2015 NHL Awards Show That League, Writers Still Have Serious Credibility Issues

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: With West Coast players being shut out at the National Hockey League awards once again, the league’s annual showcase of its best and brightest is just another reminder of how much of an embarrassing joke the NHL awards have been for years.


LOS ANGELES — The 2015 National Hockey League awards have come and gone, and once again, they have proven to be a complete joke.

Year after year after year, the NHL awards turns out to be an embarrassing knock on the league’s credibility, not to mention that of some of the writers who vote for five of the six player awards (having been a voter for these awards in previous seasons, that includes yours truly) because of the blatantly obvious advantage given to players from Eastern Conference teams, primarily due to the fact that they get far greater attention from the media in Eastern time zone cities and in much of Canada.

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Win Four Tickets To Ontario Reign’s First Home Game of 2015 Western Conference Finals

Image courtesy Ontario Reign

With the Los Angeles Kings having missed the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, it has been tough for many Los Angeles hockey fans, especially after having gotten accustomed to great success, with the team having two Stanley Cup Championships in the previous three seasons.

Indeed, Kings fans now expect to see their team as, not only one of the 16 teams who make the playoffs, but as one of the teams that makes a deep run towards winning the Stanley Cup.

Even though that isn’t happening this season, both of the Kings’ minor league affiliates have made it all the way to their respective conference finals, just eight wins away from a championship. Here in Southern California, the Kings’ ECHL affiliate the Ontario Reign, opens the Western Conference Finals against the Allen Americans (affiliate of the San Jose Sharks) in Allen, Texas, with Games 1 and 2 on May 17 and 18.

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Solid Progress For LA Kings First-Year Pro Defenseman Prospect Alex Roach

LA Kings defenseman prospect Alex Roach, shown here with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings having failed to earn an invitation to the National Hockey League’s post-season party this year, it might be easy for many to forget that both of their minor league affiliates are in the midst of playoff runs of their own.

Their current American Hockey League affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, won their first round series against the Portland Pirates in five games (best of five-game series), and will open their second round series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this evening (4:00 PM Pacific time in Manchester).

The Kings’ current ECHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, qualified for second round action by eliminating the Colorado Eagles in seven games. After winning their first two games of their second round series against the Utah Grizzlies in Ontario, the Reign play Game 3 this evening (4:05 PM Pacific time) in Utah.

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One Of The Most Lopsided Trades In NHL History Involved The LA Kings And Larry Murphy

LA KINGS HISTORY: Selecting defenseman Larry Murphy in the first round on the 1980 National Hockey League Entry Draft was a momentous occasion for the Los Angeles Kings. After all, they had a long history of trading away their first round picks and drafting poorly. But Murphy went on to become a star in the NHL, and a four-time Stanley Cup winner. The only problem, from a Kings perspective, was that, like so many others, Murphy went elsewhere to do it.

In the final installment of this series, Frozen Royalty spoke to Murphy about his time with the Kings, the friction with the coaching staff that started his problems with the team, and why he had to leave, a story that probably isn’t what you might expect.


Former LA Kings star defenseman Larry Murphy, shown here during the Kings Fantasy Camp on March 12, 2015, at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Defenseman Larry Murphy burst onto the scene with the Los Angeles Kings in the 1980-81 season, making a huge, immediate impact, scoring 16 goals and adding 60 assists for 76 points in 80 games in his rookie season—he finished second in the Calder Memorial Trophy (rookie of the year) to the legendary Peter Stastny that season.

Murphy scored 22 goals and tallied 44 assists for 66 points in the 1981-82 season, followed by 14 goals and 48 assists for 62 points in the 1982-83 season.

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Hall Of Famer Larry Murphy: The LA Kings’ First Offensive Defenseman

LA KINGS HISTORY: Defenseman Larry Murphy won four Stanley Cup Championships, two with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and two with the Detroit Red Wings, in a 21-year National Hockey League career that culminated in his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. But fewer and fewer people remember that Murphy began his NHL career with the Los Angeles Kings in 1980. In the first installment of a series based on exclusive interviews, Frozen Royalty looks back at Murphy’s time with the Kings.


Former LA Kings star defenseman Larry Murphy, shown here during the Kings Fantasy Camp on March 12, 2015, at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Many may know Larry Murphy from his work on Detroit Red Wings broadcasts before he left Fox Sports Detroit a couple of years ago, or maybe you saw him as an analyst in spot duty on the NHL Network.

Older hockey fans might remember Murphy as a player, most recently with the Red Wings. He also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota North Stars and the Washington Capitals.

Many Kings fans are likely to be unfamiliar with Murphy since he spent the vast majority of his career playing for teams based in the Eastern time zone. But Murphy started his National Hockey League career with the Los Angeles Kings, who selected him in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft.

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