When the Los Angeles Kings hoisted the Cup at the end of 2013-14, the conversation regarding dynasties heated up. The general consensus was that the Kings were not a dynasty – yet. Though winning two Cups in three years in a ridiculous accomplishment, it’s not quite worthy of the dynasty label. Even if you make the argument that the Kings won two back-to-back full regular season Cups (the lockout shortened the year separating their victories), it’s still not up to the standards of what we consider a dynasty.
So, how far off are the Kings from becoming a dynasty? What do they need to do in the near future in order to earn the label?
The answer to the questions above will vary depending on who you ask. Such is the nature of an extremely subjective question. It’s also not an entirely fair question as it’s tough to draw comparisons across NHL history. Some will point to the Edmonton Oilers of the ’80s, the Canadiens of the ’70s, ’60s and ’50s or the Maple Leafs of the late ’40s and claim that those are the perfect examples of a dynasty. Even the NHL refers to them as the prized dynasties in league history. The problem lies in the fact that the NHL as a league and the game of hockey as a sport are constantly evolving. These teams aren’t playing under the same set of rules or circumstances.
In modern hockey, two Cups in three years is about as close as you can come to the dynasty label without actually hitting it. Given the restricting salary cap, the incredible talent and competition around the league and the ever-changing rules and strategies, two Cups in three years is phenomenal.
So, going back to the original question, what will it take for the Kings to become a dynasty? I’ll give a specific answer, though your answer will inevitably vary. One Cup within the next three years.
No one is ever going to touch some of the dynasties of old, so why not loosen up the label a tad and assign it to a team which will deserve it should they win three Cups in a span of six years. If you can claim half of the titles in a six-year stretch, that’s a dynasty, especially if you’re competitive in the other years you don’t win the title. Under this logic, the Red Wings of the late ’90s and early 2000’s deserve the modern day dynasty label and who are we to deny it? As an organization, they achieved a ton during a stretch where many teams rose and fell and struggled to maintain consistency.
Realistically, it’s only getting more and more difficult to win the Cup. The salary cap is one major factor but the looming threat of expansion means that mathematically the challenge will be greater too. A dynasty now is different from a dynasty then. Let’s stop denying that fact and give the Kings their due – if they win one more in the next few years.