As the end of the Staples Center era ended this past week, many hockey fans have been sharing memories on social media. And this tweet got us thinking:
It seemed like a fun enough idea, so the staff at MayorsManor rallied over the past few days, engaging in a dozen or so debates about some of the most memorable players who laced them up inside the stapler between opening night on October 20, 1999 all the way through the last game on December 11, 2021.
When we were done, the conversation produced our starting lineup of 20 players, plus a few alternates to battle it out for those highly coveted healthy scratch spots.
First, some stats…
Overall – 245 skaters and 27 goalies have skated at Staples Center in a Kings uniform
Most Games Played at SC Without Scoring a Goal – Tim Gleason (64)
Most Games Played at SC Without Recording a Point – Kevin Westgarth (42)
Most Penalty Minutes – Kyle Clifford (417)
Most Goals, Assists, and Points – Anze Kopitar
Most Power Play Goals at Staples Center – Dustin Brown (58)
Second Most PPG – Kopitar (55)
Most Overtime and GWG – Jeff Carter
Jonathan Quick played 360 games at Staples Center. Jamie Storr is second on that list of goaltenders at a distant 72, just one ahead of Felix Potvin at 71.
LA KINGS ALL-STAPLES CENTER LINEUP
Brown – Kopitar – Williams
Robitaille – Carter – Palffy
Frolov – Stoll – Deadmarsh
Clifford – Lewis – Laperriere
Norstrom – Doughty
Visnovsky – Blake
Greene – Mitchell
CONTENDERS FOR THE REMAINING SPOTS
To reach the NHL limit of 23 roster players, we’d have three more spots open. Here are the most worthy contenders:
Mike Cammalleri – If you wanted to swap Deadmarsh out for Cammalleri, that’s fine.
Michal Handzus – One of the most underrated players GM Dean Lombardi acquired. After his first season with the team (when he was still recovering from knee surgery), Handzus was a solid two-way center for several years.
Alec Martinez – Yes, he scored one of the biggest goals in LA Kings playoff history. However, for as good as he was, the above starting-6 is a tough group to crack. Taking nothing away from Martinez, Greene simply had a greater impact on the team as they were trying to forge their identity and mold into being a championship caliber club.
Mike Richards – Of the seven extra players listed in this group, Richards was the hardest one to exclude. On one hand, he deserves to make the starting lineup over Lewis. Conversely, though, we just couldn’t ignore Lewis’ 674 games played in a Kings jersey. That’s 11th overall in franchise history and seventh most by and forward. Lewis was the ultimate Swiss Army Knife.
Mathieu Schneider – He only spent three years in LA, yet he’s one of the most offensively minded blueliners to suit up for the Kings in the past 25 years.
Jozef Stumpel – He was a point-per-game player the first season of Staples Center and had several other productive seasons in LA. Additionally, you probably can’t think Palffy without also thinking of Stumpel.
Tyler Toffoli – Second to Richards, this was probably the second most difficult exclusion. We’ll put it in the simplest of terms. For anybody to say it’s an easy argument to put Toffoli in the above lineup over Laperriere, they simply aren’t giving enough credit to Lappy’s importance to the LA organization.
Now who would coach the team?
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