When will the San Jose Sharks-Los Angeles Kings rivalry be great again?

Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News on

Published in Hockey

The Sharks, for all intents and purposes, really didn’t start the rebuild until early 2022 when they cut ties with Evander Kane. Other veterans like Brent Burns, Timo Meier, Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl were all gone within two years.

Really, the only Sharks remaining from the last playoff series with the Kings are Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Logan Couture.

The Sharks are building around a core that doesn’t have much of a history with the Kings, outside of some of the battles the Barracuda and Ontario Reign had in recent years.

It’s going to take time for the Sharks to become competitive again, and who knows when they’ll make the playoffs and meet the Kings in a playoff series.

Most of the central figures in the heyday of the rivalry are long gone.

Stars like Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty, so instrumental to the rivalry, are still in Los Angeles. But Jonathan Quick was traded and Dustin Brown, who Sharks fans hated, retired.

Conversely, players Kings fans did not like, such as Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Burns, are no longer with the team.


Do Kings fans really hate any of the new Sharks players? Do Sharks fans really loathe any of the new-era Kings?

We’ll see how good the Kings are once the Sharks’ window for being a competitive team opens up again.

The game’s changed, too. There’s less fighting overall, and some of those heavy players have been replaced with smaller, skilled players.

Both home buildings used to be packed for games between the Sharks and Kings. Not so Thursday, and it was that small section of Kings fans that made the most noise.

Sharks fans chimed in with the occasional “Beat L.A.” But the home didn’t do much to stir up the home crowd, with just 14 shots on goal in three periods.

Luke Kunin did fight Andreas Englund at the 12:32 mark of the second period, but the Sharks didn’t gain much momentum from that dust-up.

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