Hockey legend and radio color commentator, Daryl Evans, talks about his hockey inspirations, his post-NHL career, and how he’s staying active during the quarantine. Evans, like many sports fans, has taken time to refocus during the coronavirus pandemic and has high hopes for the return of the season.
Evans predicts that NHL will come back without an audience and it will be a welcome relief to sports fans. He thinks the NHL will be able to pick up where their season left off and anticipates the league playing late into the summer.
“It’s given us an opportunity to hit the reset button and really find out what’s important…it gives us a better appreciation for the simpler things in life whether it’s a handshake or embracing someone with a hug,” Evan said. “It’s a little message to reset and make this place a better place once we get through this.”
Evans and Bernstein share their favorite hockey memories and recount the “Miracle on Manchester” which occurred on April 10 in 1982. The Los Angeles Kings were down 5 goals against the Edmonton Oilers going into the third period. With five seconds on the clock, the Kings tied the game and took it to overtime. Evans scored a slapshot; completing the biggest single-game comeback in Stanley Cup playoffs history. The Oilers were eliminated by the Kings, 3-2, in the first-round series.
“That entire series there’s a lot of things that fell into place,” Evans said. “I never get tired of talking about it.”
After this history-making moment, Evans recounts his post-hockey career from traveling the world as a coach to selling cars. He reconnected with the Kings and got his start in radio thanks to a 30-second radio spot for Martin Cadillac.
With a little bit of serendipity, he ended up broadcasting his first Kings game with Nick Nickson, who was the team’s play-by-play radio analyst at the time. He filled in as an announcer for 17 games in 1999 while managing Martin Cadillac, and serving president of the Kings Alumni Association. Once Staples Center opened he became the Director of Premiere Seat and Suite Sales.
“It just came together, It’s been magical for the last 21 years now,” said Evans, who’s called every Kings game for the last 21 years.
As both a player and commentator, Evans spoke about the overwhelming loyalty of the roughly 8,000 Kings fans.
“We owe a lot to them. They kept things going, they were the fuel that fired the Kings up when you see the passion in those people that encourages you to go out into your communities and support local businesses,” Evans said.
When the team won their first championship both Bernstein and Evans were able to witness the joy and emotion of the fans.
“It was that moment of seeing the same faces. Those people who have been on the same carpet ride with us]” Evans said. “Twenty-twelve will be something that you never forget. Not a lot of people get to experience a franchise’s first championship.”
Evans gives back to the fans and the Los Angeles community through volunteer efforts, donations, and a hockey-linked fundraiser. He has pledged $100 for every Kings’ power-play goal scored to various charities across Southern California. He also teaches youth and women’s hockey clinics as a way to share the game that means so much to him.
“I wish there were more hours in the day,” Evans said.
Listen to the full podcast here.