Kings unveil championship banner as NHL season kicks off

updated at 16h28
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Los Angeles Kings fans waited 45 years for their first Stanley Cu p so the 223-day wait from winning goal to unveiling their championship banner on Saturday was worth it.

 Photo: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Los Angeles Kings players watch as their Stanley Cup championship banner is raised at the Staples Center before their NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Los Angeles, California, January 19, 2013.
Photo: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

After a long lockout delayed a new season that was scheduled to start in October, th e Kings finally hit the ice prior to their opener against the Chicago Blackhawks to accept championship rings and unveil the banner before a full house at the Staples Center.

They p araded the Stanley Cup around the ice helping fans forget about the long void , then accepted the championship banner from Kings standouts Marcel Dionne and Rogie Vachon plus the Greene family from Sandy Hook, Connecticut, whose daughter Ana was a victim in the recent school shooting tragedy.

Los Angeles became the first team to win the Stanley Cup from the eighth seed in 2012, putting together a remarkable record equaling 16-4 record in the postseason.

Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact every player from the triumph has returned to try to do it again.

Conn Smythe Trophy winning goalie Jonathan Quick signed a 10-year extension, captain Dustin Brown, top scorer Anze Kopitar also return.

Even coach Darryl Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi were rewarded with multiyear contract extensions on the eve of the opener.

"We get a little celebration," Quick said. "But you don't want to stay on the past for too long."

(Editing by Gene Cherry)

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