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KINGS FIRST GM REGAN PASSES AWAY

Tuesday, 03.10.2009 / 2:20 PM / Los Angeles Kings | News
By Thomas LaRocca  - LAKings.com Staff Writer
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KINGS FIRST GM REGAN PASSES AWAY
A member of the Los Angeles Kings family has passed away.

Larry Regan, the Kings first General Manager in team history, has died. He was 78.

The Kings have issued the following statement on his passing:

"The Kings are saddened by the news that Larry Regan has passed. The club’s first General Manager following a playing career that included five NHL seasons – which was highlighted by the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year in 1956-57 – Larry also served as a head coach with the Kings for parts of two seasons in the early 1970s. The Kings organization offers its condolences to the entire Regan family."

"I was saddened to hear of the passing of former Los Angeles Kings General Manager Larry Regan," said Bob Miller, the Kings Television Play-by-Play for 36 seasons. "Larry was the first General Manager in Kings history starting in 1967 when the Kings entered the National Hockey League. He was still General Manager in 1973 when I joined the organization. Larry was a fierce competitor both as a player and a general manger. His focus was always making the Kings competitive and successful. He brought in some of the best known players in Kings history such as Eddie Joyal, Bill Flett, Rogie Vachon, Bob Berry, Juha Widing, Butch Goring and Bob Pulford as coach.

"I send my condolences to his family."

LAKings.com recently caught up with Regan All-Time GMs | A Look Back at the first 25 years

Regan joined the Kings organization in 1966 as he was named head scout for owner Jack Kent Cooke’s expansion hockey team in Los Angeles. As such, Regan spent endless hours during the winter of ’66 studying hockey players from coast to coast and earmarking his choices for the historic NHL expansion of 1967.

Cooke named Regan General Manager of the Kings following the draft meetings. Regan served as Kings GM from 1967- Dec. 17, 1973. Regan’s Kings finished their first season in the NHL with a record of 31-33-10, and that record still remains as one of the best ever put together by an expansion team in professional sports.

His Kings advanced to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons as General Manager, with the 1969 playoff team advancing to the West Division Semifinals before falling to St. Louis, the team that would go on to represent the West Division in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. the Montreal Canadiens (Montreal won the 1969 Stanley Cup championship).

During his tenure as the Kings GM, the Kings had a record of 154-268-67 in the regular season and a record of 7-11 in the postseason.

Regan served as both the General Manager and the Head Coach of the Kings for the entire 1970-71 season and for the first month of the 1971-72 season, compiling a record of 27-47-14 behind the Kings bench.

Regan's NHL career began in 1956-57 with the Boston Bruins, where Regan was named the Calder Cup Award winner as the NHL’s outstanding rookie. He would play with the Bruins until the 1958-59 season when he was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Regan would last play in the NHL during the 1960-61 season with Toronto. For his NHL career, Regan saw action in 280 games, scoring 41-95=136.

Following his NHL career, Regan spent one year as player-coach in Pittsburgh of the AHL in 1961-62 then went to Austria for three years as manager-coach of the Innsbruck team. On his return to North America, Regan joined Baltimore of the AHL for he 1965-66 campaign then quit as player and joined the Kings as a scout.

After his time with the Los Angeles Kings, he returned to Montreal and became a junior coach. He quit in May of 1975 and became involved in the National Hockey League Alumni Association.

Regan is survived by his wife Pauline.