TRIPLE CROWN LINE TO RE-UNITE AT HOCKEY FEST
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings’ famed “Triple Crown Line” -- featuring Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer – will re-unite at LA Kings Hockey Fest ’09, a new three-day interactive festival celebrating the Kings and the game of hockey from August 28-30. The three former Kings will be featured in one of seven special “Speakers Series” that will be a part of LA Kings Hockey Fest ’09, and Kings Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Miller will moderate this special Triple Crown Line programming event.
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LA Kings Hockey Fest ’09 will feature Kings’ players, coaches, alumni, hockey dignitaries, special Kings’ merchandise, hockey memorabilia, special Q&A sessions with players and autograph sessions. All activities and events during the LA Kings Hockey Fest ’09 will take place at LA Live in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.
“This is the first time the Triple Crown Line has been together in Los Angeles since 1984,” said Kings President of Business Operations, Luc Robitaille. “Along with our players being at Hockey Fest, the reunification of Marcel, Dave and Charlie will be a signature Hockey Fest event for our fans to participate in this summer.”
One of the most prolific scoring lines in the history of the National Hockey League, the Triple Crown Line played together for more than six seasons from 1979-84. They were the first Line combination in NHL history to have each player score 100 points or more in the same season (1980-81), and the upcoming 2009-10 NHL season will also mark the 30th Anniversary of the line playing together for a full season (1979-80) for the first time.
Triple Crown Line Video
Dionne, the Kings’ all-time leading scorer and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, centered the line. Taylor, who would go on and play more games (1,111) than any other King after being selected in the 15th round of the 1975 NHL Entry Draft, played right wing, and Simmer, who had just been called up from the minor leagues when the line began and would go on to post back-to-back 50 goal-seasons, played left wing.
On January 13, 1979, then Kings Head Coach Bob Berry (who now serves as a pro scout with the Kings) formed the line together for the first time. Simmer was elevated to the top line on the seventh game of an eight-game road trip, and the trio would go on to re-write numerous record books, as Dionne averaged 119 points, Taylor averaged 88 points and Simmer averaged 77 during their run together. Also, when the line was initially formed, the line recorded at least one point in 56 consecutive games.
Another highlight for the Triple Crown Line came during the 1980-81 season. The Line dominated the NHL that year, recording 146 goals and 182 assists, and during the 1981 NHL All-Star Game at the Forum in Inglewood, the members of the Triple Crown Line were uncharacteristically introduced as a unit during pre-game festivities.
The Triple Crown Line formally ended on October 24, 1984, when Simmer was traded to Boston for a first-round draft choice. Dionne’s No. 16 was later (in 1990) retired by the Kings – he currently serves as a Royal Ambassador for the Kings -- and Taylor’s No. 18 was retired by the Kings in 1995.
“It was fun each day and it seemed like we were unstoppable when we set our minds on getting some goals,” said Simmer of the Triple Crown Line.
“It was chemistry because nobody had a big ego. We complimented one another and we never had a bad game because we would also pick up the slack for each other on nights when it was needed,” said Dionne, who not only captured the NHL scoring title in 1979-80 but also scored 50 goals and recorded 100 points five years in a row (1979-83).
“I think we were unselfish and we moved the puck around, but Marcel was the superstar and it was a matter of the three pieces – three guys who brought different things to the game – working together,” said Taylor.
“Marcel was so good at scoring goals. Dave would go in the corners and Charlie was big and would go in front of the net. He was adept at kicking in pucks and making it look like an accident. It was fun for me to just try and keep up with all the action,” said Miller.
“As the coach, I always say my worst decision ever was assigning Charlie to the minors during training camp, and my best decision ever was recalling him to play on this line. Charlie and I played together the year before in the minors when I was a player-coach, so I knew the goal-scoring skills he had. He and I were always close. Marcel and I had a great relationship. He was always wonderful to work with and he was always good to me and my family. He was also a tremendous team guy. And Dave really paid the price to make some of the plays he made. He would come out of the corners with lots of bumps and bruises. In all, the trio just had great chemistry, and they were really, really special players and people,” said Berry.
Tickets for LA Kings Hockey Fest ’09 are currently on-sale and cost $60 (the ticket serves as a pass for all three days). Each ticket allows admittance into all LA Kings Hockey Fest ’09 events for the weekend. Tickets for kids five years of age and under are free. Discounted tickets for groups are also available.
ESPN’s John Buccigross will serve as the “official host” of the event. Former Kings goalie Kelly Hrudey and former Kings forward Ray Ferraro will return to Southern California and join Kings television color commentator and former Kings forward Jim Fox to headline a special “NHL Experts Panel.”
More LA Kings Hockey Fest ’09 announcements will be made during the summer.