Facing Wayne Gretzky Takes An In-Depth Look At Hockey’s Greatest Player Like No Other Book Has Done Before

Photo courtesy Sports Publishing

MONTEREY PARK, CA — Every summer, hockey fans suffer from withdrawal symptoms while their game goes on a long, painful hiatus.

Indeed, once the Stanley Cup Final has been completed and a champion crowned, all that’s left is the annual National Hockey League Draft, usually one week later, followed by the NHL Awards one week after that.

The final off-season events that pique the interest of hockey fans are the July 1 unrestricted free agent signing frenzy, followed shortly thereafter by team development camps for their young prospects.

That usually takes us into the second week of July, maybe the third week. But after that, zilch. Nada. Nothing. There’s a virtual black hole from that point, when there’s almost nothing to read, see, or hear in the hockey world until rookie and training camps begin in early September.

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One Of The Most Lopsided Trades In NHL History Involved The LA Kings And Larry Murphy

LA KINGS HISTORY: Selecting defenseman Larry Murphy in the first round on the 1980 National Hockey League Entry Draft was a momentous occasion for the Los Angeles Kings. After all, they had a long history of trading away their first round picks and drafting poorly. But Murphy went on to become a star in the NHL, and a four-time Stanley Cup winner. The only problem, from a Kings perspective, was that, like so many others, Murphy went elsewhere to do it.

In the final installment of this series, Frozen Royalty spoke to Murphy about his time with the Kings, the friction with the coaching staff that started his problems with the team, and why he had to leave, a story that probably isn’t what you might expect.


Former LA Kings star defenseman Larry Murphy, shown here during the Kings Fantasy Camp on March 12, 2015, at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Defenseman Larry Murphy burst onto the scene with the Los Angeles Kings in the 1980-81 season, making a huge, immediate impact, scoring 16 goals and adding 60 assists for 76 points in 80 games in his rookie season—he finished second in the Calder Memorial Trophy (rookie of the year) to the legendary Peter Stastny that season.

Murphy scored 22 goals and tallied 44 assists for 66 points in the 1981-82 season, followed by 14 goals and 48 assists for 62 points in the 1982-83 season.

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Hall Of Famer Larry Murphy: The LA Kings’ First Offensive Defenseman

LA KINGS HISTORY: Defenseman Larry Murphy won four Stanley Cup Championships, two with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and two with the Detroit Red Wings, in a 21-year National Hockey League career that culminated in his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. But fewer and fewer people remember that Murphy began his NHL career with the Los Angeles Kings in 1980. In the first installment of a series based on exclusive interviews, Frozen Royalty looks back at Murphy’s time with the Kings.


Former LA Kings star defenseman Larry Murphy, shown here during the Kings Fantasy Camp on March 12, 2015, at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Many may know Larry Murphy from his work on Detroit Red Wings broadcasts before he left Fox Sports Detroit a couple of years ago, or maybe you saw him as an analyst in spot duty on the NHL Network.

Older hockey fans might remember Murphy as a player, most recently with the Red Wings. He also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota North Stars and the Washington Capitals.

Many Kings fans are likely to be unfamiliar with Murphy since he spent the vast majority of his career playing for teams based in the Eastern time zone. But Murphy started his National Hockey League career with the Los Angeles Kings, who selected him in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft.

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LA Kings Luc Robitaille Honored With Statue Erected At Staples Center – In Photos

LA Kings President/Business Operations Luc Robitaille (left), his family, and “Voice of the Kings” Bob Miller (right)
look on as a statue of Robitaille is unveiled at Staples Center on March 7, 2015.
Photo: David Sheehan, CaliShooterOne Photography/FrozenRoyalty.net

 

LOS ANGELES — The Anschutz Entertainment Group honored former Los Angeles Kings left wing and current President/Business Operations Luc Robitaille by erecting a statue of him in Star Plaza at Staples Center on March 7, 2015.

A large crowd of fans, Kings alumni and honored guests, witnessed the statue unveiling, including former Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Mario Lemieux, and two others with statues in Star Plaza: former Los Angeles Lakers superstar guard and former general manager Jerry West, and former Kings superstar Wayne Gretzky.

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Frozen Royalty Video: LA Kings Luc Robitaille Talks About His New Statue

LA Kings President/Business Operations Luc Robitaille
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Prior to the start of the Los Angeles Kings game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Staples Center on March 7, 2015, the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the retail, real estate and entertainment conglomerate that owns Staples Center, L.A. Live, the Kings, and much more, will honor former Kings great and current President/Business Operations Luc Robitaille with the unveiling of a statue of Robitaille in Staples Center’s Star Plaza.

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