It sure was nice to see the newest member of the Vegas Golden Knights, goaltender Jonathan Quick, win his first game in a VGK uniform this past Sunday afternoon at T-Mobile Arena. After the way he was unceremoniously traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets last week before the trade deadline by the Los Angeles Kings, I was happy to see this two-time Stanley Cup Champion and Conn Smythe Trophy winner land here in Las Vegas for the stretch run and the NHL playoffs.
If you have only started watching hockey since the Vegas Golden Knights were born in 2017, then you may remember Quick and former VGK goalie Marc-André Fleury, battle it out during the NHL Playoffs in 2018 in one of the best goaltender duels in recent memory. They were both incredible during that Golden Knights – Kings playoff series, with Fleury and the Golden Knights winning the series on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
However, if you have been a hockey fan longer than that, then you may have been an L.A. Kings fan before you became a Vegas Golden Knights fan. I certainly was. In fact, I had season tickets in the upper deck at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles when I was working in the Riverside/San Bernardino, California radio market in the late 80s and early 90s. Those were the Wayne Gretzky years, which were great.
Once “The Great One” was traded in 1995, we Kings fans suffered through years of financial difficulties for the franchise, and years of mediocre teams. But, starting with the 2003 NHL Draft, L.A. began drafting players who would become the core of a team which would win two Stanley Cups. Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty would be the drafted Kings players who would lead them to championships in 2012 and 2014. It was the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs in which Quick would win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player during the playoffs. After that amazing run, he signed a 10-year contract with the Kings.
Quick is now in the final year of that contract. Whether or not he hangs up the goalie pads after this season, it is nice to see him playing important games for a contending team at this point in his career. As a former L.A. Kings fan, it would have been very disappointing to see him finish up a stellar career in a Columbus Blue Jackets jersey.
I was also proud to see how the fans in the stands at T-Mobile Arena celebrated his career during pre-game introductions on Sunday afternoon. They gave him a great ovation. I’m pretty sure there were many former Kings fans in the crowd when #32 and the Vegas Golden Knights had a shutout going into the third period against the Montreal Canadiens. It would get interesting in the final period, but Vegas, and their newest member, goaltender Jonathan Quick, held on to win 4-3.
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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.
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