It’s been a long wait for the Stanley Cup itself but the Los Angeles Kings and their fans finally had their time this past June. Shortly afterwards, there was the championship parade with a quarter-million in attendance that no Kings’ player or fan will soon forget. After a summer of pure bliss calling themselves the champions, all the Kings and their fans only had the championship banner-raising to look forward to, not that their Cup win wasn’t official before.
Due to the lockout, the banner-raising ceremony was delayed... and delayed... and delayed some more. Every few weeks, more games got wiped out from the original regular season schedule as it seemed like the Kings would be forced to call themselves champions again without even doing anything – a very hollow victory if you ask me and I’m generous calling it a “victory”.
Alas, the dreaded lockout ended and now the Los Angeles Kings are ready for what they’ve been waiting for much too long now for. What was supposed to happen back on October 11 against the New York Rangers turned into a waiting game and now the Kings will be raising that much-deserved Stanley Cup banner to the rafters of the Staples Center (the first banner to hang from the venue’s rafters) and like the Cup win and the parade before, this will mark another in the series of moments Kings’ fans will never forget.
This Saturday afternoon, the new season will open up with all eyes on the champions solidifying their Stanley Cup victory. While they hope to win it all again this year, the Kings’ fans can, as of Saturday, enter Staples Center and look to the rafters as a reminder of how their team took the hockey world by storm for a few spring months in 2012. That’s not to say, of course, that it won’t happen again as I’m confident it will.
This is what each and every hockey player dreams of outside of winning the prize itself: to watch as the proof of their illustrious championship win gets raised to the rafters where fans, their team and even opponent will be forever reminded of how incredible a story the 2012 Los Angeles Kings were.
Here’s to our first Stanley Cup – and many, many more.