After an eventful regular season that saw the Los Angeles Kings draw the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference, Los Angeles has done what many experts said they would do entering the 2011-12 season - win the Stanley Cup.
Monarchs Country has been glowing with pride for last couple of weeks as their team in Manchester, New Hampshire has played an integral part in the Kings winning their first Stanley Cup championship.
Even former Monarchs players, who are now proud permanent residents of Monarchs Country, have gotten caught up in the excitement and may even find their way into a friend’s cup party as each player gets a day with the Stanley Cup this summer.
“I am getting invited,” said former Monarchs defenseman Doug Nolan. “I am going to start the party and invite them if I have too. (Kings Assistant Equipment Manager) Dana Bryson is a good friend of mine and he lives in Medford (Massachusetts) so I already talked to him about it. It will for sure be a good time.”
Former Monarchs players have also noticed the direct impact the Kings championship has had in New Hampshire.
“There are a lot of loyal fans here (in New Hampshire),” said former Monarchs left wing Jeff Giuliano. “A lot of diehard fans and there are some (Boston) Bruins fans but I think with LA doing so well and there are so many fans that follow the Monarchs extremely close and it means a lot to them.”
Giuliano was also quick to recognize Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris and the rest of the Monarchs staff for the job they have done in Manchester.
“Coach (Mark) Morris does a great job and develops the players really well,” credited Giuliano. “From the business side of things, everyone that works for the team is a class A organization and from off-ice to players to coaches, it is a great organization top to bottom.”
Nolan also credited Morris and the system that he runs with the Monarchs for a large part of the Kings success this season.
“I think the system itself over the last few years has changed,” said Nolan. “The way they bring along prospects and the way they teach them at a younger level. The whole system itself has changed and is definitely a great model. Trevor Lewis, (Dwight) King and all those guys stepping in and scoring goals and contributing right away. It says a lot about Mark Morris and the job they are doing here in Manchester.”
The product you see on the ice is easier to accomplish when you have a great fan base that continues to support the Monarchs as well as the entire Kings organization, including the Ontario Reign of the ECHL.
“It is a great place to play,” stated Nolan about Manchester. “Best place to play in the American Hockey League. Obviously, you want to win a Calder Cup here but the next best thing is the Stanley Cup and obviously they would bring it down here and have a good time with it. They definitely deserve to see it here. It is a great hockey city so it would be an awesome day.”
Hockey lives in every member of Monarchs Country and it is now stronger than ever. Fans have succumbed to the symptoms of cup fever following the Monarchs vital contributions to this year’s Stanley Cup Champions.