A Penny for Your Thoughts

With salaries and operating expenses on the rise all across the NHL, several franchises have been looking for unique ways to cut spending on a daily basis. This past Wednesday, the Los Angeles Kings figured out a new way to trim their budget… by making their employees paint the ice at Staples Center.

“You heard me Bailey… as soon as you are done with me, 
take care of my boy Ethan over there.” 

“Yes, Mr. Luc. Sigh.”

How do you know it’s the NHL off-season? Your favorite NHL team makes a media circus out of the process of painting colored lines onto frozen water, that’s how. There were fans painting the ice, local radio personalities painting the ice, and a bunch of grown men in suits watching a costumed lion paint the ice. But you can paint a turd all you want… still doesn’t mean NHL players are going to like skating on it. 

This is pretty much what the Staples Center ice looks like by the 3rd period.

But the biggest piece of news to come out of this important day was the planting of 3 souvenir pennies at Center Ice by Kings Management. Mayors Manor had a photo of the pennies, while Helene Elliott got the story behind each one:

“While that was going on, Bailey, the Kings’ mascot, planted three pennies at center ice for good luck. Luc Robitaille, the Kings’ president of business operations, said one was an 1893 penny to commemorate the year the Stanley Cup was donated by Lord Stanley of Preston. Robitaille said the second penny was placed by Bailey and had personal meaning to the costumed mascot.

“I talked to Bailey’s handler, because Bailey doesn’t talk,” Robitaille said. “And I heard they were putting in a 1993 penny. I asked why and they said that’s the year we went to the finals, and I said, ‘That doesn’t make sense. We lost. We’ve got to put something that means something to us that we’ve won.’ So he put something that was personal to him that was meaningful about a championship, and I did too.”

What was Robitaille’s choice? A penny from 2002, the year he won the Cup with the Detroit Red Wings.”

So the Kings were going to put a constant reminder from one of the franchises biggest failures directly into the ice? Well thank god Luc Robitaille put a stop to that. But his alternative was to instead feature a good luck charm from the franchise that has steadily beaten the Los Angeles Kings over the last decade?

This is scientifically proven to be the last time the Kings beat the Red Wings.

Since the Kings were fully ready to immortalize their past failures directly into the Staples Center ice… myself and Indiana Matt got to thinking… (well, I got to thinking, Indiana Matt got to photoshoppin’)… why shouldn’t the Kings highlight other awful disasters in their 43 year history as part of the home ice design?

Marty McSorley’s Stick.

I mean the Kings were already prepared to put a penny from 1993 under the faceoff dot… so why not go full force with it and feature the entire illegally curved blade that cost the Kings Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals?

Ron Grahame’s Hockey Card.

Every modern day LA Kings fan remembers Ron Grahame and his impressive 23-32-7 record over 3 seasons as the team’s backup goaltender. But what they don’t remember is that Grahame was acquired from the Boston Bruins for the Kings 1st round pick in the 1979 Draft. Who did the Bruins choose with that pick? Some dork named Raymond. (Sorry, that should have read: “Some Bourque named Raymond.)

Dan Cloutier’s Goalie Pads.

I mean, if you are indeed going to pay tribute to awful moments in the franchise’s history… how can you not bury under the ice the one thing that never worked? Dan Cloutier’s goalie pads. Besides… with all of Cloutier’s injuries it would be good to keep him iced.

April 19th, 2011’s Game 3 6-5 OT loss to the San Jose Sharks.

It still hurts. Oh god, does it still hurt.

Corey Perry.

I’m in no way suggesting that the Kings should bury Corey Perry beneath the Staples Center ice because they could have selected the reigning NHL MVP with the 26th or 27th pick in the 2003 NHL Draft. (The Kings selected Brian Boyle and Jeff Tambellini instead.) No, I’m suggesting that they bury Corey Perry in Center Ice because that way the Kings won’t have to play against him next season


So there are 5 alternative ways for the Los Angeles Kings to curse their upcoming season with a little more pizzazz than simply placing a coin that commemorates a Stanley Cup Final loss in the ice. If the Kings really wanted to win they should have one of the members of that 1993 team plant a coin in center ice… that seemed to work out a little bit better. But it seems that the Kings have made their choice for the 2011-2012 NHL Season and the ice is painted and ready to go.

The most amazing part of this video is how many
people paid money to see a LA Sparks game. 

The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones. You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.