You probably saw Michael Farber's list of the 10 most exciting NHL'ers in Sports Illustrated last week. It was fine but a little hard to relate to because this idea of excitement is a personal thing. You have to watch players to see their excitement; I mean, I'm sure Bobby Orr was a great player, but I can't really relate to how exciting he was because I never saw him play. With that in mind, I've compiled a list of the 10 most exciting Kings players I've personally seen. It's probably a little different from what you'd expect, but I tend to not like speedy guys that much so I went a little off the board. Without further ado...
10. Tomas Sandstrom
I only vaguely remember Sandstrom, since i was like 9 when he played with the Kings, but I remember him being a burner on the ice. He scored 45 goals in 68 games for the Kings his first year and was a contributor during the Gretzky years. He was also a giant pussy and got destroyed a lot. Youtube him and you can find him getting speared, cross-checked and slashed. I also remember that Don Cherry hated him, so there's that.
9. Dustin Brown
Brown's on here for two reasons: one, his hits, and two, his stone hands his first year in the NHL. I remember when Brown first came up as an 18 year-old kid and he was just the worst. He literally could not close a scoring opportunity to save his life, it would drive me insane. But he lucked out and got a year in the AHL and ended up becoming a solid power forward. It's hard to pick one of his hits that's my favorite, so I'll show two: first up, Dion Phaneuf:
That's the most Dustin Brown play ever, because not only does he flatten Phaneuf but Phaneuf tries to retaliate and ends up getting a penalty while Brown calmly skates away. Second, his hit on Stephane Robidas, which makes me laugh every time I see it:
Fuck yeah, Ian Laperriere kicks ass. Laperriere is like Sean Avery but without all that pesky being a douche bag thing. I can't count how many times someone on another team did something dickish only to face Laperriere's righteous indignation. His nose has seen more fists than Belladonna's vagina but he never once complained about his role on the team. I wish I could be Ian Laperriere.
7. Luc Robitaille
Robitaille wasn't the most exciting player; he wasn't very fast, he was only a good stick handler, and he didn't really create much on his own, but holy shit could he finish. I swear, the guy was either astronomically lucky or he simply had an ability to close that few others could match. Here's his most famous goal, back when the Kings jerseys were awesome:
6. Stu Grimson
Marty McSorley is probably the popular pick for Kings enforcers, but Grimson gets the nod from me based on this clip alone:
A little context: Reed Simpson was an aspiring tough guy looking to energize his team a little bit at the end of a 6-2 loss. He challenged Grimson, who happily obliged. As you can see, Simpson's plan backfired horribly. Grimson is now a lawyer and is also a devout Christian. Rumors that Grimson once won a case by punching a brief are awesome but unfounded.
5. Craig Johnson
Craig Johnson was 9/10ths of the greatest player I've ever seen. I can't count how many times he dipsy-doodled through 2 defenders, deked the goaltender, and then completely missed a wide open net. He would fail in the most cartoonish ways imaginable, whether it was by falling down or whiffing on a shot. I swear I one time saw him poop in his pants on a one-timer. OK, that's not true, but if it had happened I wouldn't be surprised.
4. Ziggy Palffy
Ziggy was by far the most electric player I ever saw in a Kings uniform. You can kind of forget about him since he got hurt so much, but he really was an insanely talented player. I think Marian Gaborik is a good comparison for Ziggy, albeit Ziggy was a little smaller. I have a friend who used to play pick-up in El Segundo and he said Ziggy showed up once after he left the Kings and scored a goal on a slap shot from behind the red line. He swears to this day that it was the hardest shot he's ever seen. Plus, Ziggy celebrates scoring goals by kissing men.
3. Kelly Buchberger
I saw the most spectacular knockouts I've ever seen when Kelly Buchberger played for the Kings. Granted, they were all for the other team, but still. Here's Kelly getting tooled by Joe Thornton, of all people:
I guess Buchberger used to be a pretty good fighter until he got punched in the head so much, but he was a ragdoll while on the Kings. It would have been hilarious if it hadn't been so sad.
2. Adam Deadmarsh
Deadmarsh did everything for the Kings; he fought, hit, and scored better than anyone I've seen in a Kings uniform. Dustin Brown and Deadmarsh get compared a lot because they have similar games, but the difference between Brown and Deadmarsh is that Deadmarsh was genuinely insane. There are two games that make Deadmarsh stick out to me: the first was against the Senators, the second against the Red Wings. Below you'll see the donnybrook against the Senators in 2001, which had a total of 247 penalties. The first fight you'll see is Kelly Buchberger getting absolutely drilled by Andre Roy (seriously, did he ever win a fight?), then Jason Allison getting into a scrap with Shane Hnidy. Deadmarsh obviously didn't like seeing Allison, the Kings' best player, getting into a fight, so what does he decide to do? He grabs Wade Redden and beats the shit out of him, then skates by Shane Hnidy and points at him. Madman.
The 2nd clip is against the Red Wings and I doubt I need to say more than that.
1. Dan Cloutier
Don't tell me that watching Cloutier try to stop a hockey puck wasn't exciting. I'd relax after watching Cloutier in net by playing Russian Roulette. The man was a national treasure.