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Kings' music director is an Olympian, too

February 20, 2010 |  1:53 pm

Close your eyes and listen to the music being played during games at Canada Hockey Place and you'll think you're at Staples Center, and with good reason.

Dieter Ruehle, who's in his 14th season as the Kings' music director and ninth with the Lakers, is also the music director for hockey games at the men's Olympic hockey venue. He's playing the same organ music and, as a DJ, playing a lot of the same tunes he does at Kings' games.

"I feel like it's something I've done for such a long time," he said Saturday. "I did it at Torino and Salt Lake City and it's something I'm comfortable doing, and the Olympic people were comfortable with it, too."

Ruehle, who is working his fourth Olympics and third Winter Games in a row, said he has a large list of music that has been pre-approved by the Vancouver Organizing Committee and so has few restrictions in picking music. The one change he has had to make from his routine at Kings' games is minor.

When the visiting team gets a penalty, he usually plays an ominous-sounding tune to rev up the crowd. "Here, I have to do it for both teams," he said. 

He has become such a star that he was the subject of a show that will air on Dutch television. "That was exciting," the Burbank resident said

This past week, while teams were plowing through the preliminary round and there were three games a day at Canada Hockey Place, Ruehle was working the last two. On Sunday, with a triple-header that starts at noon between the Czech Republic and Russia, followed by the U.S. versus Canada and Finland versus Sweden, Ruehle will work only the first game.

"I'm not complaining because I've been working some great games and I'm scheduled to work the men's and women's gold medal games," he said. "I can relax and watch some great hockey."

-- Helene Elliott in Vancouver, Canada