20 years later, Northridge quake memories remain fresh - LA Kings Insider

Like anyone and anything associated with Los Angeles, the Kings were tied to the Northridge Earthquake, which struck at 4:31 a.m. on January 17, 1994 near the intersection of Reseda Boulevard and Saticoy Street in the San Fernando Valley and remains the costliest seismic disaster in the history of the United States.

Iceoplex, the team’s practice facility at the time, was less than four miles from the epicenter, and several Kings lived in the southern San Fernando Valley communities of Encino and Tarzana, among them Wayne Gretzky, Jarri Kurri, Dave Taylor and Luc Robitaille.

Other than ceiling tiles that had fallen on Iceoplex’s main sheet of ice and repairs to a wall lining the second ice sheet, there wasn’t any significant damage to the team’s facility.

“We did a lot of charity work and that was it,” Robitaille recalled. “It scared the bejesus out of my wife because we were living in the Valley.”

The team was in Dallas at the time following a flight the night before from Philadelphia when they were awoken by the distressing news.

Dave Taylor, who was out of action with a concussion and was at home in Tarzana when the earthquake struck, recalled the impact the disaster had on families that were over a thousand miles away from the team. Now the St. Louis Blues’ Vice President, Hockey Operations,Taylor recently shared some of his memories of the night of January 17, 1994 with LA Kings Insider.

“Obviously girlfriends and wives and everybody was home, and the families were at home, so any time you hear something like that, the magnitude of that earthquake – there’s damage, obviously, there were some deaths from that – so everybody was worried. I guess I was fortunate that I was home and with my family when it happened, but that would be a lot tougher on the players when they were on the road.

“I was injured. I was home, and I live in Tarzana, so it was pretty scary when the earthquake happened. It happened early in the morning. I just remember it was real dark, and I tried to get up in my bedroom, and I kept falling back on my bed. It really felt like somebody had a hold of the house and was just bouncing it. It just seemed to be so much noise. I thought the back of our house had fallen off, and then when it finally stopped, we all realized it was an earthquake. We were pretty lucky at our place. We had a few small cracks, the cosmetic stuff by the doorways and stuff, but no real damage.”

“It seemed like it came from Northridge, and there was one fissure that ran almost straight south, and there were houses in our neighborhood that were literally off their foundation, and I remember when we had our pool put in, which is probably 25 or 30 years ago, there was a lot of rock when they were digging the pool, and the builders said if we ever had an earthquake, [we’d] probably be OK here because the pressure seems to move through the rock, where when you have sand, it almost liquefies, and you could have a lot of shifting.”

“We didn’t have any power there for a couple of days, and I remember driving down to Ventura Boulevard. We had a lot of supplies. We had water at our house, and it was interesting because there was a lot of damage on Ventura Boulevard. There were a lot of windows that were out, so there a lot of businesses that were closed for a short time, and all the water was gone out of the stores there, but you could drive over the hill down to Santa Monica and really get anything that you needed.”

One of the more harrowing recollections of the quake came from Brian McClary, the NHL’s security representative with the Los Angeles Kings. A Los Angeles police officer at the time, McClary was outside, at a Tommy’s Hamburgers near the intersection of Van Nuys and Victory Boulevards, when the quake struck.


Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.