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|Kings proud, but not satisfied with just one Cup|
|Written by Andrew Knoll|
|Tuesday, 12 June 2012 04:27|
The Los Angeles Kings have won their first Stanley Cup, but they are far from satisfied. With one down, the team now looks to the NHL's most storied franchises for inspiration on how to continue.LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings might have won their first Stanley Cup, but their management won’t be satisfied until the marquee reads “Hockeywood.”
“Let's not kid ourselves, we've got a lot to accomplish," Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said. "(Coach) Darryl (Sutter) and I were looking at those banners hanging (in New Jersey). Those are pretty impressive. We got a long way to go to get to that point."
Lombardi has spoken about instilling a culture, an identity and a strong infrastructure to his organization. Assistant GM Ron Hextall, a rising star in player development, has had the same goals since both men took their post six seasons ago.
"We're a few years in now," Hextall said. "If you look at the people that we've brought in, I think we're on the way.
"Are we where we need to be yet? Are we Detroit or Philadelphia? No, we're not. But we're probably in the early stages of reaching the type of culture we envisioned when we got here."
This season was certainly a huge step for the Kings. They sold out the overwhelming majority of their games, drew standing-room only crowds in the playoffs and, of course won the Cup.
“It was one of the best team efforts I’ve ever seen," said former Kings great Luc Robitaille, who now runs the business side of the team. "Everyone gave all they had every night.
”It changes our culture for sure, it takes us to the next level. I just love what we stand for as an organization.”
Robitaille was optimistic about the future with one of the youngest rosters in the NHL. Almost all their players are under contract going forward.
“Our core, our best players are our youngest guys,” Robitaille said. “Every one of our guys can play a few more years. We’re going to enjoy this now and start to think about next year next week.”
Lombardi, who veers between caustic and effusive based on the moment at times, said he was not in L.A. to win a single Cup. He believes that even in the “new NHL,” the dynasty is not dead.
"I know people say you can't do it in this era in the cap and stuff but I don't want to believe that," Lombardi said. "To me, it's no fun if you're just playing fantasy league stuff and changing over every year. Your goal is to get like the best organizations and to see those banners up there."
Photos by Getty Images