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CATCHING UP WITH CHARLIE HUDDY

by Mike Kalinowski / Los Angeles Kings
Charlie Huddy

Every Tuesday, LAKings.com's Mike Kalinowski will catch up with a Kings Alumni. This week, Kalinowski chats with former Kings defenseman Charlie Huddy.

Huddy Quick Facts
Position: Defenseman
Born: June 2, 1959 in Oshawa, ONT
Acquired By The Kings: Traded from Minnesota to Los Angeles along with Randy Gilhen, Jim Thomson and a fourth-round choice in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft (Alexei Zhitnik) for Todd Elik on June 22, 1991. Before that, he was claimed by Minnesota from Edmonton in the NHL’s Expansion Draft on May 30, 1991. Huddy was originally signed as a free agent by Edmonton on Sept. 14, 1979.
Years With The Kings: 1991-95
Career Highlights With The Kings:
Appeared in 226 regular season games with the Kings, scoring 69 points (11-58=69) and registering 184 penalty minutes...Also scored seven points (2-5=7) in 29 career post-season games with the Kings...Skated in 23 of the Kings 24 post-season games during their march to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Montreal Canadiens in 1993...Scored five points (1-4=5) and led the Kings with a plus-9 rating during the 1993 post-season.

Other Noteworthy Accomplishments:
A member of each of the Edmonton Oilers' five Stanley Cup championship teams (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990) and appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals seven times...Ranks 10th on the Oilers all-time scoring list with 368 points (81-287=368) in 694 career regular season games...Appeared in over 1,000 NHL games during his 17 seasons in the NHL...Participated in the post-season during each of his first 12 seasons in the NHL.

What He’s Doing Now: Huddy recently completed his eighth season behind the bench as an assistant coach with the Oilers. He resides in Edmonton with his wife, Karen. He and Karen both became grandparents for the first time last November when their daughter, Amanda, gave birth to a baby girl. Like Amanda, their son, Ryan, is also married. He’s spent the last few seasons playing professional hockey in Germany. When he’s not coaching the Oilers, Huddy enjoys fishing and riding his motorcycle during the off-season.

Interview Highlights:
Q: What do you remember most about your time in Los Angeles?
A: Los Angeles is a great city and I was treated so well there. I really felt good about the Kings because they were building in the right direction when I got there in 1991.

I also remember the team taking a little heat at the time for bringing in so many ex-Oilers like Wayne (Gretzky), Jari Kurri, myself and Pat Conacher. But at the end of the day, we were all hoping to bring to Los Angeles the excitement of winning the Stanley Cup. The only disappointment was getting so close in 1993 but coming up a bit short.

I think the best part of going to the finals with the Kings was watching guys like Luc Robitaille and Dave Taylor get a taste of it for the first time. I was making my seventh trip to the finals in 1993, so I’d had that excitement several times before.

Q: Do you enjoy coming to Los Angeles twice a year as an assistant coach with the Oilers?
A: My wife and I still have some friends in the area that we’ve kept in contact with, so I always look forward to returning to Los Angeles.

Q: What made you interested in becoming an assistant coach after a 17-year playing career?
A: I guess hockey is in my blood. I remember feeling that I’d have a hard time walking away back when my career was finishing up. I just couldn’t see myself doing something other than hockey. I’d been around the game for too long.

I had a great opportunity in Buffalo when John Muckler (the Sabres general manager at the time) offered me the chance to go down to Rochester (New York) in the American Hockey League and serve as a player/assistant coach (during the 1996-97 season). I really enjoyed my time there and I thought coaching was something I wanted to continue to do.

Q: Do you have aspirations to be a head coach sometime in the future?
A: I like what I’m doing right now. I work with our young defensemen and I’m involved behind the bench because I get to change the defensemen as the games goes on. There’s probably going to be a point in a few years when I’d be interested in being a head coach, but I’ve been an assistant coach for eight years and I’m still learning a lot.

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