On Saturday night, the Manchester Monarchs lifted their first Calder Cup after their 2-1 defeat of the Utica Comets in five games. Their championship came one year to the day after their parent club, the Los Angeles Kings, celebrated their second Stanley Cup.
And as the old saying goes, like parent club, like AHL affiliate. The Monarchs proceeded to pour salt in the still fresh wounds of the Comets on Twitter.
To everyone in New York outside of Oneida County, you’re welcome.
— Manchester Monarchs (@MonarchsHockey) June 14, 2015
Sound familiar? Manchester followed in big brother’s shoes with a dig aimed directly at the affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, the target of the now infamous 2012 playoff tweet from the Kings.
The Kings missing the playoffs ended up being a boon for the Monarchs. After the NHL season ended, prized 2014 draft pick Adrian Kempe was signed an Amateur Try-Out contract with Manchester before inking his entry-level deal with the big club, thus saving a year on his ELC. Players like Nick Shore and Jordan Weal returned from LA to suit up for Manchester.
Shore and Kempe connected on one of the two goals scored by the Monarchs in the game.
Weal was a revelation for Manchester. He was named the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy recipient as the MVP of the Calder Cup playoffs. The forward posted 22 points (10G, 12A) in 19 games played, and tied for the team and league high in scoring with teammate Michael Mersch.
The win is bittersweet in a way for the Monarchs.
Los Angeles is a part of the AHL’s western expansion. The Kings new AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, will hold the designation as the current league champions when the 2015-2016 begins. The Monarchs will remain in New Hampshire and a part of the Kings farm system, but they will become the ECHL affiliate for the club.
Winning the Calder Cup bodes well for teams at the NHL level. Just look at Jon Cooper and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Cooper led the Norfolk Admirals to the title in 2012. Many of the players on that team are now playing for him in Stanley Cup Final.
(“Greaaaaat,” said all NHL teams when realizing the Kings have a lot of talented players hitting their stide, just waiting for their shot.)