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06-16-2012, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Rorschach View Post
...desirable players who, despite being completely UFA and could have chosen from many teams to sign with, chose to sign with LA.

Rob Scuderi -
Originally signed as a UFA, first by DL and the Kings and right after winning the Cup with the Penguins...can't say enough about that...Scuds has scoreboard on Hal Gill, his shutdown pairing partner in Pitt. Crosby and Malkin don't have two rings...maybe they miss a guy like Scuds on their "wide-open" blue line.

Willie Mitchell -
Originally signed as a UFA and then re-signed again as a UFA with us at the same price, very likely to retire as a makes a statement that he chose the lowly Kings over the powerhouse Nuck team who gave him an expanded role and believed in him. Then to re-sign again here instead of Vancouver right after they went to the Cup where they would have welcomed him back with open arms. Now he has scoreboard over all of his team mates. (His tattoo covers both cheeks now!)

Justin Williams -
Originally traded for by DL, re-signed with us avoiding his UFA, again like Mitchell on a very favorable deal. Our defense would be in shambles without the two guys above; but we couldn't roll four lines without Williams on the first line. He's provided veteran leadership on the first line and made so many key plays this playoffs including a pass to one of Kopitar's brilliant dagger-in-the-heart goals, the unforgettable game 1 OT winner in New Jersey? Imagine NJ wins that game instead of Williams 1 vs. 2 clutch pass in the neutral zone to an open Kopi? (trap FAIL)

Without these guys above, we are no where near a four line team, maybe a 2 and a half line team, and our defense would look more like a three or four man unit (like the Rangers, who went home in 7) instead of the uber-deep 6 man we have now. And having that stabilizing, veteran presence is so key when we have such a young team.

Simon Gagne -
Originally signed as a UFA, he played well for us until he was injured and made it all of the way back to play in the finals. While he couldn't do much in terms of playing for us this season, he is essentially our Ray Bourque. He came to LA and got his name etched on the Cup finally despite many failures with great teams he helped power. (If you look on his Wikipedia page, the last lines now in his player history is this: "He scored his first goal as a Kings player on October 13, 2011, against Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils. On June 11, 2012, he won the Stanley Cup"). You damn right other UFAs, the good ones looking to playoffs vs. the guys looking for pay offs, will look hard at this. This story doesn't happen if he doesn't choose to play with us.

And of course thank you to Mr. Lombardi and his staff, Tim Leiweke his brother-in-arms for the cause of making this a championship team and of course Phil Anshutz the man who spent the money.

I'm making this thread because I can't sleep and am off to the parade n' rally, 2012. I feel thankful that this is happening; it's like Brewster's Millions where we successfully blew 50 million at last and get the 500 million and the girl...we win and we got it all, parade and everything. We've thanked a lot of people these last few days but without these players making these decisions to choose us, we are no where.

- R

PS - I thought about making a thread about who our championship run clowned, from B. Richards to Smyth, but I feel these guys on this thread showing off their rings around other players says it much better!

PPS - Basketball is a sport; baseball is a sport; football is a sport; hockey is a lifestyle.
Thank You for this.....Beautiful.

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