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

From Youth Hockey To The LA Kings, Culver City Ice Arena’s Hans Matzel Has Seen It All

CULVER CITY ICE ARENA CLOSING: Without some kind of miracle reprieve, the Culver City Ice Arena will close for good on Feburary 2, 2014. One man, who has been a fixture there for 37 years, has not only been a big part of that rink, but he also played a significant role for the Los Angeles Kings. Part 3 in a four-part series.


Hans Matzel, owner of the AMCAN Pro Shop at Culver City Ice Arena, has been a fixture there for 37 years, and was an important, behind-the-scenes figure for the Los Angeles Kings during the years they practiced in Culver City.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND CULVER CITY, CA — As has previously been reported in this space, and across various Los Angeles media outlets, the Culver City Ice Arena is on its last legs, unless a miracle happens.

The property has been leased to Planet Granite, which plans to open a yoga, rock climbing and fitness facility at the site.

The rink will close on February 2, and unless the new lessee backs out of their agreement, it appears that there will no longer be an ice rink serving the hockey and figure skating communities on the Westside of the Los Angeles area.

What is not all that well known these days is that the Culver City Ice Arena plays a significant role in the history of the Los Angeles Kings, as it was their practice facility for nearly thirty years, until they moved to Iceoplex in the San Fernando Valley in 1994.

Read more of this post

Ice At Culver City Ice Arena Was Just Half Of The Story For The LA Kings

CULVER CITY ICE ARENA CLOSING: In Part 1 of what is now a four-part series on the Culver City Ice Arena, and the years that the Los Angeles Kings called it their practice home, Frozen Royalty examined the infamous ice conditions, and how they impacted the team, along with the thoughts of three former Kings, who bemoaned the imminent demise of the facility. Part 2 looks at the other half of the equation: the dressing and training room facilities, which had just as much of an impact on the Kings as the ice did.


The front of the Culver City Ice Arena
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — With the Culver City Ice Arena on the verge of closing its doors for good on February 2, there have been a lot of people coming out of the proverbial woodwork with their memories of the good’ol days at that rink.

A large part of the Culver City Ice Arena’s history is that it was the practice home of the Los Angeles Kings for nearly thirty years, starting in the early 1970’s.

As detailed in the first installment of this series, the Culver City Ice Arena has always been a bare bones facility, and especially for a National Hockey League team, with the uneven ice and boards, practicing there was, to say the very least, a challenge.

Read more of this post

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