9-Year-Old Cancer Patient, Hockey Player Grace Bowen Gets Royal Treatment From The LA Kings

Nine-year old Grace Bowen, a former hockey player
who was stricken by cancer, is shown here dropping
the puck for the ceremonial opening face-off prior to
the Calgary Flames vs. LA Kings game on
February 12, 2015, at Staples Center.
Photo: Aaron Poole/NHLI/Getty Images
and the Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — On a night when the Los Angeles Kings earned a much-needed 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames at Staples Center in Los Angeles, they honored former head coach Barry Melrose during one of their Legends Nights. But they also honored one very special guest.

On February 12, nine-year-old Grace Bowen, who played right wing for the West Northumberland Wild of the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League, was honored by the Kings prior to the game.

Accompanied by her father, Greg, and her mother, Andrea, young Grace, a native of Grafton, Ontario, dropped the puck for the ceremonial opening face-off.

As reported by Pete Fisher in Northumberland Today, Prior to her birthday in April 2014, Grace was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of cancer.

Doctors found a tumor in her right femur along with a pathological fracture. Grace underwent 7 1/2 months of chemotherapy, along with “…rotation plasty surgery to remove the tumor and utilize her ankle to create a new knee. That joint will be used when Grace gets a prosthetic.”

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Frozen Royalty Audio: Wall-To-Wall Coverage Of Rob Blake’s Jersey Retirement By LA Kings

Rob Blake’s jersey number 4 now hangs from the rafters at Staples Center after it was retired by the
Los Angeles Kings on January 17, 2015.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

 

ROB BLAKE JERSEY RETIREMENT: In the final installment of a multi-part series on the Los Angeles Kings retiring superstar defenseman Rob Blake’s jersey number 4 on January 17, Frozen Royalty wraps up coverage with several audio interviews, most of which you will find only on Frozen Royalty.


EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — On January 17, the Los Angeles Kings retired former defenseman and captain Rob Blake’s jersey number 4 during a pre-game ceremony at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Over the past few days, Frozen Royalty has brought you a series of stories leading up to the ceremony on January 17, based on exclusive interviews. Below, you can listen to all of those interviews, as well as an interview with Blake after the jersey retirement ceremony.

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Mattias Norstrom Says Rob Blake “Pushed The Bar Higher” For LA Kings

ROB BLAKE JERSEY RETIREMENT: In part 4 of a multi-part series on the Los Angeles Kings retiring superstar defenseman Rob Blake’s jersey number 4 on January 17, former Kings defenseman and captain Mattias Norstrom spoke exclusively with Frozen Royalty about Blake, both as a player, and as a person.


Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman and
captain Mattias Norstrom

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings’ retirement of superstar defenseman Rob Blake’s jersey number 4 coming up tonight, Kings alumni, most notably, several of his former teammates, have made their way back to Los Angeles to pay tribute.

As one might expect, Blake’s long-time defensive partner and close friend, Mattias Norstrom, is one of those former Kings who has returned to the Los Angeles area to honor Blake.

“It means a lot to me,” Norstrom said about Blake’s jersey retirement. “I’m probably the player who’s been on the ice the most with Rob Blake. I can’t see that there’s been another player in this league who has been on the ice at same time [as much as Norstrom].”

“I’ve seen it up close, his performance on the ice,” Norstrom added. “But more importantly, I see the behind the scenes—the person that Rob Blake is. That means more to me than the player that he became. But we’ve been in this lovely game where you mesh it with what you accomplish on the ice.”

Norstrom said that he owes much of what he accomplished in the National Hockey League to Blake.

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Rob Blake’s Power And Humility Stand Out Most For LA Kings’ Jim Fox

ROB BLAKE JERSEY RETIREMENT: In part 3 of a multi-part series on the Los Angeles Kings retiring superstar defenseman Rob Blake’s jersey number 4 on January 17, Kings television color commentator Jim Fox, who covered Blake’s entire career with the Kings, spoke exclusively with Frozen Royalty. He shared his memories of Blake’s career and his impact on the organization, then and now.


Former Los Angeles Kings right wing and current television color commentator Jim Fox.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Early in the broadcasting career of former Los Angeles Kings right wing Jim Fox, who is now in his 25th year as the team’s television color commentator, a tall, lanky defenseman named Rob Blake began his ascent to becoming one of the elite defensemen in the National Hockey League in 1989-90, Fox’s first season behind the microphone.

Blake played in just four games for the Kings that season, but made it to the NHL for good the following year and never looked back

Tonight, Blake’s jersey number 4 will be retired by the Kings.

Fox had the opportunity to cover Blake’s 14 seasons with the Kings, along with more than four seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2000-01, and two seasons with the San Jose Sharks, where Blake ended his 19-year NHL career.

Despite the passage of more than twenty years since Blake broke into the NHL, the memories are still quite fresh for Fox.

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Dustin Brown and Robyn Regehr On Rob Blake’s Enduring Impact On The Game and the LA Kings

ROB BLAKE JERSEY RETIREMENT: In the second installment of a multi-part series covering the retirement of former Kings defenseman Rob Blake’s jersey number 4 on January 17, current Kings players spoke exclusively with Frozen Royalty about the jersey retirement, and about Blake’s impact on the team and the game of hockey.


LA Kings forward and captain Dustin Brown, shown here
addressing the crowd at Staples Center in Los Angeles during
the team’s 2014 Stanley Cup Championship Rally.
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the retirement of former Los Angeles Kings great Rob Blake’s jersey number 4 on January 17, as you might guess, the local media have been buzzing around the team’s practice facility in El Segundo, California, asking about Blake.

But if you look at the roster, only two players actually played with Blake, center Anze Kopitar and forward Dustin Brown, who both played with Blake during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.

“He was the captain right before I was captain,” said Brown. “We weren’t a good team, but you learned a lot from a guy like that—how he handled himself in the situation of being an older guy on a very young, inexperienced team. He helped Kopi and I kind of grow into the roles that we’re currently in.”

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