Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Other Los Angeles Team

Last night's Stadium Series game played at Dodger Stadium between the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings was pretty good. Sure, Anaheim skated to a 3-0 victory, but there were hits, fights, music, fun, and over 54,000 happy fans. While I wasn't overly-enamored with the gray-versus-orange look, there was another Los Angeles uniform in action last night as the AHL's Manchester Monarchs honoured one of Los Angeles' greatest looks. Or worst. Your choice.

The Monarchs held Los Angeles Kings Night at the Verizon Wireless Arena as they hosted the Portland Pirates, and the fans in Manchester went home happy as the Monarchs-turned-Kings scored with two seconds remaining in overtime to give the home side a 3-2 win. The man to the right, Linden Vey, scored the game-winner as the Atlantic-leading Monarchs handed Portland the loss. Portland finds themselves in fifth-place in the Atlantic Division after recording the loss.

Amazingly, social media and blogs really helped the Monarchs into their Burger King jerseys. 75% of the online votes went towards the Burger King jersey, meaning that more than 7500 of the more-than-10,000 votes made online went towards the 1996 Kings' alternate jersey. Well done, internet! That's the kind of response I appreciate when it comes to a team looking to have a little fun!

The thing that kills me that is that this uniform was worn a mere eight times in 1996 by the Los Angeles Kings as per the NHL's alternate jersey schedule. I know they were routinely condemned for how ugly they were, but there is a strong following within Los Angeles who support the Burger King jersey. Much like the Islanders' Fisherman uniform, it seems that the further time pushes the Burger King into history, the more people find appreciation for the uniform.
If there is one complaint, the Burger King logo on the left shoulder of the Monarchs is significantly smaller than it was for the Kings in 1996. Honestly, though, the Monarchs looked fantastic last night. There should be more fun jerseys done like this by more teams. Maybe we could see Anaheim bring back Wild Wing at some point? Will the Canucks ever throw back to the fading skate? Could we ever see the Bruins' Pooh Bear once more, perhaps worn by the Providence Bruins? Only time will tell, but let's not let this era in NHL history fade into obscurity.

Well done, Manchester, in wearing the 1996 Kings' alternate jersey well!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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