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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LA Kings Rob Blake And That Big Elephant In The Room

ROB BLAKE JERSEY RETIREMENT: Frozen Royalty begins a series of stories covering the Los Angeles Kings retiring Rob Blake’s jersey number 4 on January 17. Exclusive interviews with one current and two former Kings players will help us handle the first task…dealing with the big elephant in the room.


Former Los Angeles Kings superstar defenseman Rob Blake, now the team’s Vice President/Assistant General Manager, will have his jersey number 4 retired by the team on January 17, 2015.
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — As we get closer to January 17, the day when the Los Angeles Kings will retire former superstar defenseman Rob Blake’s jersey number 4, there is that big elephant in the room that should be dispensed with, one way or the other.

To be sure, there are Kings faithful who resent Blake for the way he left the organization after the 2007-08 season. Some also hold a grudge against him regarding his departure at the trade deadline during the 2000-01 season.

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Is LA Kings Rookie D Brayden McNabb Finding His Game Just In The Nick Of Time?

LA Kings rookie defenseman Brayden McNabb (right), shown here during a recent practice with Martin Jones
in goal and forward Andy Andreoff (left) just barely in the picture.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

 

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — Rookie defenseman Brayden McNabb was in his coaches’ doghouse.

Indeed, he was a healthy scratch in four of the Los Angeles Kings’ last seven games, and in three straight games prior to returning to the lineup on January 10, in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets at Staples Center in Los Angeles. But the 23-year-old, 6-4, 208-pound native of Davidson, Saskatchewan took quite the leap forward on January 12, and perhaps just in the nick of time, helping the Kings shutout the Toronto Maple Leafs, 2-0, at Staples Center.

Against the Maple Leafs, McNabb played what was, arguably, his best game of the season with solid positional play, smart reads, good, quick decisions and strong physical play.

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You Might Be Wondering, “What Now,” But Not The LA Kings

LA Kings center prospect Nick Shore, shown here with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumprecht

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — After losing right wing Tyler Toffoli to mononucleosis, seeing left wing Tanner Pearson slide, feet first, into the end boards, suffering a fractured fibula, and knowing that the Los Angeles Kings are not playing well in their own zone, many are probably wondering…

What now?

But the Kings are not asking that question, at least, not publicly.

“It hurts losing those guys,” said defenseman Jake Muzzin. “They bring a lot of energy and a lot of offensive ability, but we’ve got other guys who can step up, no problem.”

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