Leiweke remembers those from the past

LOS ANGELES -- Before the Los Angeles Kings are publicly recognized for winning the Stanley Cup with a downtown parade Thursday, the organization’s governor, Tim Leiweke, took time to recognize Terry Murray and Dave Taylor, two men who helped guide the organization to where it is today, but weren't around to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Murray coached the Kings for 3 1/2 seasons before he was fired in mid-December. Using the offensive and defensive systems Murray put in place, Darryl Sutter took over behind the bench and led L.A. to its first Stanley Cup title in franchise history.

“To me, we're not here without Terry,” Leiweke said Wednesday afternoon on the Mason & Ireland show on 710 ESPN radio. “He did a great job of teaching us a system that allowed us to win a Cup.”

Leiweke had similar praise for Taylor, the longest-tenured member of the Kings who served as general manager from 1997 to 2006. It was Taylor who drafted current Kings’ stars Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. After the Kings qualified for the playoffs only four times in that span, winning just one series, Leiweke decided it was time for a change and brought in Dean Lombardi.

“I hated that decision to this day,” Leiweke said. “I probably don't have a very good relationship with Dave, but I've sent him an e-mail and told him we wouldn't be here without you. You have as much to do with this as anybody.”

Leiweke said members of the Kings organization, including owner Philip Anschutz, have also reached out to Murray, who kept busy scouting potential Eastern Conference playoff opponents for the Kings. He said Murray will be awarded a championship ring and the team is lobbying to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.

To hear the complete interview, click this link.