Throughout my time in hockey, I’ve traditionally found that two types of things are remembered by people in the industry when they reflect back.
The first is, naturally, winning.
For Mike O’Connell, who departed the Kings organization this summer after 15 years in LA, winning was an obvious one. O’Connell was an executive on two Stanley Cup teams in Los Angeles, with a lead role in player development.
“The two cups were terrific, to do that, and they were unbelievable,” O’Connell said. “To experience that, having gone so long in my career, and to finally have those cups at my house, with my family around, those were pretty good moments.”
The second, and this is perhaps the only thing that could stick with a competitor more than winning, is the relationships built along the way.
Lifelong relationships in many cases, that go beyond who you’re collecting your paycheck from at that time. Frequently, these two things go hand-in-hand, with the relationships built through winning only feeling that much greater. As he says his final goodbyes to the organization he’s called home since 2006, O’Connell certainly has many people who he’ll remember, through the good times and the bad.
“I hope so, I really do,” he said, of those lasting relationships within the Kings organization. “I think about it, I’ve been in this game for so long. I think of Glen Murray I coached him in Providence, I traded him a…