(19-14-6, 12th in NHL)
(21-18-1, 17th in NHL)
7:30pm, Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA
WORST PLAYER TO BE HONORED AS A KINGS LEGEND:
This might be a surprise to Kings fans...
but this is where Daryl Evans spent most of his time as a LA King.
BEST OPPOSITION BLOGS:
Jibblescribbits (Even though he doesn't really blog anymore)
Hockey Without Oxygen
Anyone But Detroit (Even though he doesn't really blog anymore)
Mile High Hockey
Bad Altitude Hockey
So tonight the Los Angeles Kings are honoring Radio Color Analyst, Daryl Evans, as a LA Kings Legend. But there's one problem... Daryl Evans actually wasn't very good as a player for the LA Kings. In fact... he was kinda awful.
Wanna know why Evans only played 11 games in 2 seasons for the Kings from 1983-1985? Because he was skating for the Kings minor league team at the time, the New Haven Nighthawks.
An artist's rendering of Daryl Evans as a Nighthawk.
Daryl Evans had 160 points in 169 games for the Nighthawks and is the 11th all-time leading scorer for the minor league franchise. But let's be honest... if it were not for 1 goal in Daryl Evans career, there is no way he'd be honored tonight. But oh man... what a goal it was.
So yes, Daryl Evans is being honored as a "LA Kings Legend" because he scored the winning goal in the Miracle on Manchester, a moment that looms large in Kings playoff history because the Kings eliminated the heavily favored Edmonton Oilers in 5 games. And what did the Kings do with all the momentum from that stunning upset? They went on to lose to the Vancouver Canucks in the 2nd round, 4-1. Daryl Evans was eventually traded to the Washington Capitals and then signed as a free agent with Toronto, playing a total of 8 more NHL games. Evans is now in his 13th season as the Radio Color Analyst for the Kings and is known around the Kings community as the guy who dresses a lot like Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of Daryl Evans and the work he does for the Kings, both in the broadcast booth and off the ice. But really... a "Legend"? I'm not really sure if he fits in a group with Rogie Vachon, Bob Berry, Bob Pulford, Bernie Nicholls and Charlie Simmer. If scoring 1 important playoff goal is the new marker for what makes a "Legend" in the history of an overall disappointing franchise, then I'd like to submit the 3 front-runners for the 2012-2013 LA Kings Legends Nights.
Amazing photo via ChrisKontos.com.
I love any photo that has Wayne Gretzky wearing the "A."
Sure, we may have an unhealthy obsession with Chris Kontos here at The Royal Half... but the numbers don't lie. An amazing playoff run in 1989 with 9 goals in 11 games. A record 6 Power Play goals in 1 NHL Playoff series. And much like the Daryl Evans-led Kings team of 1982... a 2nd Round Playoff loss to the Calgary Flames in 4 games. I mean, Chris Kontos just SCREAMS LA Kings Legend! In fact, just ask Don Cherry, who thinks Chris Kontos is a great Canadian boy.
April 10th, 1990... on the 8th Anniversary of the Miracle on Manchester, the Los Angeles Kings beat the Calgary Flames in the 4th game of their 1st round series, 12-4. Dave Taylor, Tony Granato and Tomas Sandstrom all had hat tricks, an NHL playoff record. (You can watch this game in it's entirety by downloading it from iTunes here. What a time we live in!) Dubbed the Massacre on Manchester, LA Kings rookie center, Todd Elik, had a goal and 3 assists which tied a Franchise Playoff Record for Points by a Rookie. Who does Elik share the record with? Daryl Evans, of course. Todd Elik also owns the Franchise Playoff Record for points in a series by a Kings rookie with 8. Elik played 122 games with the Kings, totalling 91 points before being traded to the Minnesota North Stars (!) for Randy Gilhen, Jim Thomson, and a fourth-round draft pick which eventually became Alexei Zhitnik. And guess what? Todd Elik just retired from playing professional hockey at the age of 43 after his final season with Thurgau of the Swiss-B league where he had 18 points in 13 games.
Todd Elik is still #1 in the hearts of LA Kings fans.
Darrell Evans became the first player to hit 40 home runs in both leagues, and at 38 became the oldest player ever to lead the league in home runs. Evans hit over 20 home runs in 10 different seasons and drew over 100 walks 5 times, with a career high 126 in 1974. In 1988 he hit his 400th home run, becoming the 22nd player to reach that milestone. He retired after having joined Reggie Jackson in becoming only the second player to hit 100 home runs with three different teams, and ranking in 11th place among all-time walks leaders. Evans hit 60 home runs in his 40s, at the time a major league record.
And yet with all these accolades, Darrell Evans is not a Hall of Famer. Maybe it's because of his .248 career batting average or that he shares a MLB record for committing 3 errors in an inning. Or maybe it's because he claims he was visited by an UFO. Either way... if you are going to make a Daryl Evans Legends night... why not make it an actual Darrell Evans who was a Legend?