Every market after winning the Stanley Cup has the right to gloat. After all, they've just won the hardest championship in sports with the biggest, prettiest trophy. Why not gloat? The season following, however, the clock and the countdown to the team's next Cup resets. Whether the accomplishment of the previous season is discounted, forgotten, or used as a calling to a higher standard depends on the franchise and the fans.
The Hockey News' Ken Campbell pretty much thinks that while the Kings run was impressive, the greater LA area is going to forget about it pretty much yesterday. He doesn't necessarily mean that the team's die hards will forget; rather he focuses on the fair-weather fans and everyone around the Staples Center who doesn't know the team's correct logo (see above).
From this corner, here’s what Los Angeles winning the Stanley Cup means. It means the Kings achieved a monumental feat. It means they did something very, very special. It means that forever more, the Los Angeles Kings will go down in history as the best team in the NHL in 2011-12. They’ll take a place in the history books as one of the most unlikely, most dominant playoff champions in league history. What the Kings did was the equivalent to an NFL team squeaking out a wildcard spot on the final Sunday of the season, then winning all their playoff games and the Super Bowl by an average of 30 points. And given the recent history of Stanley Cup winners, it means the Kings won’t win the Cup in 2013.
That’s all. Thinking it will have any kind of deeper meaning or make Los Angeles more of a hockey town reminds me of what people think when someone runs his or her first marathon. But contrary to popular belief, it means only that person has the fitness and endurance to run 26.2 miles. It doesn’t mean he or she can have another child, go back to school, change jobs or accomplish anything he or she tries.
Fair enough. Sure, it just means that they were the best team last season. But you can't tell me that even in a market of LA's size, with all of the sports options that they have there, that this won't make people more excited about hockey. Yes, it might take a few more Cup wins to create a legacy of success, but the ability's there and the interest from the market is obviously there.
Some markets have been blessed with multiple Stanley Cup wins, and thanks to that their team will never fall into obscurity despite tough times. Look at the Islanders. Yes, their fanbase has undergone some rough patches over the past several seasons, but they still have those four Cups. Second fiddle to the Rangers or not, there is still something for the fanbase to reflect on and strive towards. Without those four Cups would the Islanders' current struggles be as tolerated? Probably not. But they have a history of winning, and that at least mitigates the problems for right now.
You use that first Cup to build a tradition like the Islanders. Pittsburgh, New Jersey... both franchises are seen as having a winning tradition thanks to their three championships. They have blips of not-so-great on their radar, but those Cups almost make those blips fade away. That's what LA has to look forward to.
One championship in a city filled with sports winners might not seem like much, but give the Kings a few more chances to win, and articles like Holland's will be a think of the past.
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