LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings will honor former standouts Rogie Vachon, Bob Berry and Bob Pulford as the Kings unveiled their Legends Night Series presented by McDonald’s.
The Kings will wear their Vintage Jerseys – the same jerseys the club wore during their season opener at Vancouver on October 9 – as part of these special evenings at STAPLES Center, which will take place on January 15 when the Kings honor Vachon; on February 24 when the Kings honor Berry; and on March 19 when the Kings honor Pulford.
“The opportunity to recognize and honor three individuals who helped establish a foothold for our franchise during our 44 years in Los Angeles is something we take great pride in,” said Los Angeles Kings President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille. “Having our team in vintage 1972 purple and gold jerseys will only add to the historic atmosphere we will create that will give our fans in attendance a chance to look back on some great memories while we look ahead to achieving our goals this season.”
One of hockey’s great goaltenders during his illustrious 16-year NHL career, Vachon will be honored before the Kings-Edmonton Oilers game on January 15 at STAPLES Center.
The first player to have his number retired by the Kings, Vachon spent seven seasons (1971-78) with the Kings as a player, putting an indelible mark on the club’s record book as he is the Kings’ all-time leader in games played as a goalie (389), wins (171) and shutouts (32).
Vachon’s greatest season wearing the Forum purple and gold was 1974-75, the year he posted a 27-14-13 record (including six shutouts) and a 2.24 goals-against-average. The Hockey News rewarded Vachon by naming him the NHL Player of the Year at the conclusion of the season. He later would go on to hold numerous off-ice positions with the Kings, including General Manager, a post he held for eight-plus seasons.
Berry was a player and head coach during his tenure with the Kings, one of four men (Pulford, Mike Murphy and Larry Robinson are the others) to hold that distinction. He will be honored before the Kings- Minnesota Wild game at STAPLES Center on February 24.
A left winger, Berry played seven seasons in Los Angeles en route to recording 350 points during his NHL career. One of Berry’s highlights came in 1974-75 when he played in all 80 Kings games as that club earned a record 105 points and 42 wins.
After his playing career ended Berry took over the coaching reigns of the Kings for three seasons, including helping lead the Kings to a 43-24-13 record in 1980-81. While the club’s head coach, Berry – who most recently served the club as a pro scout -- helped form the now-famous Triple Crown Line of Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer.
Pulford, who won four Stanley Cups while a player with the Toronto Maple Leafs, played his final two seasons with the Kings (1970-72). He will be honored before the Kings-Ducks game at STAPLES Center on March 19.
Pulford then became head coach of the Kings for the 1972–73 season and led the Kings for five years. As head coach, he ranks second all-time in wins (178) and games (396) as he guided the Kings in 1974 to their first playoff appearance in five years. He also won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year in the NHL in 1975, the year the Kings amassed 105 points.
In addition, Pulford led the Kings to their first playoff series wins since 1969 when they defeated the Atlanta Flames in the first round of both the 1976 and 1977 NHL playoffs. After leaving the Kings, Pulford went on to work for the Chicago Blackhawks for more than 30 years.