JOHN (JAKE) MILFORD
Born: July 29, 1914
John "Jake" Milford was the Kings second General Manager, holding that title from Dec. 17, 1973, when he replaced Larry Regan, to May 26, 1977.
Under Milford, the Kings rose to challenge for a playoff position, as Milford guided the Kings through his tremendous ability to judge hockey talent and his successful negotiating, both of which helped Kings owner Jack Kent Cooke to acquire the needed talent to become one of the top teams in the NHL. With Milford as their GM, the Kings set a franchise record with 105 points in 1974-75.
Milford presented a father-like figure with a quiet, easy manner and played prominent roles in the personal and hockey lives of Kings players Sheldon Kannegiesser, Mike Murphy, Gene Carr, Tommy Williams, Abe DeMarco, Bert Wilson and Larry Brown - all of whom played under Milford at the Central League's Omaha Knights - and Juha "Whitey" Widing, whom Milford brought over from Sweden.
He started his management career upon retirement in 1948, serving nine years as General Manager and Coach for amateur teams in Dallas and the Brandon Wheat Kings junior hockey club.
An employee of the New York Rangers organization,he was promoted to the GM slot in St. Paul for two years before sending him to manage the Omaha Knights. During Milford's eight years in Omaha and St. Paul, his teams won four league championships.
Prior to joining the Kings organization in the summer of 1973, Milford scouted for the Rangers. His special assignment was to scout all pro teams and the major junior hockey players in Canada.
Milford was originally hired by Cooke to run the Portland Buckaroos, one of the Kings' minor league affiliates. However, Cooke decided to bring Milford's expertise and reputation for recognizing, judging and appraising talent to the parent club. As a result, he was appointed General Manager on Dec. 1, 1973 when Regan resigned.
After leaving his post as the Kings' GM, Milford moved to Vancouver, where he brought the team to their first Stanley Cup Finals in 1982, after which he was promoted to Senior Vice President of the Canucks.
Milford was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1984, but died Dec. 24 of that year, just one month after his induction. The Central Hockey League Coach of the Year award is named after Milford.