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 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

Los Angeles Kings Must Do More Than Honor Legend Rogie Vachon During A Pre-Game Ceremony

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: The Los Angeles Kings honored their past last week when they paid tribute to former superstar goaltender Rogie Vachon. But it sounds like the Kings may have even more up their sleeves to honor the Hockey Hall of Fame-worthy netminder.


Former LA Kings superstar goaltender Rogie Vachon (right) was honored by the team (Kings President/Business Operations Luc Robitaille is pictured, at left) during a ceremony prior to the their game against the Edmonton Oilers
on January 15, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Photo: Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images and the Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Last week, the Los Angeles Kings paid tribute to their past in the first of three “Legends Nights” this season. Rather appropriately, the first legend they chose to honor was their first true superstar and the first Kings player to have his jersey retired, superstar goaltender Rogatien “Rogie” Vachon.

Accompanied by his wife, children and their families, Vachon was honored during a pre-game ceremony, one that brought a visible smile to his face.

“It was very, very well done,” said the 65-year-old native of Palmarolle, Quebec. “[Kings President/Business Operations] Luc Robitaille and the [communications] department did a fantastic job. They planned it very well, and they asked me which people I wanted to invite. Having the whole family on the ice at the same time was very special.” Read more of this post

Former LA Kings And Montreal Canadiens Great Rogie Vachon Still On The Outside Looking In

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: With the Hockey Hall of Fame inducting new members on November 8, 2010, it is appropriate to note that among the players who are deserving of induction but have been unjustly denied is former Los Angeles Kings superstar goaltender Rogie Vachon. The following story, which was originally published on November 28, 2009, is being re-published as a reminder that this travesty continues.


Rogie Vachon
Photo: LA Kings

LOS ANGELES — Many hockey fans in the Los Angeles area have at least heard of Rogie Vachon. They may know that he was the best goaltender ever to wear the jersey of the Los Angeles Kings. But few know of his accomplishments with the Kings and with the Montreal Canadiens prior to his arrival in Southern California.

Even fewer know that Vachon’s accomplishments rank him among the greatest goaltenders to have ever played the game, yet he continues to be denied the honor of being inducted into the hallowed halls of the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF).

A close look at Vachon’s career statistics shows that he ranks ahead of a considerable number of goaltenders who were inducted into the HHOF years ago (for details, see Time To Right A Wrong: Hockey Hall of Fame Must Induct Rogie Vachon). Read more of this post

Jonathan Moncrief: Now More Than Ever, Rogie Vachon Needs To Get Hall Call

In his latest piece for The Examiner, “Kings Look Ahead for December 7-13,” Jonathan Moncrief stated the case for former Los Angeles Kings goaltender Rogie Vachon deserving to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Read more of this post

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