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Glendale resident Paul LaGloire has shown no signs of his hockey career slowing down

Hockey: On the ice, 85-year-old is young at heart.

August 07, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • Glendale resident Paul LaGloire, 85, prepares for a hockey pick-up game at the Pickwick Gardens Ice Skating Rink in Burbank on July 25, 2013. LaGloire runs and participates in pick-up games throughout the year. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
Glendale resident Paul LaGloire, 85, prepares for a hockey…

Paul LaGloire arrived at Pickwick Ice in Burbank on a warm mid-summer morning with his large black equipment bag in tow, full of many items he’s been used to putting on for nearly 80 years.

The oversized bag contained a pair of skates, long socks, gloves, helmet, visor and a jersey sporting No. 28 in reference to LaGloire’s birth year of 1928. He diligently straps on each piece of attire before preparing to hit the ice for a pick-up game at the facility’s rink with a group of players mostly half his age.

LaGloire, a native of Bromont, Quebec, about 50 miles east of Montreal, doesn’t shy away from being 85. He gracefully accepts it, often joking with his teammates and opponents in his still-thick French accent.

He’s widely respected for his knowledge and appreciation of the game.

There are no clear indications that he’s slowing down while breaking up a pass or launching a shot on goal to the amazement of the other 11 players dotted on the ice during a shift that typically spans one minute 45 seconds.

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“You come into the locker room ready to do what you love and that’s playing hockey,” said the 5-10 LaGloire, a father of three who has resided in Glendale since 1969. “It’s almost like being in a private social club in that we are all here talking about different things that lead up to hockey and you never get tired of it.

“We have people in our pick-up games who are police officers, doctors, business owners, teachers and actors. We share that common link of hockey a few times a week and there’s no place I’d rather be right now. I feel the same about hockey now as I did when I was 5 playing on a rink right up the street from where I lived.”

LaGloire, a left-handed shooting defenseman paired with his 58-year-old son, JP, is recognized around Pickwick and at The Ice Station in Valencia, where he also plays one game a week in addition to the two weekly contests at Pickwick. LaGloire, who was invited by the Los Angeles Kings to drop the ceremonial first puck at the Kings’ contest against the Dallas Stars on April 21 at Staples Center in honor of his 85th birthday, caught the attention of a small throng watching him complete during a stint on the ice.

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