Kelly Hrudey was back on duty Saturday night.
He was at Staples Center in his role as a commentator for “Hockey Night in Canada.”
He also were there to be honored as part of the Kings’ Legends Night series.
Riding in the elevator with reporters only minutes before a rousing pregame ceremony, Hrudey admitted feeling nervous. He told a pack of reporters one day earlier at the Kings’ practice facility in El Segundo that he was “honored” by the gesture of the reigning Stanley Cup champions.
“But the other word that comes to mind is embarrassed,” Hrudey said Friday. “I don’t know if anybody ever thinks that once your time is done with an organization that they’re going to honor you. You think you’re going to do your best and you move on and they move on.
“So, I’m really excited about it. Beyond excited. And really nervous.”
Hrudey, with his distinctive bandana beneath his goalie mask, played with the Kings for eight of his 15 NHL seasons and helped to guide them to an unexpected run to the 1993 Stanley Cup Final. The Kings lost to the Montreal Canadiens, but they created a remarkable buzz in Los Angeles that spring.
Hrudey said watching the Kings hoist the Cup last season brought a flood of emotions.
“I was trying to hold it in,” he said Friday. “It was just we were so close … and the experience that I went through in the Final wasn’t very good, and I would suspect all of my teammates feel that same way. That it’s my biggest disappointment. Nothing comes close to that.
“And so to see the Kings win last year was really exciting for all of us, and emotional, like I said. They earned it. They were a hard, hard team to play against the last couple of months of the regular season. It carried right through and they just steamrolled everybody.”
The eighth-seeded Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils in six games last June.
Hrudey had a great seat for the Kings’ first Cup title while working for the CBC.