LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings raised their first Stanley Cup championship banner Saturday in a joyous ceremony delayed more than three months by the NHL lockout.
With help from the family of a victim of the Sandy Hook massacre, the Kings hung their black-and-white banner in the rafters at Staples Center and received their championship rings before their season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The ceremony was the culmination of Los Angeles' improbable rampage through the postseason last year, when the Kings became the first eighth-seeded team to capture the Cup.
The Kings hadn't played on the Staples Center ice since June 11, when they completed a six-game victory over the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup finals. With the 6-1 win, the 45-year-old franchise secured its first NHL championship.
After a lengthy video presentation in the darkened arena while fans waved glowsticks, Nancy Anschutz — the wife of Kings owner Phil Anschutz — handed the ring boxes to the players as they skated to center ice.
With plenty of time to plan during the lockout, the Kings made a few changes to their arena to honor their first championship, notably moving their banners and retired numbers off the Staples Center wall and hanging them in the rafters.