Thread: Kings Article: Bernie Nicholls is the Happiest King
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06-02-2012, 10:24 AM
One More Time
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Bernie Nicholls is the Happiest King,full.column

How bad did he want to work here? He spent the first two months working for free.

"I was a King once, I wanted to be a King again, it was all fine," he said.

How bad did he want to stay here? He has lived in a hotel near the team's El Segundo training facility since Jan. 3, checking out when the team is the on the road, checking back in when they return.

How much does he appreciate it here? When the Kings won their second-round series against St. Louis, Nicholls ran downstairs from his press box seat, stood on the bench, and called his daughter. When they won the conference title against Phoenix, he posed for a photo with the trophy and sent it to everyone he knew.

Then, on Wednesday night, when Anze Kopitar scored the overtime goal to give the Kings a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils in the opener of the Stanley Cup Final, Nicholls ran down a tunnel and excitedly called his mother.

Can you blame him? Not once in his 19-year playing career did he reach this final series. Not once has he dared to touch, or even walk near, the actual Stanley Cup, because he felt he never deserved it.

For the Happiest King, the second half of his season has been second lease on a Kings life that was never this glittering. Call it payback for those nine years of struggling in front of 10,000 Forum diehards, for those nights when he felt nobody few people he even existed.

"When longtime Kings fans say that what's happening is a like a dream, I understand," Nicholls said. "I've been there. I felt it. I can't believe what's going on now."

"I thought I could help out a team I loved," said Nicholls, 50. "Who would have thought it would turn into this?"

Last edited by TonySCV: 06-02-2012 at 01:30 PM.
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