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Kelly Hrudey Says Time With Los Angeles Kings Was His “Best Eight Years of Hockey”

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Includes exclusive video of an interview with former Los Angeles Kings goaltender Kelly Hrudey on March 8, 2013.


Kelly Hrudey
Photo courtesy CBC

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The blue bandana that so many remember him by is long gone, but fans of the Los Angeles Kings who go back to the time that Wayne Gretzky wore the team’s black, white and silver jersey with the “chevron” logo will remember goaltender Kelly Hrudey, who will be honored by the team during pre-game ceremonies tonight, when they host the Calgary Flames (7:00 PM PST, Staples Center).

Hrudey, now 52, expressed some embarrassment about tonight’s festivities.

“[It’s] kind of embarrassing,” he said. “Nobody thinks that when you see all the great players that have played in this organization that somehow they’re going to choose you, that you’re going to be honored. So I’m very, very excited, very humbled. It’s hard to put into words.”

“Kings President/Business Operations Luc [Robitaille, who was a teammate of Hrudey’s with the Kings] told me last year in the playoffs that they’re going to do something for me this year, and I thought, ‘that’s really cool,’” he added. “Then, when he called me in the summer and told me the date, if there was not going to be a lockout, then it really started to sink in that this is really cool.”

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Butch Goring Was The LA Kings’ First Star, Fan Favorite

Butch Goring
Photo: LA Kings

LOS ANGELES — Long before Anze Kopitar’s skates hit the ice at Staples Center, years before superstar Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Marcel Dionne lit up opponents on the ice at the Forum in Inglewood, California, and even before superstar and should-be Hall Of Fame goaltender Rogie Vachon often won games single-handedly at the Forum, center Robert Thomas “Butch” Goring thrilled fans with his speed, scoring ability and hard work for eleven seasons after being selected by the Kings in the fifth round (51st overall) of the 1969 National Hockey League Amateur Draft.

In the 1969-70 season, his first with the Kings, Goring scored thirteen goals and added 23 assists for 36 points in 59 games. But he wound up splitting time between the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, the Springfield Kings of the American Hockey League and the big club the following season, playing in just nineteen games at the NHL level.

It was not until the 1971-72 season that Kings fans became enamored with the speed and scoring ability of the St. Boniface, Manitoba native, but Goring quickly became the Kings’ first star and fan favorite. Read more of this post

Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part Two

The following is part two of an updated story written for the Online Kingdom back on April 14, 2006, a few days after Los Angeles Kings left wing Luc Robitaille announced his retirement as a player. It is being re-published in honor of his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 9, 2009. To read part one on FrozenRoyalty.net, click on Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part One.


Robitaille The Leader

I’ve always admired people who were gifted with the quality of leadership, and when leadership and raw athletic ability are found together in one person, it’s a rare combination to be sure. I think that one of the things that I appreciate most about Luc is that not only does he possess this combination, but that it is manifested in him in a unique way. Luc brings a contagious passion to the rink every day and to everything he does. I found that being around that kind of passion and desire made the game even more enjoyable for me and challenged me to give to my full capacity.
— Former Kings tough guy Stu Grimson
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Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part One

The following is an updated story written for the Online Kingdom back on April 14, 2006, a few days after Los Angeles Kings left wing Luc Robitaille announced his retirement as a player. It is being re-published in honor of Robitaille’s induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 9, 2009. To read part two, click on Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part Two.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — Back on April 3, 1995, the night that all-time Los Angeles Kings great Dave Taylor had his jersey number 18 retired by the club, this reporter wrote that he was the King of Kings, earning that right above other all-time Kings’ greats such as Marcel Dionne, Rogie Vachon and Wayne Gretzky.

“No Kings’ player had ever measured up to Taylor when it came to heart, the desire to excel and win and the ability and willingness to go into the corners and sacrifice his body for his team,” I wrote. “No other Kings’ player has ever come close to Taylor as far as leadership—on the ice and off—is concerned, [and] no Kings’ player has ever matched his relentless work ethic, his dedication to his team, the game of hockey and his community.”

To be sure, Taylor had earned the right to wear the crown as the King of Kings, and was a great standard bearer for the organization, both on and off the ice. But on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, the day that Kings all-time great left wing Luc Robitaille announced at a press conference that he would retire at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season, Taylor immediately abdicated the crown because his reign is over. Robitaille now wears the crown as new Kings of Kings. Read more of this post

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