Over the course of his 18-year NHL career, he played for six teams. But it was the team that drafted him where he spent the majority of it. The relationship between Bernie Nicholls and the Los Angeles Kings goes back over 30 years as the three-time All-Star played arguably the best hockey of his professional career in the City of Angels.
Spending nine years with the Kings as a player and another couple of years with the team as a coaching consultant, it came as no surprise when Nicholls was on December 10, 2011, the former 70-goal scorer was honoured by the Kings as part of the team’s Legends Night series.
In 602 games with the Kings, Bernie Nicholls scored 327 goals and 431 assists for 758 points while helping his team pull off some significant playoff upsets, such as the “Miracle in Manchester” over the Edmonton Oilers in 1982 and ousting the defending champion Oilers in 1989.
As important as hockey is to him, Bernie Nicholls spends a lot of his time these days pursuing other interests, most notably a new app called ASMFree.com. But more on that later.
Recently, I had the chance to discuss a few topics with Mr. Nicholls.
In early 2012, you returned to the Los Angeles Kings as a coaching consultant. How has it been working with the team’s young core? Any individual progressions that have stood out more than others?
I think being a former player, it works well with the young kids. I think they can relate better to a player sometimes than a coach, so my relationship with the players was great. I think some of the young kids – maybe Drew Doughty maybe even Kopitar – I think that their confidence would be a little bit better when they get help from a skilled offensive player.
Just prior to rejoining the team as a coaching consultant, you were honored by the Kings as part of their Legends Night series. How did that feel? While there must have been a sense of enormous pride, did you feel vindicated to be recognized by the team you spent so much of your career with despite being away for so long?
I think anytime you’re recognized by a team, it’s obviously an amazing honor. It was awesome having my family there, made it an amazing night.
Your name is synonymous with the Los Angeles Kings. In nine years, you scored 327 (4th in franchise history), 431 assists (5th), 758 points (5th), plus you hold the team record for goals in a season (70, 1988-89) and most all-time shorthanded goals with 25. I believe that deserves to have your number retired – and since only a few players have worn No. 9 for the Kings since you (not to mention briefly), wouldn’t you agree?
It would be amazing to have it retired for sure.
You have recently launched a new app for AllSportsMarket.com. For those of us unfamiliar, could you describe the app, the website and what you have accomplished and hope to accomplish in the short- and even long-term future?
I have just launched the first ever Sports stock market free phone app where you can buy and sell sports teams for Free ASMFree.com, The app also supports Snoop Dogg inner-city football for kids.
Mr. Nicholls and I are planning to touch more on the trials and tribulations of his playing career but so far, it has been quite a pleasure speaking with a man who has meant so much to the Los Angeles Kings and their loyal fanbase not just during the 1980’s but in recent years when the team was at the top of the mountain, so to speak.
For those interested in Nicholls’s newest venture, please log on to ASMFree.com or download the app on your iPhone. I looked into it myself and I must admit that I am very excited about this – and if you love sports, you should be too. So, check it out today.