The First L.A. King
A Journey into Hockey
Mention the most important L.A. Kings over the years and most folks will say the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Rogie Vachon, Marcel Dionne, Luc Robitaille, Jonathan Quick.
Not often cited is the first King, Terry Sawchuck.
The Kings drafted Sawchuk with the 1st Overall Pick in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft.
The Kings were breaking new ground in a “Non Traditional Hockey Market”. Jack Kent Cooke was convinced the large population of Canadians living in the Greater Los Angeles Area would adopt the Kings and fill the Forum. Terry Sawchuk was a record holding goaltender destined for the Hall of Fame that had just led the Toronto Maple Leafs to a Stanley Cup victory the previous season after being part of Detroit championship teams in the 1950's as well.
He only played one season in L.A.(11-14-6, 2 s.o., 3.07) before being traded back to Detroit.
He ended his career in 1970 with the New York Rangers before dying in an off season incident.
Sawchuck had a great career. He is remembered for many accomplishments. And, one of the them is as the first King.
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