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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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Stanley Cup Win Moves LA Kings Hall Of Fame Broadcaster Bob Miller Closer To Retirement

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: With the Los Angeles Kings winning the Stanley Cup for the first time in their history last June, their Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer Bob Miller moved a step closer to retirement. In the final installment of a series featuring the Kings’ long-time broadcasters, Miller talked about his future, along with what he is working on during the NHL lockout.


LA Kings television play-by-play announcer Bob Miller, shown here with his wife, Judy, at their
Stanley Cup Party on June 26, 2012.
(click to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Bob Miller

LOS ANGELES — To coin a phrase using a local hockey term, the Los Angeles area was blessed for many years with a “Triple Crown Line” of play-by-play announcers calling the action for three of our local sports teams.

As Southern California sports fans know, Vin Scully is an institution with the Los Angeles Dodgers, while the late Chick Hearn called the action for the Los Angeles Lakers, and was as much of an institution as Scully is for the Dodgers.

The third member of that Hall of Fame trio is Los Angeles Kings television play-by-play announcer Bob Miller, who has called the action for the Kings for 39 seasons. He was the recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2000, which recognizes “…members of the radio and television industry who made outstanding contributions to their profession and the game during their career in hockey broadcasting,” making him a media honoree in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Miller has received countless awards and honors, in addition to the 2000 honor by Read more of this post

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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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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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