Earlier this week, players and owners in the National Hockey League settled a labor dispute that spanned five months and came precariously close to wiping out the entire season. Kevin Westgarth ’07, a former Princeton standout and right wing for the Los Angeles Kings, and fellow alum George Parros ’03 of the Florida Panthers were among the players who negotiated the new deal. “It felt like driving your car on the edge of a cliff,” Westgarth told The Los Angeles Times. “We could still get to where we had to go, but at any moment we could fall off the edge.”
In December, The New York Times profiled Westgarth, an Ontario native who is the son of two veterinarians. Westgarth has played in just 90 games in three NHL seasons, but he earned a prominent role in the negotiations as his team’s representative. He told the Times that he has been balancing sports with more cerebral pursuits since childhood: “My parents said you can play hockey if you do well at school. I was lucky — it came relatively easy.”
At Princeton, Westgarth played alongside his older brother, Brett ’07, and majored in psychology. He was a strong and skilled forward who ranked among the Tigers’ top scorers in his junior and senior two seasons. As a professional, the 6-foot-4-inch Westgarth has become known as an enforcer — a physically imposing player who is willing to fight on the ice. He’ll return to that role later this month when the Kings begin their defense of the Stanley Cup.
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