Hockey Fest ’11 to Feature Brandon Convery! Wait..Who?
Guest blogger Dan Goodkin joins us with a new post about Hockey Fest ’11 coming up this weekend. You can follow him on Twitter at @dangoodkin.
Hockey Fest 2011 is only four days away!
After an incredibly exciting June and July for Los Angeles Kings fans, marked by the trade for Mike Richards and the signing of Simon Gagne, the summer settled into endless speculation about when Doughty would sign (it will be soon, right? Right?). Of course this summer also has to go down as one of the worst off-seasons for hockey. So I recognize that my indignation and confusion regarding the announcement of the Kings alumni who will attend Hockey Fest is petty and insignificant in light of the real tragedies experienced by the hockey world over the past few months. Nonetheless I feel compelled to complain a bit and since I had to look up who some of these people were I figured I’d save some people some time and share the results of my research.
The announced alumni, subject to change are: Daryl Evans, Jim Fox, Mark Hardy, Bernie Nicholls, goaltender Gary Edwards, Glen Murray, Brandon Convery, Brad Norton and Ian Turnbull.
When I first saw this list I wondered whether it was a list of Kings broadcasters and wondered whether Bernie would be doing the sideline reporting in place of Heidi Androl. As I read further and recognized a few of the names, I had to wonder..well..why these guys?
Here is some information about the attendees and my grades for these selections:
Daryl Evans and Jim Fox, though significant and treasured parts of Kings history, are at Hockey Fest every year because they work for the Kings. Mark Hardy was an assistant for the Kings for years and now works for the Kings ECHL affiliate. So, I’m not impressed with any of the three attending. Grade: C (would be an A, but knocked down two grades for cheating)
Bernie Nichols is legit. He scored more than 30 goals in six straight seasons for the Kings (1983-1988), topped off by his 70 goal performance in 1988-89. He was the star of the team and I look forward to hearing from him and would be happy to get an autograph. Grade: A
Gary Edwards played five seasons for the Kings between 1971-1977 primarily as Rogie Vachon’s backup. As Vachon and Edwards were runners up for the Vezina trophy in 1975, he is a part of Kings history, although the lesser part, but how many times can the Kings make Vachon appear at these things? My answer would be every year until the NHL wises up and gives him his Hall of Fame jacket, but that’s a rant for another day. Grade: B
Glen Murray had a few nice seasons with 29 goals for the Kings in two out of the four that he played with the club. He went on to better seasons with the Boston Bruins, three times eclipsing the 30 goal mark (2001-2004). Still, I find myself wondering if Mr. Murray was involved in any defining or even interesting moment in Kings history. I suppose he was on the 2001 team that defeated the Red Wings, but did not score during that series. Grade: C
Now is where it gets bizarre.
Brandon Convery? Who? I had to look him up. He played 3 games for the Kings in the 1998-199 season. I don’t think there’s much more for me to say about this choice. I guess “once a King, always a King” doesn’t have a games played requirement? Grade: F
Brad Norton played for the Kings for a total of 73 games over two seasons (02-04) before fading into obscurity. I do recall Norton, mostly because he was a fighter (97 PIM in 55 games in 2002-2003 and 77 PIM in 20 games in 2003-2004) and because it was fun to shout “Hey Norton!” when he was on the ice, a reference to the Honeymooners. Other than that, his stint with the Kings was no more significant than say Matt Johnson, Steve McKenna or Ryan Flinn. This is the second time Norton has appeared at Hockey Fest. I guess he impressed the first time? Grade: D (not an F because I hope to be able to shout “Hey Norton!” when he is introduced.
Ian Turnbull played for the Kings for 42 games during his one and only season (1981-1982). He had a stellar career with the Toronto Maple Leafs, cementing his place in hockey history with the record for most goals by a defenseman with five for Toronto in a game against Detroit in 1977. If this was a Maple Leafs Hockey Fest, I would understand his inclusion. As it is a Kings Hockey Fest, I’m left to scratch my head and wonder. Grade: D (not an F because he holds an NHL record and that’s neat)
In summary, the alumni trotted out by the Kings this year is somewhat pedestrian and in other ways confusing. There are plenty of players that hold a dear place in the hearts of Kings fans and hopefully will be part of Hockey Fest in the future. But Brandon Convery? Come on.
Which Kings alum would you love to see at Hockey Fest this year?