The start of the Kings’ game Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Staples Center will be delayed by a pregame ceremony honoring former winger and current TV analyst Jim Fox, part of the team’s Legends Night Series.
Waiting for Fox apparently isn’t anything new to Coach Darryl Sutter.
“He holds us up a lot, actually, getting on the airplanes. He’ll hold us up tonight too,” Sutter said jokingly after the team’s morning skate in El Segundo.
The ceremony to honor Fox will be the third and final such occasion this season. Jay Wells was recognized in October and Larry Murphy was honored in December. Like Wells and Murphy, Fox will also be immortalized in the form of a bobblehead figurine given to fans attending the game. The Kings will wear their vintage Forum Blue and gold uniforms.
Thursday’s ceremony is scheduled to last eight minutes, although Sutter isn’t convinced Fox will be able to keep his speech short.
“Surely he won’t. He gets to say all he wants all the time,” Sutter said, laughing.
“It will be good for his family.”
Sutter also said he doesn’t mind the delay because it’s a worthwhile occasion.
“Jimmy’s around us all the time so we’re familiar with him. But quite honestly, I’ve enjoyed talking with the other guys that we’ve done,” Sutter said. “Because there’s guys I may have played against or coached against and it’s good to see them, see what they’re doing now.”
Kings captain Dustin Brown said he and his teammates would enjoy Thursday’s event.
“Of all the legends, I think he’s probably the first one that a lot of players really know, and that’s just because of the history of the team,” Brown said before saying radio analyst Daryl Evans also fits that
“I think Legend Nights are cool for everyone involved. I know we’re undefeated in the legends series so we’ve got to keep that going.”
The Kings won both previous Legends Nights games this season and both games last season, when they honored Ian Laperriere and Kelly Hrudey.
Other Legends Nights honorees were Evans, Bernie Nicholls and Charlie Simmer during the 2011-12 season and Rogie Vachon, Bob Berry and Bob Pulford during the 2010-11 season.
Fox, a first-round pick by the Kings in the 1980 entry draft, ranks 11th on the club’s goal-scoring list with 186, ninth in assists with 293, and ninth in points with 479 in 578 games. He’s in his 24th season as the Kings’ TV analyst and is known as much for his insights in breaking down plays as he is for coining the phrase “tweeners,” to describe a shot that goes between a goalie’s pads.