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Los Angeles Kings’ 2011 Late-Round Draft Picks Working To Beat Long Odds

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The National Hockey League Entry Draft is one huge crapshoot in terms of teams landing prospects who will make it to the NHL level to stay, let alone big stars, even for those who are lucky enough to be first round picks.

Left wing prospect Joel Lowry spoke to the media
during the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California,
July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

For those who end up being selected in later rounds, the odds of making it to the NHL are much, much longer. Nevertheless, every so often, they not only make it to the NHL, but they thrive there.

The most notable cases in point among Kings draft picks (not including active NHL players) would be:

  • Butch Goring, Center (fifth round, 51st overall, 1969)
  • Billy Smith, Goaltender (fifth round, 59th overall, 1970)
  • Dave Taylor, Right Wing (15th round, 210th overall, 1975)
  • Mark Hardy, Defenseman (second round, 30th overall, 1979)
  • Bernie Nicholls, Center (fourth round, 73rd overall, 1980)
  • Kevin Stevens, Left Wing (sixth round, 108th overall, 1983)
  • Luc Robitaille, Left Wing (ninth round, 171st overall, 1984)
  • Rob Blake, Defenseman (fourth round, 70th overall, 1987)
  • Alexei Zhitnik, Defenseman (fourth round, 81st overall, 1991) Read more of this post
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LA Kings Retired Trainer Pete Demers Dealt With Much More Than Injuries To Players

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: In part five of an exclusive series based on an extensive interview with Los Angeles Kings head athletic trainer emeritus Pete Demers, Frozen Royalty takes a look at the most visible aspect of his job, caring for injured players…and trainers are definitely not immune from injury or illness, either…


Los Angeles Kings head athletic trainer
emeritus Pete Demers, circa 1982.
Photo: Demers Family Collection

LOS ANGELES — For athletic trainers in the National Hockey League, their most important job is to treat injured players and help them recover from their injuries, and in a 34-year career with the Los Angeles Kings, retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers has probably treated more injuries and illnesses than any of his colleagues, past or present, and not just those suffered by players.

To be sure, caring for injured players is the one aspect of the athletic trainer’s duties that is the most visible, and for Demers, it was no different. Like other trainers, he was most noticeable whenever he jumped over the boards and scurried out onto the ice to care for an injured player.

Even before he made it to the NHL, Demers already had experience dealing with serious injuries. Read more of this post

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

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

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