Sports

Double cup party on Ranford's summer schedule

Los Angeles Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford, a New Westminster resident, hoists the Stanley Cup after the team
Los Angeles Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford, a New Westminster resident, hoists the Stanley Cup after the team's victory June 13.
— image credit: Bruce Bennett/Los Angeles Kings

Bill Ranford wants to make this summer's cup party to be a double celebration in more ways than one.

The New Westminster resident and Los Angeles Kings goalie coach is on a high after the team's Stanley Cup victory earlier this month. It's the second for the Kings in three years. He'll get to celebrate the wins with friends and family when he has his one day with the Cup this summer.

But there's something else he wants to celebrate at the same time.

Just a few days after the Kings' claimed the Cup, Ranford's nephew Brendan won the American Hockey League's Calder Cup. He was playing for the Texas Stars, the minor-league affiliate of the Dallas Stars.

Brendan Ranford trophyRanford and AHL president Dave Andrews go way back. Back to the days when Ranford tended net for the New Westminster Bruins at Queen's Park Arena and Andrews ran the rival Victoria Cougars. Ranford said he's going to ask Andrews if both the Calder and Stanley cups could be at the same party.

"It would be a double treat," said Ranford, who won two Stanley Cups playing for the Edmonton Oilers in 1988 and 1990.

He'll soon get his chance to party, but after the long season he's just been through Ranford says he's ready to relax. This Cup run was a little bit more exhausting than 2012. In that one, the Kings bullied their way to victory needing just 20 games to win the four rounds.

This time they required 21 games just to get to the Stanley Cup final. In fact, they lost their first three games to San Jose in the first round before winning the last four. They were then down 3-2 to the Anaheim Ducks in the second round before bouncing back to advance. In the Western Conference final, they led the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 but needed to go to overtime in Game 7 to reach the Cup final.

"It was special. The first [Cup run] for the Kings was definitely exciting but the road we travelled on in this one made it special in its own way," said Ranford, 47.

It was exhausting for the players. And for the coaches.

"Ours is probably more the mental aspect and the lack of sleep," said Ranford of having to prepare game plans and pick out even the slightest tendencies in the opposing shooters.

Brendan Ranford, right, hoists the American Hockey League
championship trophy, the Calder Cup, after the Texas Stars'
victory in St. John's, Nfld., June 17.

Image credit: Twitter.com

"All the detail and the video work to be done to be prepared for the next day, you're on edge. Well worth it in the end," said Ranford.

Along with the cup victories Ranford can also toast signing a new three-year deal with the Kings a few days later along with the rest of the team's hockey operations staff.

"(General manager) Dean Lombardi has done a very good job for setting us up for the future," said Ranford, who has been with the Kings for eight seasons. "He's signed long-term deals for good numbers to keep the nucleus around. We're really excited about that. (Jonathan) Quick is one of the best goaltenders in the world, and we've got an up-and-comer in (North Vancouver's Martin) Jones. We're definitely excited about our goalies moving forward."

The one negative to the new deal is having to spend much of the hockey season in L.A.

"The biggest difficulty for me is living in Los Angeles with my family (wife Kelly and daughters Cassady and Tristan) still living in New Westminster," said Ranford. "They've got their roots there. I can't do that (ask them to move). I'm the one that has to suffer being on the road, but it's something I want to do. I'm fortunate they support me. Our summers together are special."

Especially this one.

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