By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Put a crown on that Stanley Cup. Add streaks of black to its silver. Fill it with sand, burnish it with sun, and welcome it home. Bill Plaschke writes that the Kings are kings again...and not just of the NHL.
• Alec Martinez was the overtime hero. Again.
• Steve Simmons says this was a game to be taped, framed, remembered, talked about and then talked about a little more. The tension, the back and forth and the chances...oh, the chances!
• Does two Cups in three years qualify the Kings as a dynasty? It depends on who you ask.
• Here's the best post-game interview you'll see:
• Ceremony dictates that the team captain is first to hoist the Cup. Respect determines who goes second. The Kings made an excellent choice.
• Justin Williams won't earn a spot in the Hall of Fame, but his reputation was elevated by his third Stanley Cup and his first Conn Smythe Trophy win.
• Williams may be a player of middling impact in the regular season whose numbers are in decline, but his legacy of playoff success should help him strike it rich when he gets to free agency.
• Emotions got the best of Williams in one of the most memorable moments of the season.
• The celebrations weren't limited to Staples Center. Here's the view from Chavez Ravine, along with the perfect words from the great Vin Scully.
• The Cup-clincher turned out to be the longest game in the history of the Kings franchise. It was worth the wait.
• Bruce Arthur writes that it took yet another dive into their bottomless emotional well, against another team that made them earn it, before the Kings could finally claim their crown.
• In defeat, this was Henrik Lundqvist's grandest hour. A fitting tribute to the warrior King from Larry Brooks.
• In the aftermath of that crushing defeat, the Rangers had trouble coming to grips with the end of their Stanley Cup dreams.
• There was no Hollywood ending for the Rangers, but they did succeed in reversing expectations over the course of one magical spring.
• Peter Botte says the Kings were hardly the superior team. I get that three of the games went to overtime, but come on Pete. L.A. dominated possession in four of the five. They earned this.
• Reduced to a spare part in the most important game of the season, this was likely the end for Brad Richards in New York.
• You want celebrity tweets? Luke Fox has you covered.
• Here's the final season-ending montage from Hockey Night In Canada, at least as we know it. It is brilliant.
• A few hockey people are lucky enough to see their sons grow up to earn a spot in the show. NHL head of European scouting Goran Stubb has even more reason to be proud. His son, Alex, will be the next Prime Minister of Finland.
• Here's a look at the fine work of the Stubb who isn't Prime Minister.
• An elbow to a Canadian hockey pro's head
is still taking a toll 14 years later. This is a gut-punch of a story from Sean Fitz-Gerald.