the Calder Trophy. He is the perfect example of a dedicated King’s player, and that is why he is still beloved in the Kings organization. Not only that, the humanitarian work he has down with his organization has helped out those in need. Although he has left our organization 2 times, he still had a place in the King’s, and his decision to bring the Cup to L.A. when he won in Detroit shows where his heart was.

  13. Wayne Gretzky deserves it because he is The Great One. “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” ― William Shakespeare It is because of Wayne Gretzky that this great game we all love, is where it is today.

  14. Lucky Luc – He’s the face that comes to mind when I think of dedicated, passionate players!

  15. Gretzky is the obvious choice. So, I’m sure he’ll get lots of votes. But, I’d like to see them honor Sandstrom. He played more like a North American player, than Europeans have a reputation as. He was so skilled and so tough. When he was in the line-up the Kings won so many more games than when he missed games. He was a very underappreciated player.

    • I’m not sure why you think he was different from other European players, but let’s not forget that during his playing days, Sandstrom was grouped with his fellow Europeans. In November 1992, Doug Gilmour broke his arm in a game between the Kings and Leafs and Don Cherry called him a “ChickenSwede” and said he deserved it.

      By the way, did you know that today Tomas is a fireman in his native Sweden?

  16. kira santora says

    Mike krushnisky (not sure how to spell his last name) or warren rychal 🙂

  17. Anthony Flores says

    Wayne Gretzky was my favorite player of all times.. But I would have to go with Marty McSorley because he was the key component in the Wayne Gretzky trade because when anyone went after Wayne on the ice Marty was always there to protect him. He is a stand up guy.. He was a solid defense men for the kings the years he played. And he is a real friendly guy and always willing to talk to the fans when they come to the games..

  18. I say #99 deserves it. He did bring Hockey to the map, especially out here in the West. And going to basics, it’s simple for our Kings- Keep taking shots at the net. Gretzky did say, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”… and our Kings need to keep shooting and scoring to secure a playoff spot!

  19. I would have to say either Gretzky or Hrudey. Gretzky because he is The Great One and is the reason I started watching hockey. Hrudey because he was so small but had so many great saves when we were in the playoffs in 92-93.

  20. Gretz, based on what his trade to the Kings did for hockey in the U.S. outside of the northeast, nothing can touch him. He may not have won a cup with LA, but he may have saved hockey in america. His ability and personality inspired a lot of the guys we have now to play. Gretz, hands down. Not for his coaching ability as seen thus far though! Go Kings Go!

  21. Good job voters. Wayne, Luc and Kelly gotta be the selections, though it’s a real shame Marty can’t also be included.

  22. I took another route and omitted the obvious choices (Gretzky and Luc) since they already have their numbers in the rafters.
    I went with Granato, Sandstrom and McSorley

  23. Carson’s non-selection doesn’t surprise me at all. He only played two seasons with the Kings (before being reacquired in the Paul Coffey to Detroit trade) and was sort of an afterthought once Gretzky was acquired.

  24. Sad to see Brian Benning and Tim Watters didn’t make the cut. And we wonder why the Kings couldn’t win a cup in the Gretzky years. My vote Sandstrom and Granato.

  25. Pete Demers


  1. […] (69% of the votes), Jim Fox (25%) and Butch Goring (18%) as top choices. Next, we looked at the Gretzky Years 1988-1999 – and the winners there were Luc Robitaille (23%), Wayne Gretzky (22%) and Kelly Hrudey […]