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Ice At Culver City Ice Arena Was Just Half Of The Story For The LA Kings

CULVER CITY ICE ARENA CLOSING: In Part 1 of what is now a four-part series on the Culver City Ice Arena, and the years that the Los Angeles Kings called it their practice home, Frozen Royalty examined the infamous ice conditions, and how they impacted the team, along with the thoughts of three former Kings, who bemoaned the imminent demise of the facility. Part 2 looks at the other half of the equation: the dressing and training room facilities, which had just as much of an impact on the Kings as the ice did.


The front of the Culver City Ice Arena
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — With the Culver City Ice Arena on the verge of closing its doors for good on February 2, there have been a lot of people coming out of the proverbial woodwork with their memories of the good’ol days at that rink.

A large part of the Culver City Ice Arena’s history is that it was the practice home of the Los Angeles Kings for more than twenty years, starting in the early 1970’s.

As detailed in the first installment of this series, the Culver City Ice Arena has always been a bare bones facility, and especially for a National Hockey League team, with the uneven ice and boards, practicing there was, to say the very least, a challenge.

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Los Angeles Kings Reminisce About Their Days At Culver City Ice Arena

CULVER CITY ICE ARENA CLOSING: With the imminent, permanent closure of the historic Culver City Ice Arena looming just a couple of weeks from now, in a three-part series, Frozen Royalty takes a look back at the old barn that was the Los Angeles Kings’ first practice facility—it was their practice home for more than twenty years.


The landmark sign outside the Culver City Ice Arena.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — On February 2, Los Angeles’ Westside will lose an icon of the hockey and figure skating communities when the Culver City Ice Arena shuts its doors for the last time.

Owners of the property have leased it to Planet Granite, which has announced plans to open an indoor rock climbing, yoga and fitness center at the location.

Supporters of the ice rink have organized to try to save it, but with a lease already signed, and with the City of Culver City having no legal authority to void the lease, or the money to purchase the property via eminent domain, prospects look less than grim for saving the rink.

That dim, almost pitch black outlook is a big disappointment to the Los Angeles Kings family, as the Culver City Ice Arena was the team’s practice facility from their earliest days to the mid-1990’s, when they moved to Iceoplex in the San Fernando Valley.

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LA Kings Honor Their Past: Retired Trainer Pete Demers Gets Stanley Cup Ring

Retired LA Kings head athletic trainer Pete Demers received a 2012 Stanley Cup Ring from
the team last week.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — With National Hockey League teams opening rookie camps this week, and with training camps opening next week, the 2013-14 NHL season is just about upon us, and our focus will, of course, quickly turn to the teams and their players.

But before Frozen Royalty begins its coverage of the 2013-14 Los Angeles Kings, starting with Friday’s media day during their Rookie Camp (players are expected to be on the ice at 10:00 AM today at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California), there is one bit of news left from their 2011-12 Stanley Cup Championship to catch up on.

As many are aware, former Kings greats Marcel Dionne and Rogie Vachon each received a Stanley Cup ring from the team during the opening day festivities on January 19, 2013, at Staples Center.

As reported in this space last February, Dionne said that receiving the ring was, “…the closing chapter in my hockey life.”

Vachon said that, “…I had absolutely no idea, no clue, that it was coming. It was just incredible.”

Another Kings alumnus had to wait just a bit longer for his Stanley Cup ring, one who worked 2,632 consecutive games over 34 seasons with the Kings (37 years with the franchise), and was as deserving as anyone.

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Mystery, Intrigue Surrounding Former LA Kings Defenseman Marty McSorley’s Illegal Stick Likely To Live On For Eternity

Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Marty McSorley met with the media on May 27, 2012, reminiscing about the
1993 Kings team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals,
and about his infamous illegal stick incident.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As most fans of the Los Angeles Kings know, one of the key factors in the Kings losing in the 1993 Stanley Cup Final to the Montreal Canadiens, was how they lost in Game 2 of the series.

Many point to the fact that Kings defenseman Marty McSorley was penalized in the waning minutes of the game for playing with an illegal stick—the curve of the blade exceeded that which was allowed by National Hockey League rules.

Leading 1-0 in the series, and 2-1 in Game 2, the Kings came unglued after McSorley went to the box. Their penalty-killers allowed Canadiens defenseman Eric Desjardins to walk in from right point, all the way down to the right face-off dot, completely unchecked. He then ripped a wrist shot past Kings netminder Kelly Hrudey at the 18:47 mark of the third period.

Desjardins scored again very early in the overtime period to give the Canadiens a 3-2 victory. Read more of this post

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