Mike Kalinowski continued his series available exclusively on LAKings.com, with his On the Spot With former Kings forward Russ Courtnall
On The Spot With Russ Courtnall
Position: Right Wing
Born: June 2, 1965 (Duncan, British Columbia)
Drafted: Selected by Toronto in the first round (7th overall) of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft.
Signed With The Kings: As an unrestricted free agent on Nov. 7, 1997
Years With The Kings: 1997-99
Career With The Kings:
Other Noteworthy Accomplishments:
- Registered 37 points (18-19=37) in 115 career games with the Kings.
- Helped lead a rebuilding Kings team to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after the 1998-99 season in which the Kings finished second in the Pacific Division.
- Led the Kings with four short-handed goals during the 1997-98 season.
- Played in his 1,000th NHL game as a member of the Kings in 1998-99.
What He’s Doing Now:
- He and his brother, Geoff, were the first brothers to each register at least 1,000 games played in the NHL, with Geoff appearing in 1,049 career games over 17 seasons with Boston, Edmonton, Washington, St. Louis and Vancouver and Russ appearing in 1,029 career games over 16 seasons with Toronto, Montreal, Minnesota, Dallas, Vancouver, the New York Rangers and the Kings.
- Played in the 1994 NHL All-Star Game after collecting a career high 80 points (23-57=80) with Dallas.
- Scored 20 or more goals nine times during his career.
- Advanced to the postseason in 12 of his 16 NHL seasons.
- Was on the 1989 Montreal Canadiens club that lost to Calgary in the Stanley Cup Finals.
- Collected 83 points (39-44=83) in 129 career Stanley Cup games.
- Represented Canada at the 1991 Canada Cup and the 1984 Winter Olympics.
- Coaches his 12-year-old son’s team – the So-Cal Titans – in Simi Valley.
- He and his wife have three children, Ally (15), Lawton (12) and Brooklyn (5).
- Will also serve as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, during the upcoming Holiday season.
- Broke his ankle just a few games short of his 1000th NHL game.
- Says his career was closed for him by the changes in the NHL at the time as the league attempted to bring salaries down.
- In the early 1990’s, Russ was one of several players who would summer in Los Angeles and then train with the Kings in August. During one of those early 90’s summers, he met his future wife, Paris Vaughan. The couple married a few years later.
- His relationship with then Kings General Manager Dave Taylor led to him signing with the Kings as a free agent in November of 1997.
- Talks about the Kings postseason appearances in 1998 when he skated against his brother, Geoff, and the St. Louis Blues. In that series, the Kings lost a three-goal lead in Game 3 after Geoff Courtnall elbowed Kings’ goaltender Jamie Storr in the third period. The Kings and Storr never recovered from the elbow as they were swept out of the playoffs in four games.
- Talks about playing with Luc Robitaille during the 1991 Canada Cup.
- Talks about his special relationship with “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky, and the Gretzky family.