18 years ago today, on July 14, 1997, the Kings announced that the first Frozen Fury game would take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada in September later that year.
Now, as we trudge through the dog days of summer, the 17th annual preseason game in Sin City is just ten weeks away. The game in Vegas has become an annual tradition for the organization, its permeated through the fan base into a celebration commending the end of the preseason and the imminent commencement of the regular season.
Before Frozen Fury even existed, the Kings made NHL history on September 27, 1991, playing the league's first-ever outdoor game on the Vegas strip next to Caesar’s Palace.
Playing in 90 degree temperatures, the Kings defeated the New York Rangers 5-2 in a game that featured game delays because of grass-hoppers on the ice, Zamboni drivers who dressed as Trojans, and maintenance workers who were feverously trying to uphold ice conditions with cans of nitrogen.
With a chance of sick hair.
Watch highlights of the 1991 outdoor game HERE.
It wouldn’t be until six years later, on September 20, 1997, that the Kings played their first official Frozen Fury game – these were, in fact, agreed to be played indoors. The Kings would go on to beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in OT in the inaugural game, with Donald MacLean scoring the game-winning goal for Los Angeles.
There was no game played in 2004 due to the NHL lockout; in 1998 and 2013 the Kings played two games during Frozen Fury. In their 18 total preseason games played at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the Kings are 11-7.
On three occasions, the Kings have played three teams other than the Avalanche; they’ve accumulated an 8-7 record against Colorado in their 15 match ups.
The Kings played the Phoenix Coyotes in 1999 (W, 4-0), the San Jose Sharks in 2001 (W, 4-3), and the New York Rangers in 2013 (W, 4-1).
There have been some memorable moments from Frozen Fury, including:
Anze Kopitar showcasing his shootout skills in 2009…
Jeremy Roenick getting his dance on in 2005…
And of course, the almighty gauntlet…
This year’s Frozen Fury XVII is scheduled to be played on Saturday, October 3rd against the Colorado Avalanche. Tickets can be purchased at lakings.com/frozenfury, where you can also purchase tickets for the Kings’ preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes in Bakersfield, CA on September 21 at the Rabobank Arena.