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Ralph Backstrom served as the Kings assistant coach under Bob Berry during the 1980-81 season. Prior to joining the Kings, Backstrom spent three years as an assistant coach and director of recruiting at Denver University after his retirement as a player in 1977.

A native of Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Backstrom was the captain of the 1958 Memorial Cup Champion Ottawa-Hull Junior Canadiens and was voted by the media as the best junior player in Canada. The following season, he signed with the Montreal Canadiens, won the Calder Trophy as the Rookie of the Year and helped his team win the first of his six Stanley Cups. There are only nine players in Stanley Cup competition dating back to 1893 that have their name inscribed on the cup more than six times.

A veteran of 15 National Hockey League seasons, Backstrom spent 12 years with the Montreal Canadiens, playing on six Stanley Cup champion clubs with Montreal. Lifetime in the NHL Backstrom played 1,032 games, scoring 278 goals and 639 points.

Backtrom finished his NHL career with the Kings and Chicago. Backstrom came to the Kings on Jan. 26, 1971 in exchange for Gord Labossiere, Ray Fortin and a second round 1973 draft (Peter Marrin). Backstrom played in 172 games with the Kings, scoring 57-71=128. He was dealt to Chicago on Feb. 26, 1973 for Dan Maloney. He then signed with the Chicago Cougars of the World Hockey Association, playing two seasons there before finishing his active career in the WHA with Denver, Ottawa and New England.

After his time with the Kings, Backstrom went on to coach the University of Denver Pioneers for nine seasons (1981-90) winning the Coach of the Year award in 1986, posting a 182-174-14 mark during his time with the Pioneers. He then coached the Phoenix Roadrunners of the International Hockey League from 1990-92 before starting up Roller Hockey International serving as the senior vice president and commissioner from 1992-99.

From 1999-02, Backstrom served as a scout for the St. Louis Blues. He was then was named president and general manager of the CHL's Colorado Eagles in 2003-04 before retiring from hockey on July 31, 2007, after 53 years of hockey.