Retired LA Kings Trainer Pete Demers Recalls Record-Breaking, Injury-Filled Seasons, 2001-02 to 2005-06

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: It was not so long ago that the Los Angeles Kings dressing room and training room might have looked more like a hospital ward than anything else. After all, back in 2002-03 and 2003-04, they set unofficial records for man-games lost to injury. Retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers had to treat all those injuries, and Frozen Royalty takes a long, hard look back at those disastrous seasons, as well as more of Demers’ thoughts on the mechanics of injuries, their treatment, and their prevention. Part ten of a series.


Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers (left)
shown here treating forward Ian Laperriere.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Right wing Ziggy Palffy displayed great skill and speed when he played for the Los Angeles Kings from 1999-2000 to 2003-04.

Right wing Adam Deadmarsh was hard-nosed, physical, and was a very talented, determined, intense player for the Kings from 2000-01 to 2003-04. Read more of this post

Former LA Kings Defensive Stalwart Mattias Norstrom Left The Game On His Own Terms

Former LA Kings defenseman Mattias Norstrom (center), was honored by the Kings
during a pre-game ceremony on October 30, 2010, when the Kings hosted
the New Jersey Devils at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — On a night in which the Los Angeles Kings handed the once-vaunted New Jersey Devils a 3-1 defeat, shutting down the mighty $100 million superstar Ilya Kovalchuk in the process, the Kings took time to pay tribute to their past, and to one of their own.

Former Kings defenseman Mattias Norstrom was back in Los Angeles on October 30, and was honored by the team during a pre-game ceremony.

“It is fun, it’s great being back,” said Norstrom, who played in 780 regular season games with the Kings over eleven seasons after being acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers on March 14, 1996. “I haven’t been back here for two-and-a-half years. The last time I was back was with the [Dallas] Stars in the Spring of ’08.”

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Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Even With His Career In Jeopardy, Ian Laperriere’s Priorities Are Right On The Mark

LOS ANGELES — Prior to their game against the New Jersey Devils on October 30 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Kings honored former Kings defenseman and team captain Mattias Norstrom, who was a stalwart warrior on the Kings’ blue line for eleven seasons until he was traded to the Dallas Stars in a trade deadline deal on February 27, 2007.

Several of Norstrom’s former Kings teammates were present for the pre-game ceremony, including defensemen Rob Blake and Mathieu Schneider, forwards Derek Armstrong, Nelson Emerson, Glen Murray and Luc Robitaille, and goaltender Jamie Storr.

Another was forward Ian Laperriere, who was acquired by the Kings in the same deal with the New York Rangers that sent Norstrom to the Kings.

“[The ceremony was a] great thing for a great player, a great teammate,” said Laperriere, who was a fan favorite in Los Angeles and received a raucous ovation when he was introduced. “He’s been a friend for years. I’m just glad I was able to make it.”

Laperriere said that he played with very few players who could match Norstrom’s work ethic, dedication or intensity, and added that such players seem to be a dying breed. 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
Read more of this post

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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