Everyone loves a good celebration, so whether you are cutting your own cake or wishing friends and family a happy birthday today, here are a few LA Kings players, past and present, who were also born on this day.
David Goverde – 1970 (53)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada – LA Kings Goalie (1991 – 1994)
The LA Kings drafted David Goverde in the fifth round of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft as a 20-year-old netminder from the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL. Eventually, he’d make his NHL debut in a win over the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 26, 1991. Although he had a brief call-up that season, posting a 1-1 record, Goverde returned to the IHL, where he played with the Phoenix Roadrunners.
During the 1992-93 season, he made two more appearances with the Kings, posting a 0-2-0 record before his NHL contest on Nov. 21, 1993, where he surrendered seven goals. After his brief time with his Kings, Goverde played professionally until 2003-04; however, his NHL totals were 1-4-0 with a 6.25 goals-against average and .808 save percentage.
Alexei Ponikarovsky – 1980 (43)
Kiev, USSR – LA Kings Left Wing (2010 – 2011)
Alexei Ponikarovsky played in 678 games in the NHL and would most likely be remembered for his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who drafted him in the fourth round (87th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. After eight seasons with the Maple Leafs, where he scored 257 points in 477 games, Ponikarovsky bounced around several teams before signing with the Kings as a free agent on July 27, 2010.
Unfortunately, he produced just 15 points in 61 as a member of the Kings, departing the club as a free agent to join the Carolina Hurricanes the following summer. After playing with Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, and Winnipeg Jets from 2011-2013, he returned to Russia to play in the KHL to finish his professional hockey career.
Rick Tocchet – 1964 (49)
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada – LA Kings Right Wing (1994 – 1996)
The Philadelphia Flyers drafted Rick Tocchet in the sixth round (121st overall) of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. Despite being a late-round pick, he would go on to play in 1,144 games, collect 952 points, and a Stanley Cup championship with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992. Historically, Tocchet left his mark in the NHL record book, collecting the 10th most penalty minutes with 2,970.
Throughout his career, Tocchet played with six teams, including 80 games with the Kings, where he collected 31 goals and 40 assists for 71 points. Interestingly, he came to LA in a trade for Luc Robitaille on July 29, 1994. Eventually, he’d leave the club a year later in a deal with the Boston Bruins for Kevin Stevens. Upon retirement, Tocchet got into coaching and is currently the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.