L.A. Kings rally: 'You have changed this city,' Robitaille says
The Kings capped off their celebratory day by taking turns thanking the fans for sticking with them for more than four decades. But first, the team’s president had praise for the players.
"The last two months have been amazing," Kings President Luc Robitaille said to the players in one of a series of speeches at the start of Thursday’s rally. "You have changed this city."
Indeed, thousands of hockey fans lined Figueroa Street to help their team celebrate its Stanley Cup victory in style. Many said they were longtime fans, some hopped on the bandwagon late, but all reveled in the confetti and the sight of the Stanley Cup itself throughout the afternoon.
The rally had a little bit of everything. It drew a crowd and included speeches from team officials and players along with a video recap of the Kings' historic playoff run. Fans cheered wildly to a soundtrack that included Queen's "We are the Champions" and My Chemical Romance's "Welcome to the Black Parade," which has become the team's unofficial theme song.
The lucky fans who had a ticket were greeted with free towels as they entered Staples Center and continued with the chorus of "Go, Kings, go!"
Winning "is a great thing for all the longtime fans,” said Al Fredrickson, who was there for Game 6. “It's a great thing for the city. It's a great thing for anyone related to the Kings.”
"I'll tell you something else most elected officials wouldn't.... I drank a beer with Quickie on the float! I will keep that can for the rest of my life."
Wesson then presented a resolution congratulating the team on its championship.
Next came Councilwoman Jan Perry, who wore a Kings jersey and lavished praise on the team's fans.
"There are no better fans in this country than Kings fans," she said. "We’re No. 1!"
AEG President Tim Leiweke thanked the teams' fans as well.
"This was always about you; this was your day," he said. "God bless our fans. You are the Stanley Cup champions!"
But some of the biggest cheers came for Coach Darryl Sutter, who said he wanted to thank his players "from the bottom of my heart."
"Everybody enjoy it and stay out of trouble," Sutter said to his team.
Shortly thereafter, Sutter’s goalie, Jonathan Quick, followed up those instructions by dropping three F-bombs. In perhaps the most memorable of the players' speeches, Quick stepped to the microphone in shorts, sneakers and a blue Dodgers hat.
He paused as the crowd chanted "MVP" for several seconds.
"How about this ... team?" he said.
Quick, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs' top player, went on to thank the L.A. crowd.
"Thank you to every one of you guys from the bottom of my heart," he said. "We love you."
-- Sam Allen, Melissa Leu and Matt Stevens
Photo: Confetti flies and fans cheer on the L.A. Kings as they arrive at Staples Center. Credit: Allen J. Schaben.