Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Kings’ trade for Wayne Gretzky …
The only thing the Great One couldn’t do after the Kings acquired him from Edmonton was to bring the Stanley Cup to Los Angeles. He came close once, leading the Kings to the 1993 Final with a Game 7 for the ages in a Western Conference finals victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto. The Kings went on to win Game 1 of the Final over the Canadiens in Montreal. They led the Canadiens by a goal in the closing moments of Game 2 and it was possible to imagine the victory parade and the Cup in downtown L.A. in a few days.
Suddenly, there was a whistle and a the daydream turned into a nightmare for Kings fans. Kings defenseman Marty McSorley was caught playing with an illegal curve on his stick, a minor penalty. The Canadiens scored on the ensuing power play to send the game to overtime, where they won 3-2. Montreal then won Games 3 and 4 at the Forum and then clinched the Cup with a 4-1 win at the other Forum in Game 5.
It was the last Stanley Cup victory for a Canadian team and began the Curse of Marty McSorley for the Kings. Actually, the Kings put an end to the Curse with their Cup victory in 2012. Canadian fans are still waiting for another Cup, which should no doubt make Kings fans smile when they think back to what might have been in Game 2 on June 3, 1993.