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Frozen Royalty Audio: Interviews From The Pete Demers Series

Los Angeles Kings retired head
athletic trainer Pete Demers.
Photo: Noah Graham/Getty Images
via the Los Angeles Kings

A twelve-story series on just about any topic requires a considerable amount of source material to draw from, and that is exactly what Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers provided for the series of stories on his 41-year career in professional hockey, 37 in the Kings organization, that was completed on July 29, 2011.

Indeed, I sat down with Demers in three separate sessions—two in late December 2010, and one in early January 2011. In the end, we talked for more than four-and-a-half hours (4:37:52, to be exact), with Demers sharing story after story, along with unique insights about hockey, and about the work of the athletic trainer that so few know about.

It was fascinating, funny, and highly entertaining.

Former Kings players and coaches also shared their thoughts about Demers, along with some stories involving him. Some are quite amusing. Read more of this post

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Honored In Obscurity: Los Angeles Kings Retired Athletic Trainer Pete Demers

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: The Los Angeles Kings have more than twenty people—players, coaches, general managers and broadcasters—who have gained entry to the hallowed halls of the Hockey Hall of Fame. There are also two other members of the Kings family who have been so honored, including former head athletic trainer Pete Demers. But because of how they are recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame, Demers has been honored in almost complete obscurity, as have fellow athletic trainer and equipment manager honorees. In the final installment of this series on Demers’ career, Frozen Royalty looks at the honor, and what Demers is doing to ensure that future athletic trainers and equipment managers will get to enjoy that bit of the spotlight they deserve.


Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers, circa 2003.
Photo: Demers Family Collection

LOS ANGELES — Fifteen players who have worn the jersey of the Los Angeles Kings have been inducted into the hallowed halls of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Three people inducted in the Builders category also spent time with the Kings organization, and one former head coach, Red Kelly, was inducted as a player, for a total of 19 people affiliated with the Kings who have become honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

In addition, former Kings broadcaster John Kenneth “Jiggs” McDonald, the team’s original play-by-play announcer, and the legendary “Voice of the Kings,” long-time television play-by-play announcer Bob Miller, are media honorees.

But hardly anyone knows that the Kings have two additional people from their family who have earned a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

One is Norm Mackie, who served as the head athletic trainer from their inaugural 1967-68 season through 1971-72. Read more of this post

Ryan Smyth Gets His Wish: Los Angeles Kings And Edmonton Oilers Finally Agree On A Deal

SMYTH FINALLY RETURNS HOME: Veteran left wing Ryan Smyth is finally back home after the Los Angeles Kings and the Edmonton Oilers were finally able to agree on a trade. Story includes details on the trade, along with commentary on the reaction to the deai. Did Smyth handle things the right way, or does he deserve to be criticized, or worse?


Veteran left wing Ryan Smyth (right), shown here parked in his usual spot in front
of the net, was finally traded to the Edmonton Oilers on June 26.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES — After more than 24 hours of going back and forth between having a deal in place, and then not having one, again and again, veteran left wing Ryan Smyth, is, officially and finally, back with the Edmonton Oilers.

On June 26, the Kings sent the 35-year-old native of Banff, Alberta back to where he began his National Hockey League career in 1995-96, playing eleven seasons in an Oilers jersey. Read more of this post

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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