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1967–68 Los Angeles Kings season

The 1967–68 Los Angeles Kings season was the first season for the Kings in the National Hockey League. The Kings qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs but lost in their first playoff series.

1967–68 Los Angeles Kings
Division 2nd West
1967–68 record 31–33–10
Home record 20–13–4
Road record 11–20–6
Goals for 200
Goals against 224
Team information
General Manager Larry Regan
Coach Red Kelly
Captain Bob Wall
Arena Long Beach Arena,
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena,
Los Angeles Forum
Minor league affiliate(s) Springfield Indians (AHL)
Team leaders
Goals Bill Flett (26)
Assists Eddie Joyal (34)
Points Eddie Joyal (57)
Penalties in minutes Dave Amadio (101)
Wins Wayne Rutledge (20)
Goals against average Wayne Rutledge (2.87)

Contents

OffseasonEdit

The Kings were one of six expansion teams, which doubled the size of the league from six to twelve. While the expected favorite bid in Los Angeles was by Dan Reeves, owner of the Western Hockey League's Los Angeles Blades and the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, the league instead awarded a franchise to Jack Kent Cooke, a Canadian who also owned the National Basketball Association's Los Angeles Lakers.[1] The Kings were placed in the newly established West Division, along with the other expansion teams: the California Seals, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues.

Prior to the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft, Cooke arranged a deal with Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Red Kelly, who as a player holds the distinction of playing on the most Stanley Cup championship teams without any of them including time in Montreal, and was set for his retirement, to become the Kings' first head coach. During the draft, the Kings picked goaltenders Terry Sawchuk and Wayne Rutledge with their first picks, and once Maple Leafs' general manager Punch Imlach decided to put Kelly on the protected list on the tenth round, Cooke was forced to send one of his picks, Ken Block, in exchange for his future coach. To not rely only on the draft, Cooke purchased the American Hockey League's Springfield Indians for $1 million to bolster the Kings roster. Long-time Indians player Brian Kilrea would score the Kings' first goal.[2]

Cooke invested heavily on promoting his team, inviting Hollywood stars to the arena, and creating nicknames for most players which he enforced play-by-play announcer Jiggs McDonald to employ in broadcasts. Still, conditions were chaotic. For the first preseason practice in California, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour producer Saul Ilson had to bring a puck from his Hollywood office for the Kings to play, as the team's own were unreachable in storage.[1]

Regular seasonEdit

The Kings played their home games in three locations during that inaugural campaign. Before the brand new arena built by Cooke and known as The Forum would become their permanent home, the team played their first two games at the Long Beach Arena, and 14 more at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena .[3] The season opener was against fellow expansion Philadelphia Flyers, a 4-2 victory in Long Beach. While the Inglewood arena was being finished, the Kings struggled to attract consistent crowds, with sellouts only when the "Original Six" visited.[1] The team still played well, only losing on the sixth game, and in the previous one winning their first confrontation against an Original Six team when visiting the Chicago Black Hawks.[1]

The Forum was opened on December 30, and in the Kings' first game ever there, they lost 2–0 to the Philadelphia Flyers, to their largest crowd that far of 14,366 expectators. Given that aside from California Seals the closest team from Los Angeles were the St. Louis Blues, the Kings had to endure long road trips for away games.[1] A new arena led to bigger and more consistent crowds, with the average of 6,045 tickets in the first 16 games rising to 9,725 at the Forum, for combined totals of 8,037 across the 37 home games. Original Six teams still brought larger audiences, with an average of 12,560 fans compared to the 7,432 when receiving fellow expansion teams.[2] The Kings were predicted by writers to finish last in the new West Division.[4] Surprisingly, the Kings finished second, just one point behind the Flyers. The division lead was taken by the Kings with four games remaining once they beat Philadelphia at The Forum, but Los Angeles slipped down one position by failing to win the final three games.[2] The Kings had the best record of any of the expansion teams against the "Original Six", going a respectable 10–12–2, including winning their first two games ever against the legendary Montreal Canadiens. The home record of the Kings was 20–13–4 in their 37 home games spread over 3 arenas. On the road, Los Angeles posted a record of just 11–20–6.

The goaltending tandem of future hall of famer Terry Sawchuk and Wayne Rutledge allowed the team to stay in most games. The roster invested heavily on depth, with eight players having at least 25 points, and four scoring a minimum of 18 goals. The leaders were Bill Flett, who scored 26 goals, while Eddie Joyal scored 23 goals, adding 34 assists for 57 points and was the second leading scorer in the West Division. Defenseman Bill White had 11 goals and 38 points, and had the second most penalty minutes with 100, just one behind Dave Amadio.[2]

PlayoffsEdit

The Kings faced off against the Minnesota North Stars in their first-ever playoff series. Although the Kings had home-ice advantage, the North Stars won the best-of-seven series 4–3. Los Angeles got the first two games at the Forum, lost twice in Minnesota, and had a close 3-2 victory on Game 5 to retain the lead. Afterwards, the North Stars won in overtime to force a Game 6, and dominated Game 7 at the Forum with a 9-4.[2] Doug Robinson and Lowell MacDonald led all Kings playoff scorers with seven points, while Eddie Joyal and Gord Labossiere had five points each.

Season standingsEdit

West Division[5]
GP W L T GF GA DIFF Pts
1 Philadelphia Flyers 74 31 32 11 173 179 −6 73
2 Los Angeles Kings 74 31 33 10 200 224 −24 72
3 St. Louis Blues 74 27 31 16 177 191 −14 70
4 Minnesota North Stars 74 27 32 15 191 226 −35 69
5 Pittsburgh Penguins 74 27 34 13 195 216 −21 67
6 Oakland Seals 74 15 42 17 153 219 −66 47


Record vs. opponentsEdit

1967-68 NHL Records
Team BOS CHI DET LAK MIN MON NYR OAK PHI PIT STL TOR
Boston 5–3–2 5–3–2 3–1 2–2 5–5 6–2–2 2–2 3–1 2–2 2–1–1 2–5–3
Chicago 3–5–2 4–3–3 2–1–1 3–1 2–6–2 3–4–3 3–0–1 3–1 2–1–1 2–0–2 5–4–1
Detroit 3–5–2 3–4–3 1–2–1 2–2 3–6–1 3–5–2 3–0–1 3–1 3–1 2–1–1 1–8–1
Los Angeles 1–3 1–2–1 2–1–1 2–6–2 2–2 2–2 4–4–2 5–4–1 6–4 4–3–3 2–2
Minnesota 2–2 1–3 2–2 6–2–2 1–2–1 0–2–2 5–2–3 3–6–1 3–4–3 3–5–2 1–2–1
Montreal 5–5 6–2–2 6–3–1 2–2 2–1–1 4–4–2 3–1 2–1–1 4–0 3–0–1 5–3–2
New York 2–6–2 4–3–3 5–3–2 2–2 2–0–2 4–4–2 4–0 3–1 3–0–1 3–1 7–3
Oakland 2–2 0–3–1 0–3–1 4–4–2 2–5–3 1–3 0–4 4–3–3 1–5–4 0–7–3 1–3
Philadelphia 1–3 1–3 1–3 4–5–1 6–3–1 1–2–1 1–3 3–4–3 3–4–3 7–1–2 3–1
Pittsburgh 2–2 1–2–1 1–3 4–6 4–3–3 0–4 0–3–1 5–1–4 4–3–3 4–6 2–1–1
St. Louis 1–2–1 0–2–2 1–2–1 3–4–3 5–3–2 0–3–1 1–3 7–0–3 1–7–2 6–4 2–1–1
Toronto 5–2–3 4–5–1 8–1–1 2–2 2–1–1 3–5–2 3–7 3–1 1–3 1–2–1 1–2–1

Schedule and resultsEdit

1967–68 game log

PlayoffsEdit

1968 NHL Quarter-finalsEdit

Minnesota North Stars vs. Los Angeles Kings

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 4 Minnesota 1 Los Angeles 2
April 6 Minnesota 0 Los Angeles 2
April 9 Los Angeles 5 Minnesota 7
April 11 Los Angeles 2 Minnesota 3
April 13 Minnesota 2 Los Angeles 3
April 16 Los Angeles 3 Minnesota 4 (OT)
April 18 Minnesota 9 Los Angeles 4

Minnesota wins best-of-seven series 4–3.

Player statisticsEdit

ForwardsEdit

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player GP G A Pts PIM
Eddie Joyal 74 23 34 57 20
Bill Flett 73 26 20 46 97
Lowell MacDonald 74 21 24 45 12
Ted Irvine 73 18 22 40 26
Gord Labossiere 68 13 27 40 31
Real Lemieux 74 12 23 35 60
Terry Gray 65 12 16 28 22
Howie Menard 35 9 15 24 32
Howie Hughes 74 9 14 23 20
Bryan Campbell 44 6 15 21 16
Brian Smith 58 10 9 19 33
Doug Robinson 34 9 9 18 6
Brian Kilrea 25 3 5 8 12
Jim Anderson 7 1 2 3 2
Bill Inglis 12 1 1 2 0
Mike Corbett 0 0 0 0 0
Mike Corrigan 5 0 0 0 2

DefencemenEdit

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player GP G A Pts PIM
Bill White 74 11 27 38 100
Bob Wall 71 5 18 23 66
Dale Rolfe 68 3 13 16 84
Brent Hughes 44 4 10 14 36
Dave Amadio 58 4 6 10 101
Jacques Lemieux 16 0 3 3 8
Jim Murray 30 0 2 2 14
Poul Popiel 1 0 0 0 0
Larry Johnston 4 0 0 0 4

GoaltendingEdit

Note: GP = Games played; MIN = Minutes; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals against average

Player GP MIN W L T SO GAA
Wayne Rutledge 45 2444 20 18 4 2 2.87
Terry Sawchuk 36 1936 11 14 6 2 3.07
Jacques Caron 1 60 0 1 0 0 4.00

Awards and recordsEdit

RecordsEdit

IndividualEdit

  • March 10, 1968: Fastest two goals, 6 seconds apart, Bill Flett at 9:14 of first period, and Eddie Joyal at 9:20.

TeamEdit

  • Fewest short-handed goals against in season, 3
  • Most shutouts against in season, 9

MilestonesEdit

  Player is still active or individual record
Regular season
Player Milestone Reached
Brian Kilrea First Kings goal October 14, 1967

TransactionsEdit

Draft picksEdit

NHL draftEdit

Round Pick Player Nationality
1 1 Rick Pagnutti   Canada
 
LA Kings primary logo
  • NOTE: Back before 1979, the amateur draft was held with varying rules and procedures. In 1967, teams only needed to select as many player as they wanted to, which is why there was only one Kings player drafted.

Expansion draftEdit

  • Los Angeles Kings selections
# Player Drafted from
1. Terry Sawchuk (G) Toronto Maple Leafs
2. Wayne Rutledge (G) New York Rangers
3. Gord Labossiere (C) Montreal Canadiens
4. Bob Wall (D) Detroit Red Wings
5. Ed Joyal (C) Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Real Lemieux (W) Detroit Red Wings
7. Poul Popiel (D) Boston Bruins
8. Terry Gray (RW) Detroit Red Wings
9. Bryan Campbell (C) New York Rangers
10. Ted Irvine (LW) Boston Bruins
11. Howie Hughes (RW) Montreal Canadiens
12. Bill Inglis (C) Montreal Canadiens
13. Doug Robinson (LW) New York Rangers
14. Mike Corrigan (LW) Toronto Maple Leafs
15. Jacques Lemieux (LW) Montreal Canadiens
16. Lowell MacDonald (LW) Toronto Maple Leafs
17. Ken Block (D) New York Rangers
18. Bill Flett (RW) Toronto Maple Leafs
19. Brent Hughes (D) Detroit Red Wings
20. Marc Dufour (RW) New York Rangers

Farm teamsEdit

RosterEdit

1967–68 Los Angeles Kings roster

Goaltenders:

1 – Rutledge 30 – Sawchuk 1 – Caron 

Defensemen:

2 – Wall 4 – J. Lemieux 4 – Murray 4 – B. Hughes 5 – Amadio 5 – Johnston 6 – Rolfe 9 – Popiel 21 – White 

Forwards:

7 – Gray 8 – Smith 9 – R. Lemieux 10 – H. Hughes 11 – MacDonald 11 – Corrigan 12 – Campbell 15 – Irvine 16 – Joyal 17 – Flett 18 – Anderson 19 – Kilrea 19 – Menard 20 – Labossiere 22 – Inglis 23 – Robinson 25 – Corbett 

OwnerJack Kent Cooke •  General ManagerLarry Regan •  CoachRed Kelly

BroadcastingEdit

KNX 1070 was the radio broadcaster in all games. KTLA covered 20 of the 37 away games through a simulcast. CBS broadcast nationally the first game at the Forum.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Kings have interesting, some might say colorful history
  2. ^ a b c d e Bass, Alan (2011). "7: Los Angeles Kings". The Great Expansion: The Ultimate Risk That Changed the NHL Forever. pp. 87–96. ISBN 1-4502-8605-4. 
  3. ^ KINGS ALL-TIME ARENAS: 1967 - PRESENT
  4. ^ Brian McFarlane, 50 Years of Hockey, pp. 140–143, Greywood Publishing Ltd, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
  5. ^ "1967–1968 Division Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". National Hockey League. 
  6. ^ 1967-68 Season in Review
  7. ^ [1]