Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2003-04 Los Angeles Kings Noah Clarke Jersey

Noah Clarke was born in 1979 in La Verne, California, 44 miles from The Forum, home of the Los Angeles Kings. Clarke was nine years old and already a Kings fan when Wayne Gretzky was dealt to the Kings. No doubt influenced by Gretzky's arrival in Southern California - a phenomenon known as "The Gretzky Effect" which resulted in a dramatic increase in youth hockey in California, Clarke took up playing hockey and has been quoted as saying that some of the rinks he ended up playing on probably wouldn't have been there if not for Gretzky's presence in Los Angeles.

Clarke moved to Minnesota to play at Shattuck-St. Mary's to further his hockey career, which led to him joining the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League. After two years of play in the USHL, averaging more than a point a game as well as being drafted by his hometown Los Angeles Kings, Clarke became a member of Colorado College Tigers of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association under head coach Scott Owens, who had coached him in Des Moines.

Clarke immediately led the Tigers in scoring as a freshman with 37 points in 39 games. After consistent seasons of 32 and 37 points, Clarke exploded for 21 goals and 49 assists for 70 points in 42 games as a senior to lead the nation in assists and finish second overall to teammate and Hobey Baker Award winner Peter Sejna.

Following the conclusion of his college career, Clarke played three games with the Kings minor league affiliate the Manchester Monarchs in preparation for a full season with the Monarchs in 2003-04, as well as a pair of games with the Kings, the first of which came on this date in 2003 when Clarke became the first native Californian to ever play for the Kings in their 37 year history. He also scored his first NHL point with an assist on Jon Sim's goal in the Kings 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Clarke Kings
Clarke wearing the Kings Vintage jersey style
during his NHL debut on this date in 2003

Clarke spent the next three seasons with the Monarchs, including highs of 24 goals and 57 points in the 2006-07 season. Clarke also played another five games with the Kings in 2005-06 and 13 more in 2006-07 which included his first two NHL goals, the first of which came on March 12, 2007, which was also the first Kings goal ever scored by a Californian.

Clarke Kings

Unable to crack the Kings lineup, Clarke signed with the New Jersey Devils, who assigned him to their AHL affiliate, the Lowell Devils. Clarke played 47 games with Lowell, scoring 14 goals and 31 points. He also was called up for a single game with New Jersey in which he scored a goal.

Clarke Devils

Clarke then moved to Europe to continue his career in 2008-09, first with HC Ambri-Piotta of the Swiss National League A for 28 games before moving to Lukko Rauma of the Finnish SM-Liiga. He returned to HC Ambri-Piotta to start the 2009-10 season before changing teams again, this time moving to Slavia Praha HC in the Czech Republic.

Noah Clarke Ambri Piotta
Clarke while with Ambri Piotta in Switzerland

For the 2010-11 season Clarke signed with the Augsburg Panthers of the German DEL with whom he scored 17 goals and 47 points in 52 games. He played an abbreviated 2011-12 season of 18 games with Munich EHC, also of the DEL and skated for the Belfast Giants of the EIHL where he had a fine season of 21 goals and 58 points in 52 games, his first season averaging more than a point per season since his final year at Colorado College.

Clarke concluded his time in the NHL with 21 games, 3 goals and 1 assist for 4 points.

To date, the only other native of California to play for the Kings was Gabe Gauthier of Torrance, California, who skated for the Kings in five games in the 2006-07 season without a point.

For an extensive interview with Clarke, please visit MayorsManor.com.

Today's featured jersey is a 2003-04 Los Angeles Kings Noah Clarke jersey. The Kings first introduced this jersey style in 1998-99 with the coat of arms logo on the front, but after four seasons of use swapped the primary and secondary logos, putting the crown on the front and relegating the coat of arms to the shoulders beginning in 2002-03.

It was replaced by a similar, but different, style when converted to the new Reebok Edge jerseys in 2007-08, with the main difference being the purple waist stripe being eliminated with the word Los Angeles remaining in purple lettering.

The white version remained in use through 2010-11 after which the team's black alternate was promoted to the primary home jersey and a new reverse color white version becoming the new road. The home black lived on as the team's third jersey through 2012-13 until being discontinued, once again leaving the team without any purple in their color palette for the first time in 14 years.

Los Angeles Kings 2005-06 jersey photo LosAngelesKings2005-06Fjersey-1.jpg
Los Angeles Kings 2005-06 jersey photo LosAngelesKings2005-06Bjersey-1.jpg

Today's video section begins with a look at the intensity of the fans of Ambri Piotta in Switzerland.

Here in an interview with Clarke following his first NHL goal as a member of the Kings, the first California-born player to ever score for Los Angeles.

Here is a clip of Clarke scoring his only goal while with the New Jersey Devils and an unfortunate slip of the tongue by the announcer while recapping Clarke's stats. Oops.


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