Some may argue that this is severely overdue, but I'm thinking a congratulations for the Los Angeles Kings is in order. To be honest, I was just waiting until mostly everyone forgot about the current champions before I'd post this reminder. They will be the Stanley Cup winning team for a full year, but soon people will be talking about everything but the Kings. It's pretty much that way now in fact. For the past few months, focus shifted away from the champs many times. From the 2012 entry draft, to major stories in the free agent frenzy, and finally to the current CBA negotiations, the Kings are long forgotten by the masses.
The full effect of the lockout has sunken in, by the way, and it's pretty clear at this point that it will be another long negotiation, much like 8 years ago when a full season was lost. With pre-season games having been cancelled, and the official start day of training camps having come and gone without a player in the locker rooms, both sides seem to have dug in for the long haul. I'm pretty sure that we'll lose another full season personally. It's just too difficult to look at things positively with all that I'm reading. Worse, I'm not even sure how I feel about supporting the game any more after this. It's the fans in this whole situation that are getting most screwed and neither side is talking about that. I may not feel good about supporting the game when they come back, and the longer this goes on, the more I feel that way.
For now however, I am still a fan of the game, and a major Kings fan within that game. With that, I figure now is a perfect time to offer this reminder:
The Los Angeles Kings are the Stanley Cup Champions!
I cannot begin to explain how surreal that whole thing was, and is, and I probably wont ever try to. It's just incredible to have been a fan for so many years and finally see that cup being raised above those beautiful jerseys. It was a great moment, and if I never watch another game of hockey after all this, at least I will be leaving it on that high, with that memory.
As an interesting side note here, should the lockout last the entire year, the Kings would only be the 2nd team in history to technically be champions for 2 years. I don't mean with back-to-back wins, but being champs for 2 full years. The other team is the Tampa Bay Lightening, who back in 2004 won the cup just before the season was lost due to that lock out. As interesting as that tiny bit of information may be, I'd much rather LA give it a go for back to back wins, so let's hope they figure things out sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, I'll hold on the the glow of having bragging rights within my friend circle, knowing they all have to deal with me announcing who the champs are, for up to an additional year, or maybe even beyond. With that being the case, nobody wants the lockout to end more than they do I'm sure.