Bernie Nicholls Reflects On His Time With The Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — As they have done with so much of their very best homegrown talent over their 42-year history, the Los Angeles Kings traded away prolific goal scorer Bernie Nicholls, but not before he left his mark on the ice at the Forum in Inglewood, California, the Kings’ home arena during his tenure with the team.

The 6-1, 185-pound native of Haliburton, Ontario was selected by the Kings in the fourth round (73rd overall) of the 1980 National Hockey League Entry Draft. After his final season (1980-81) with the Kingston Canadians of the Ontario Hockey League when he scored 63 goals and added 89 assists for 152 points in 65 games, he found himself with the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate, the New Haven Nighthawks, to start the 1981-82 campaign.

In 55 games at New Haven, Nicholls lit up the AHL, scoring 41 goals and tallying thirty assists for 71 points, and was called up to the Kings to finish the season.

Although the Kings ended that year with a 24-41-15 record (63 points), they had a budding star in Nicholls, who scored fourteen goals and contributed eighteen assists for 32 points in just 22 games along with four goals in ten playoff games.

Like most young players, the move to Los Angeles was quite a change for Nicholls.

“It was a big shock,” he said. “You’re used to growing up in Canada where there’s snow and ice, you’re playing hockey outside, and then you come to Southern California. For the people who have never been out here and played, it was a great place.”

“There’s nothing better than coming out after a game and it’s warm out, there’s no snow,” he added. “It was good. I got called up and I remember flying in here, especially being from a small town in Canada, you come in and you’ve got palm trees and sunshine and you’re going, ‘wow, this is different.’ But eve...

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