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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

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LA Kings Retired Athletic Trainer Pete Demers Looks Back At Controversy Surrounding His 2006 Departure

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: After four consecutive seasons where the Los Angeles Kings were absolutely decimated by injuries, head athletic trainer Pete Demers suddenly found himself on the outside looking in, as he was “…retained in a lesser role,” following the 2005-06 season, a move that generated criticism aimed at the franchise. In part eleven of this series on Demers’ career with the Kings and in professional hockey, he talks about leaving the job he loved so much and the controversy surrounding his departure.


Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers, shown here behind the Kings bench at Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 17, 2005.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — After a career with the Los Angeles Kings that spanned 37 years, starting with three seasons with their former American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield prior to joining the big club in 1972, head athletic trainer Pete Demers left the club after the 2005-06 season. But that came right after four straight seasons when the Kings were absolutely ravaged by injuries (see Retired LA Kings Trainer Pete Demers Recalls Record-Breaking, Injury-Filled Seasons, 2001-02 to 2005-06).

In two of those seasons, the Kings set unofficial records for man-games lost to injury, with 536 in 2002-03, a record they eclipsed in 2003-04 when they lost 629 man-games.

Those seasons were sandwiched between years when they lost 211 man-games to injury in 2001-02, and 366 in 2005-06 (the National Hockey League did not play in 2004-05 due to a labor dispute).

That is an unfathomable, mind-blowing 1,742 man-games lost to injury in just four seasons. Read more of this post

Retired LA Kings Trainer Pete Demers Recalls Record-Breaking, Injury-Filled Seasons, 2001-02 to 2005-06

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: It was not so long ago that the Los Angeles Kings dressing room and training room might have looked more like a hospital ward than anything else. After all, back in 2002-03 and 2003-04, they set unofficial records for man-games lost to injury. Retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers had to treat all those injuries, and Frozen Royalty takes a long, hard look back at those disastrous seasons, as well as more of Demers’ thoughts on the mechanics of injuries, their treatment, and their prevention. Part ten of a series.


Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers (left)
shown here treating forward Ian Laperriere.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Right wing Ziggy Palffy displayed great skill and speed when he played for the Los Angeles Kings from 1999-2000 to 2003-04.

Right wing Adam Deadmarsh was hard-nosed, physical, and was a very talented, determined, intense player for the Kings from 2000-01 to 2003-04. Read more of this post

From Blimp Rides To Breaking Televisions To Waxed Doughnuts, LA Kings Trainer Emeritus Pete Demers Has Seen It All

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE — In Part nine of a series, Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers shares more stories involving players, coaches and general managers he worked with during his long career.



Former Los Angeles Kings head athletic trainer Pete Demers, pictured here
behind the bench during the 1995-95 season.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — In a 41-year career in professional hockey, Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers has certainly seen and heard enough to fill the pages of a good-sized book, sights and sounds that fans and even the media would virtually never have access to.

Whether it was the pre-game rituals some players adhered to game after game, the practical jokes, humorous stories, or just memories of the different characters in and out of the training room, Demers saw it all in 37 years with the franchise, beginning with three years with Springfield of the American Hockey League (the Kings’ minor league affiliate from 1967-75 and 1977-79) before he joined the Los Angeles Kings in 1972. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Retired Head Athletic Trainer Pete Demers Is A King For Life

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: With the Boston Bruins having won the 2011 Stanley Cup, the 2011 off-season begins in earnest, so it is time to resume Frozen Royalty’s series on the career of Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers. In this installment, former Kings players and coaches, including Bob Pulford, Marcel Dionne, Jim Fox, Daryl Evans, Mark Hardy, and Bernie Nicholls, along with current Kings right wing Dustin Brown, share their thoughts and anecdotes about Demers. Part eight of a series.


Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers, circa 2001.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers spent 34 years in the Los Angeles Kings training room, and he quickly earned the deep respect of the players, coaches, general managers, owners, and team staff, many of whom continue to maintain friendships with him.

“[Demers] was a young guy who came into Los Angeles when I was there,” said Bob Pulford, who played on left wing for the Kings from 1970-71 to 1971-72, and was their head coach from 1972-73 through the 1975-76 season. “In those days, there was two of them [Demers and assistant athletic trainer John Holmes], and they did all the work. He was a hard working guy, and I demanded a lot from him. He learned to do the work, and he did it very well.” Read more of this post