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LA Kings Retired Athletic Trainer Pete Demers Looks Back At Controversy Surrounding His 2006 Departure

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: After four consecutive seasons where the Los Angeles Kings were absolutely decimated by injuries, head athletic trainer Pete Demers suddenly found himself on the outside looking in, as he was “…retained in a lesser role,” following the 2005-06 season, a move that generated criticism aimed at the franchise. In part eleven of this series on Demers’ career with the Kings and in professional hockey, he talks about leaving the job he loved so much and the controversy surrounding his departure.


Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers, shown here behind the Kings bench at Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 17, 2005.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — After a career with the Los Angeles Kings that spanned 37 years, starting with three seasons with their former American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield prior to joining the big club in 1972, head athletic trainer Pete Demers left the club after the 2005-06 season. But that came right after four straight seasons when the Kings were absolutely ravaged by injuries (see Retired LA Kings Trainer Pete Demers Recalls Record-Breaking, Injury-Filled Seasons, 2001-02 to 2005-06).

In two of those seasons, the Kings set unofficial records for man-games lost to injury, with 536 in 2002-03, a record they eclipsed in 2003-04 when they lost 629 man-games.

Those seasons were sandwiched between years when they lost 211 man-games to injury in 2001-02, and 366 in 2005-06 (the National Hockey League did not play in 2004-05 due to a labor dispute).

That is an unfathomable, mind-blowing 1,742 man-games lost to injury in just four seasons. Read more of this post

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LA Kings Beat Writer Rich Hammond Lands Dream Job

LA KINGS MOVE TO IMPROVE NEWS COVERAGE: The Kings have lured beat writer extraordinaire Rich Hammond away from the Daily News to write exclusively for their official web site, raising concerns about the quality of coverage, not to mention about Hammond’s journalistic independence. Hammond spoke to Frozen Royalty and insists that will not be a concern.


Rich Hammond

Rich Hammond

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings are entering uncharted waters or, perhaps more appropriately, skating in a brand-spanking new arena.

On September 23, the Kings announced that they have hired Rich Hammond, currently the Deputy Sports Editor at the Los Angeles Daily News, as their beat writer/columnist for their official web site, lakings.com, starting on October 1.

Hammond, 32, will leave the Daily News after ten years on the job. He has been covering the Kings for years and writes for the hottest blog covering the team, Inside the Kings, which has consistently been the Daily News’ top sports team blog.

“I’m grateful to the Daily News for allowing me to develop my passion for covering hockey and I’m excited about the opportunity to bring even better, more comprehensive coverage to Kings fans while maintaining the same journalistic standards,” said Hammond. Read more of this post

Helene Elliott Calls Out LA Kings Absentee Owner Philip Anschutz

In Thursday’s (April 9, 2009) issue of the Los Angeles Times, sports columnist and hockey writer extraordinaire Helene Elliott called out Los Angeles Kings’ reclusive owner Philip Anschutz in a big, big way. Read more of this post

From The Archives: Staples Center: Who, What And Where, Past, Present And Future

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: The following is a portion of an op-ed and analysis piece I wrote back on October 20, 1999, when Staples Center first opened. It was originally published on the Online Kingdom and is being re-published here as a response to what looked an awful lot like a paid infomercial advertising LA Live, the huge entertainment/retail complex directly across from Staples Center that was built on top of a couple of former Staples Center parking lots. This promo piece aired on Sunday night, January 11, 2009, following the UCLA vs. USC basketball game on FSN Prime Ticket.

During the program, Tim Leiweke, President/CEO of the Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Los Angeles Kings, Staples Center and LA Live, said that through the building of LA Live (and Staples Center, since the land LA Live was built on was acquired and razed as part of the building of Staples Center), AEG turned a decaying part of Downtown Los Angeles that was filled with liquor stores and other run-down businesses into the thriving entertainment area that it is today.

Leiweke would not be wrong about that and I am not saying that AEG should be demonized for their development efforts in Downtown Los Angeles. But ever since the construction of Staples Center and throughout the creation of LA Live, there has been virtually no recognition of the sacrifices made by those who were forced out of the area.

This story was published during all the gushing, ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the opening of the then-brand new arena to provide some balance. It is being re-published now in that very same spirit.


MONTEREY PARK, CA — After 31 seasons at the Great Western Forum, the Los Angeles Kings will play their first-ever game on Wednesday at the brand-spanking new Staples Center, their 1999-2000 home opener against the Boston Bruins.

Before this potentially spectacular night could take place, it took a couple of years worth of negotiations, political wrangling, lots of wheeling and dealing, eighteen months of record-breaking construction by hundreds of workers and $375 million from owners Philip Anschutz and Ed Roski, Jr., along with various corporations such as Staples and Fox, to get the new arena built in Downtown Los Angeles next to the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The new arena is a state-of-the-art facility, one where Kings fans (along with fans of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers) will be able enjoy the game more than at the aging Forum, along with more choices for food and refreshments, among all the other amenities never before seen here in the Los Angeles area.

In order to bring this new facility to Los Angeles sports fans, a lot of people had to make tremendous sacrifices. We have heard a lot about the nearly endless work put in by Staples Center officials as well as the long hours put in by construction workers who toiled until near midnight, six days a week, in order to complete construction in time for them to open the new building last weekend.

There have been numerous articles and stories in the local broadcast and print media about how incredible Staples Center is and how the new arena could be the catalyst to revitalizing the economy in Downtown Los Angeles. Most of these stories glow and gush about the new arena.

This article is very different. In this article, we will examine who and what was at the Staples Center site prior to construction. Read more of this post

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