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Wayne Gretzky’s Arrival Changes Everything For LA Kings And Retired Trainer Pete Demers

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: Retired Los Angeles Kings head athletic trainer Pete Demers has seen more than most after a 41-year career in professional hockey that includes 37 years in the Los Angeles Kings’ organization, three with their minor league affiliate in Springfield, and 34 with the Kings. During the vast majority of those years, Demers had to suffer, along with everyone else, from a lot of mediocre, or worse, hockey. But everything changed, almost overnight, on August 9, 1988, when Wayne Gretzky arrived in Los Angeles to stay. Part six of a series.


Los Angeles Kings head athletic trainer emeritus Pete Demers (left) with
The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, who scored his record-setting
802nd NHL goal on March 23, 2009.
Photo: Demers Family Collection

LOS ANGELES — During his career with the Los Angeles Kings, retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers toiled long hours, starting early in the morning, and often working into the wee hours of the following morning.

Demers spent 34 years with the franchise, and for the vast majority of his career, the team had little success.

“Over the years, it has been frustrating and disheartening, whatever you want to call it,” said Demers. “Every guy who walks though [the dressing room] door puts his heart and soul into it, and then it doesn’t happen, whether we just didn’t have the talent, some stuff was missing, who knows.” Read more of this post

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LA Kings Retired Trainer Pete Demers Dealt With Much More Than Injuries To Players

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: In part five of an exclusive series based on an extensive interview with Los Angeles Kings head athletic trainer emeritus Pete Demers, Frozen Royalty takes a look at the most visible aspect of his job, caring for injured players…and trainers are definitely not immune from injury or illness, either…


Los Angeles Kings head athletic trainer
emeritus Pete Demers, circa 1982.
Photo: Demers Family Collection

LOS ANGELES — For athletic trainers in the National Hockey League, their most important job is to treat injured players and help them recover from their injuries, and in a 34-year career with the Los Angeles Kings, retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers has probably treated more injuries and illnesses than any of his colleagues, past or present, and not just those suffered by players.

To be sure, caring for injured players is the one aspect of the athletic trainer’s duties that is the most visible, and for Demers, it was no different. Like other trainers, he was most noticeable whenever he jumped over the boards and scurried out onto the ice to care for an injured player.

Even before he made it to the NHL, Demers already had experience dealing with serious injuries. 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.”

Read more of this post

LA Kings Retired Trainer Pete Demers Had To Be A Jack Of All Trades

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: In the second story in a multi-part series based on an exclusive interview with retired Los Angeles Kings athletic trainer Peter Demers, Frozen Royalty looks back at Demers’ start with the Kings back in the early 1970’s, and how different the job was back then compared to the present day.


When now-retired athletic trainer Pete Demers (shown here in a 1974 photo) started his 34-year career with the Los Angeles Kings, he was much more than just the head athletic trainer.
Photo: Demers Family Collection

LOS ANGELES — Today, National Hockey League teams have a head athletic trainer, at least one assistant athletic trainer, an equipment manager, a couple of assistant equipment managers, and a strength and conditioning coach. Most teams also have a massage therapist.

But back in the late 1960’s when Pete Demers began his career in professional hockey, through the time he became the head athletic trainer for the Los Angeles Kings in 1972, things were very, very different.

Indeed, when Demers started working with the Rhode Island Reds of the American Hockey League in 1965, or during a brief stint in 1968 with the Columbus Checkers of the International Hockey League, and even with the AHL’s Springfield Kings (the Los Angeles Kings’ minor league affiliate at the time) starting in 1969, there were no equipment managers, strength and conditioning coaches, or massage therapists. Read more of this post

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