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Did You Know That The LA Kings Had To Trade For Their First Head Coach?

Former Los Angeles Kings head coach Red Kelly
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Until 2006, when Dean Lombardi took over as their President/General Manager, the Los Angeles Kings’ history of trades was characterized by very few good trades and a ton of really bad ones, with a considerable number bordering on tragic.

One might even think that their first trade belongs on the “bad” side of the ledger.

That trade came on June 8, 1967, just two days after the 1967 National Hockey League Expansion Draft. But the Kings weren’t trading for a player. Instead, they were going after their first head coach.

Leonard “Red” Kelly, a twenty-year NHL veteran who won the Stanley Cup eight times—four each with the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs, became the Kings first coach. But that didn’t happen until after Maple Leafs general manager Punch Imlach exacted a price from the Kings.

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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