Above: Steve King holding the Providence Bruins’ only ever championship AHL Caldor Cup in 1999. Submitted photo
By Cameron Pellegrino
East Greenwich native and former National Hockey League player Steven King was inducted into the Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame during a Providence Bruins game last month.
“It’s a great honor,” King said. “So many great players, coaches and contributors to the game of hockey in Rhode Island and to be among those honored is very special.”
King played hockey for Bishop Hendricken before spending his college years at Brown University, where he scored an impressive 56 career goals. Following his senior year at Brown, the National Hockey League’s New York Rangers selected King with the 21st overall pick in the 1991 NHL Supplemental Draft. Throughout the next decade, he spent time with various teams across the NHL, and its affiliated minor league, the AHL. King notched 145 AHL goals, along with 100 assists, while adding another 17 goals and 8 assists in the NHL, for the New York Rangers and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. These stellar achievements ultimately led to his recent induction into the Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame.
One of five players inducted into the 2023 class, King has had time to reflect on his hockey career. The former Rhode Island hockey star attributes his start to both the passionate hockey culture in the state, as well as the opportunities he was given throughout high school and during his college career.
King grew up in a hockey-loving family. His father, Howie King, was the prime mover behind the creation of Mid-State Arena, a hockey rink in East Greenwich on land long since taken over to the state Department of Transportation (by Route 95 and New London Turnpike).
“Being born and raised in Rhode Island and growing up watching all of the legendary players at the high school, college and pro level while I was young was certainly inspirational,” King said. “Then, being part of a great high school rivalry between Hendricken and Mount Saint Charles, playing with and against players that would go on to play in the NHL and Olympics and college hockey, propelled me to a college hockey opportunity at Brown University for four great years.” King said he “worked his way through the ups and downs” of NHL life, first with the Rangers and then with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
One of King’s greatest Rhode Island hockey achievements was helping the Providence Bruins win their first, and to this day, their only AHL Calder Cup, during the 1998-99 season. He came out of retirement to captain the P-Bruins through the playoffs, which was a truly meaningful way to close out his career.
“Being a Rhode Islander and a Bruins fan growing up and with so many family and friends in the stands the night at the Civic Center when we hoisted the Calder Cup really was the culmination of a lot of hard work and my career coming full circle back to my Rhode Island roots.”
Cameron Pelligrino is a senior at East Greenwich High School.