Last night, Kings radio color analyst Daryl Evans
broadcast the Kings 4-1 victory over the Ducks on the Kings Radio Network.
It was the first time in almost 18 years since he had seen a hockey game in London.
“It was the end of my career,” Evans said on the way to the Kings game vs. the Ducks in London. “I played the previous year over in Italy and the next year decided to go to England. The team I played for was way up in New Castle, but we came down to London. It was a great experience and I got to see a lot of the world.
“Here to come back some 17 years later, to see a regular season NHL game here, it really goes to show how much the sport is growing.”
Evans was a player/coach for the Whitley Bay Warriors during the 1990-91 season in the Premier League of British Columbia. According to hockeydb.com, Evans appeared in six games and scored 10-9=19.
“Just watching and learning how global the game was, even back then, it was pretty eye opening,” he recalled. “I started to get involved in youth hockey and I was surprised with the amount of kids that wanted to be involved.”
Evans, of course now is the Radio Commentator for the Los Angeles Kings, entering his ninth season at the mic partnering with the Radio Voice of the Kings, Nick Nickson. Evans is also very involved in youth hockey, hosting numerous clinics throughout the season at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, the Kings Training Complex.
Evans was originally drafted by the Kings in 1980, in the ninth round, 178th overall. He played for the Kings from 1981-85 and scored the franchise’s most memorable goal in a game forever remembered as the “Miracle on Manchester.” Facing the heavily-favored Edmonton Oilers in the best-of-five first round of the 1982 playoffs, the Kings pulled off two huge upsets – one, in winning the series three games to two; and two, winning Game 3 of the series.
Down 5-0 in the third period of that game on April 10, 1982, the Kings steadily chipped away at Edmonton’s lead and tied the game with five seconds left in regulation. At 2:35 of the extra period, Evans, then a rookie, sent a shot over Grant Fuhr’s shoulder to seal an improbable end to an incredible game.
After the 1984-85 season, Evans went on to play for the Washington Capitals and the Binghamton Whalers of the AHL in 1985-96. The following year, he spent time with the New Market Saints also of the AHL and played in two games for the Maple Leafs before heading to Europe.
Evans remembers the passion of the European Fans.
“The fan base was very passionate at the time,” he said. “A lot of the rinks didn’t even have glass, it had the cage on side. The fans were right on top of you and they were up on the cage and banging on the cage. They were very supportive of the local teams, and they took a lot of pride in their teams.
“They were just very passionate and I was surprised with their hockey knowledge.”
Of his visits to London and many stories that he recalls, one of his favorites was when he let his team choose what he was going to eat one day after a game.
“I don’t remember the name of the place where we went, but the guys decided they would pick what I would eat for lunch. They handed me a bag that weighed about 10 pounds. I opened up the package, it was loaded with grease.
“It was probably two half-pound cheeseburger patties, that were probably 75 percent fat, they were separated by three buns and was battered and deep fried. It was tough to get down.”
Not sure what Evans ate prior to last night’s broadcast, but it is safe to say he avoided that meal he had some 17 years ago. The Kings defeated the Ducks, 4-1, behind a two-goal effort by Michael Cammalleri and goals by Rob Blake and Michal Handzus to support the 26-save effort of rookie Jonathan Bernier at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Evans was impressed with the arena and with the fans.
“The game has developed quite a bit down here, to come back now and see the changes and the growth is great.”