Frozen Royalty: Pete Demers Was Honored To Serve On International Stage
If you’ve been following this fascinating series on Kings legend Pete Demers on Frozen Royalty then you have something more to be excited about. If you haven’t now is the time. Matsuda has enough material for a book by now! Take a read – it’s worth it.
LOS ANGELES — In 43 years of existence, the Los Angeles Kings came close once in 1993, but they have never been able to win the Holy Grail of hockey, the most revered and treasured trophy in professional team sports, the Stanley Cup.
That’s 43 years of stinging disappointment felt by players, coaches, general managers, owners, and fans alike. That also goes for the athletic trainers, and Kings head athletic trainer Pete Demers felt that sting for 37 of those 43 years, before retiring in 2006.
Although Demers won a Calder Cup championship with the Springfield Kings of the American Hockey League, the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliate, back in 1971, little did he know that would be the only championship in professional hockey that he would ever be a part of.
But with the Kings often failing to qualify for post-season play, or getting bounced out in the first round time and time again, Kings players, coaches and staff were often called upon to represent their countries at the international level, usually in the annual World Championship tournaments.
That includes Demers, who was the trainer for Team USA at the World Championships in Austria in 1996. That same year, he served as the trainer for the United States, the championship team at the World Cup of Hockey.
In 1997, Demers once again served as trainer for Team USA at the World Championships, and, in 1998, he was with Team USA once again at the XVIII Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.
But Demers’ international experience did not start with the United States’ hockey teams. In fact, it started in an entirely different sport altogether when he served as a United States Olympic Committee athletic trainer for the United States’ gold medal-winning Men’s Basketball team during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
A hockey trainer? Working for a basketball team? Despite how it might seem, this is not at all far-fetched.
Read the rest on Frozen Royalty.