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Los Angeles Kings: Not Easy For Black Aces To Stay Focused, Ready

Los Angeles Kings backup goalie Jonathan Bernier sprawls to make
a save during a recent practice session.
(click to view a larger image).
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Every team in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs has them, but they are usually unseen, or keep to themselves, staying out of the limelight, patiently waiting for their chance to crack the lineup, often a fleeting opportunity, at best.

These are the Black Aces, the extra skaters and goaltenders who rarely get the chance to play in the post-season, if at all, during a team’s run through the playoffs.

But wait a minute…where on Earth did the term, Black Aces come from, anyway?

As it turns out, the term was derived from the “Dead Man’s Hand” in poker, consisting of a pair of eights, the Ace of Spades, and the Ace of Clubs. Read more of this post

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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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