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Hockey In Southern California Would Be A Shell Of Its Current Self Without Dr. Jerry Buss

The 1985-86 Los Angeles Kings. Dr. Jerry Buss, who
owned the team, is seated at center.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — As has been reported across the Los Angeles area, Dr. Jerry Buss, owner of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers, died on February 18, due to complications of cancer, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Buss was 80 years old.

“Dr. Buss was our partner, our mentor and our friend,” said President and Chief Executive Officer of the Anschutz Entertainment Group Tim Leiweke, who also serves as Governor of the Los Angeles Kings. “He was kind enough to allow us into his world, and much of the success we enjoyed at Staples Center and LA Live is directly attributed to him. I do not believe we will ever find anyone quite like him. Our prayers and thoughts are with Jeanie and the entire Buss family.”

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Open Letter To The Hockey Hall of Fame: Address The Injustice and Induct Rogie Vachon

Rogie Vachon
Photo courtesy: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Over the last handful of years, I have written a few times about former Los Angeles Kings goaltender Rogie Vachon, who became the team’s first superstar after coming to the Kings from the storied Montreal Canadiens, where he won three Stanley Cup Championships.

In a word, Vachon was brilliant. Based on his record alone, he should have been a shoo-in to be inducted into the hallowed halls of the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF).

Despite that, Vachon remains on the outside looking in, primarily because those outside of the Los Angeles area rarely got to see him play—he never got the exposure in Canada or in Eastern Time Zone cities that he needed.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Vachon, or would like to know more, the following stories detail his accomplishments, and include comments from the man himself, based on exclusive interviews.

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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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