Kings of the beach. Photo by Brad Jacobson (CivicCouch.com)
by Alyssa Morin and Kevin Cody
“We had to bring the Stanley Cup here because this is our community,” Justin ‘Mr. Game Seven’ Williams yelled down from the second floor balcony of the Strand House restaurant to fans who filled Manhattan Beach Boulevard.
“MVP, MVP,” the fans yelled back. Williams is the 2014 Stanley Cup playoff MVP.
Justin Williams shares his MVP Conn Smythe Trophy with fans along the Hermosa Strand. Photo by Brad Jacobson (CivicCouch.com)
“It is so great to celebrate in our neck of the woods. This is just awesome. Thank you,” added Kings Captain Dustin Brown.
“Party at my house,” defenseman Drew Doughty yelled as goalie Jonathan Quick tossed beer cans to the crowd.
Fans packed Manhattan Beach Boulevard, where the parade ended. Photo by Kevin Cody
“Go Kings, go,” the crowd responded.
The Kings’ comments to their beach city fans on Wednesday were brief, but heartfelt, like the parade in their honor that began an hour earlier in the parking lot at Redondo Union High School. Captain Dustin Brown led the parade, cradling the Stanley Cup while riding on the roof of a black South Bay police assault vehicle. Each time he raised the cup the crowd erupted in cheeres. Fans lined the parade route four to ten people deep. Brown’s teammates followed in the truck beds of 15 Toyota Tundras.
Kings captain Dustin Brown rallies fans at the start of the parade. Photo by Kevn Cody
After leaving Redondo High with an escort of police motorcycles and passing in front of city hall, the parade rolled past the Redondo Pier and King Harbor to the Hermosa border, where it turned on to the Hermosa Strand. As the parade exited Hermosa, the players defied predictions that they would make a pitstop at the North End, a favorite Kings’ neighborhood bar. Instead, the parade moved briskly up Manhattan Avenue and into downtown Manhattan Beach.
The parade moves up The Strand in Hermosa Beach. Photo by Brad Jacobson
“Today is unbelievable,“ Jarret Stoll said following the parade. “It’s our own backyard. It’s people we see every day at restaurants and bars and movie theaters. These are friends of ours. They’re our neighbors. To see so many people come out and support us, it’s unbelievable.”
“It’s just so amazing how this community has embraced us,” added Anže Kopitar, a native of Slovenia.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter and all but one of his players live in Hermosa or Manhattan.
Jake Muzzin gets cleaned up at Floyd’s. Photo by Brad Jacobson
Earlier in the day Kings Trevor Lewis and Jake Muzzin had their playoff beards trimmed at Floyds Barber Shop on Pacific Coast Highway in Hermosa. The kids of owners’ Tom and Bill O’Brien play in the King’s kids hockey program at the Kings training center in El Segundo. The brothers donated proceeds from the day to the Kings charitable foundation.
Floyd’s co-owner Tom O’Brien. Photo by Brad Jacobson
Several other Kings had their playoff beards trimmed at Hair in downtown Hermosa, though Hair owner Beryl Pierce didn’t know which ones. “They’re just guys who walk by all the time. They poked their head in and said they needed a trim,” Pierce said. ER