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.
Mathieu Chouinard – 1980 (43)
Laval, Quebec, Canada – LA Kings Goalie (2003 – 2004)
Mathiew Chouinard achieved something so many people can only dream about, which is to play in the NHL. As a first-round pick (15th overall) in the 1998 Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators, he stayed in the QMJHL, compiling a 104-61-13 record over four seasons, reentering the draft in 2000. Although he dropped to the second round, where the Senators redrafted him with the 45th selection, he remained in the minors, playing in the IHL, AHL, and ECHL before taking an assignment with the Binghamton Senators in 2002-03.
Chouinard played just four games with the Sens organization, producing a 2-0 record and a .932 save percentage before signing with the LA Kings as a free agent on July 7, 2003. As a 23-year-old, he suited up with the Manchester Monarchs going 10-6 in 22 games before a call-up to the NHL. Eventually, Chouinard would appear in a game, playing just 2:43 in a 6-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 29, 2004, at the Honda Center.
After turning away the two shots, he never appeared in another NHL contest finishing his professional career bouncing between the AHL and ECHL. Ultimately, Chouinard retired at the end of 2005-06 while playing with the Phoenix Roadrunners. Upon leaving the game as a player, he became a coach in his native Quebec, currently serving as a head coach for the Concordia University Division 2 team based in Montreal.