Growing up in LA I became hooked on hockey in the late 70s/early 80s. Hockey for me was the Triple Crown Line, the Miracle at Manchester and growing up thinking that defensemen really shouldn't mark anyone. With the Dodgers there was Garvey, Lopes, Russell and Cey and with the Kings there was Dionne, Taylor, Simmer and Fox. When I started to drive I found out there were $5 student seats to be purchased the day of the game. In the day of "no GPS" driving to the Forum was an adventure as it's not the greatest part of town. My favorite story about driving to/from the Forum was being out of gas and getting turned around after leaving the game. I figured I should just drive straight because at some point I would hit a freeway. I eventually did...in downtown LA. The next day I looked at a map to see the parts of town I had driven through around midnight fearing my car would give out. To this day, that was the only time I had ever been in that part of town.
But back to the Kings. I continued to follow them through college even though I was in Arizona at the time. Occasionally a game would come on TV (Prime Sports?) and I would schedule my evenings around them. Around 50% of the time they would be pre-empted by something Arizona related. They were just so bad in the mid-80s but then as Dionne and Taylor were fading in came Robitaille and Carson with a slightly older Bernie Nicholls. I moved to Texas and still tried to follow the Kings as best I could. Gretzky coming over in 1988 helped but the Marty McSorley stick incident in the Stanley Cup Finals was probably my last Kings moment. The Dallas Stars started playing the next year and slowly my allegiance shifted. This year I didn't catch much of the finals but when I did I was watching Dionne snake his way through the defense and Taylor slamming home a shot at the net. I'm very happy for the city but a bit sad that the same couldn't be done 20 years earlier.