Retired LA Kings Trainer Pete Demers Dealt With A Cast Of Characters Right From The Start

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: Retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers toiled for long hours behind the scenes during his 34-year career with the Los Angeles Kings, along with three years with their minor league affiliate, the Springfield Kings, starting in August 1969. In part four of this series, Frozen Royalty looks at some of the characters Demers worked with from the early days of the Los Angeles franchise, including the eccentric Jack Kent Cooke.


Retired LA Kings trainer Pete Demers, pictured with
daughter Aimee and wife Marilyn in a 1974 photo.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — In an illustrious 37-year career with the Los Angeles Kings organization—three years with the Springfield Kings, the big club’s American Hockey League affiliate, followed by 34 years with the Los Angeles Kings (for purposes of this story, “Kings” refers to the Los Angeles Kings), retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers bore great responsibility. To be sure, along with assistant athletic trainer John Holmes, Demers wore all the hats of the trainers, equipment managers, strength and conditioning coaches, and the massage therapists.

But even after endless hours treating injured players, sharpening skates, darning socks, ordering new sticks, and much, much more, Demers also had to deal with the demands of the eccentric Jack Kent Cooke, who owned the Kings, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Forum in Inglewood, California, which was the Kings’ home arena from December 30, 1967 to October 20, 1999, when they played their first game at Staples Center. Read more of this post

LA Kings Trainer Emeritus Pete Demers On The Evolution of Treatment, Strength And Conditioning

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: In part three of a multi-part series of stories featuring the career experiences of the Los Angeles Kings’ long-time, now retired, athletic trainer Peter Demers, Frozen Royalty takes a close look at a few of Demers’ memories from his early years with the Kings, along with the evolution of how injuries are treated and how much the emphasis on strength and conditioning has changed over the years.


Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers (1970's photo).
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Back in the 1970’s when Pete Demers began his 34-year career as the head athletic trainer for the Los Angeles Kings, a career that would see him work in 2,632 consecutive games, as previously reported (see LA Kings Retired Trainer Pete Demers Had To Be A Jack Of All Trades), Demers and assistant athletic trainer John Holmes did the work of the athletic trainers, the equipment managers, the strength and conditioning coaches and the massage therapists that National Hockey League teams have today.

Demers, who retired in 2006, has vivid memories of years past, and even remembers his first road trip with the Kings.

“We went to Pittsburgh on a five or six-game trip,” he reminisced. “That was just a small trip. We’d go on the road for 16 days. We had two or three of those a year.”

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LA Kings Retired Trainer Pete Demers Had To Be A Jack Of All Trades

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: In the second story in a multi-part series based on an exclusive interview with retired Los Angeles Kings athletic trainer Peter Demers, Frozen Royalty looks back at Demers’ start with the Kings back in the early 1970’s, and how different the job was back then compared to the present day.


When now-retired athletic trainer Pete Demers (shown here in a 1974 photo) started his 34-year career with the Los Angeles Kings, he was much more than just the head athletic trainer.
Photo: Demers Family Collection

LOS ANGELES — Today, National Hockey League teams have a head athletic trainer, at least one assistant athletic trainer, an equipment manager, a couple of assistant equipment managers, and a strength and conditioning coach. Most teams also have a massage therapist.

But back in the late 1960’s when Pete Demers began his career in professional hockey, through the time he became the head athletic trainer for the Los Angeles Kings in 1972, things were very, very different.

Indeed, when Demers started working with the Rhode Island Reds of the American Hockey League in 1965, or during a brief stint in 1968 with the Columbus Checkers of the International Hockey League, and even with the AHL’s Springfield Kings (the Los Angeles Kings’ minor league affiliate at the time) starting in 1969, there were no equipment managers, strength and conditioning coaches, or massage therapists. Read more of this post

Retired Athletic Trainer Pete Demers Goes From Stick Boy To 34 Years With Los Angeles Kings

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: Many will recognize and remember retired Los Angeles Kings athletic trainer Pete Demers, who spent 37 years in the organization. But few know what his job entailed, beyond assisting injured players, or just about anything else, for that matter. In this story, the first of a multi-part series, Frozen Royalty looks at how Demers got his start in professional hockey.


Retired athletic trainer Pete Demers started in the Kings organization
in 1972 with the Springfield Kings of the AHL, before his 34-year stint with
the Los Angeles Kings.
Photo: Demers Family Collection

LOS ANGELES — He never scored a goal in the National Hockey League, but was always at the players bench. He never made a pad save, blocked a shot, or threw a body check on NHL ice, but he was a bigger part of the Los Angeles Kings than most would probably give him credit for.

To be sure, after 34 years and 2,632 consecutive games with the Los Angeles Kings, retired trainer Peter Demers, arguably, the Dean of professional hockey trainers, past and present, left a huge, indelible mark on the franchise.

Of course, those who remember Demers, who retired following the 2005-06 season, have probably seen him behind the bench at a game, or when he has had to run out onto the ice to care for an injured player. But few know much more than that, not only about Demers himself, but also about all the duties and responsibilities of an athletic trainer for a professional hockey team, work that relatively few people ever get to see. Read more of this post

One Of The Most Lopsided Trades In NHL History Involved The LA Kings And Larry Murphy

LA KINGS HISTORY: Selecting defenseman Larry Murphy in the first round on the 1980 National Hockey League Entry Draft was a momentous occasion for the Los Angeles Kings. After all, they had a long history of trading away their first round picks and drafting poorly. But Murphy went on to become a star in the NHL, and a four-time Stanley Cup winner. The only problem, from a Kings perspective, was that, like so many others, Murphy went elsewhere to do it.

In the final installment of this series, Frozen Royalty spoke to Murphy about his time with the Kings, the friction with the coaching staff that started his problems with the team, and why he had to leave, a story that probably isn’t what you might expect.


Former LA Kings star defenseman Larry Murphy, shown here during the Kings Fantasy Camp on March 12, 2015, at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Defenseman Larry Murphy burst onto the scene with the Los Angeles Kings in the 1980-81 season, making a huge, immediate impact, scoring 16 goals and adding 60 assists for 76 points in 80 games in his rookie season—he finished second in the Calder Memorial Trophy (rookie of the year) to the legendary Peter Stastny that season.

Murphy scored 22 goals and tallied 44 assists for 66 points in the 1981-82 season, followed by 14 goals and 48 assists for 62 points in the 1982-83 season.

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