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LA Kings Assistant GM Rob Blake Talks About First Year On The Job, Upcoming Jersey Retirement

LOS ANGELES — A little more than one year ago, the Los Angeles Kings brought former superstar defenseman Rob Blake back into the fold, naming him as their assistant general manager on July 17, 2013, replacing Ron Hextall, who returned to the Philadelphia Flyers as their assistant general manager (he was soon elevated to the general manager’s position on May 7, 2014).

Upon hiring Blake, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi indicated that, like anyone new to the job, Blake would be eased into his new position.

But almost 13 months have passed since Blake was brought on board. How have things gone so far in his new job?

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Transition From College Hockey To The AHL Hasn’t Been Easy For LA Kings D Prospect Derek Forbort

LA KINGS PROSPECT WATCH: Throughout the summer, Frozen Royalty will be taking a look at several of the Los Angeles Kings’ young prospects. In this installment, the focus is on 2010 first round selection, defenseman Derek Forbort. An audio interview with Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake is also included.

LOS ANGELES — As it often is for young players making the jump from major junior hockey in Canada to the professional ranks, moving from college hockey to the pros can be very challenging, if not very, very difficult.

Defenseman Derek Forbort, who was selected by the Kings in the first round (15th overall) of the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, played in the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program before heading to the University of North Dakota (UND) for three seasons.

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LA Kings Goalie Prospect J.F. Berube Looks To Take An Even Bigger Step Forward In 2014-15

LA KINGS PROSPECT WATCH: Throughout the summer, Frozen Royalty will be taking a look at several of the Los Angeles Kings’ young prospects. In this installment, the focus is on 2009 fourth round selection, goaltender Jean-Francois Berube. Audio interviews with Berube and Kim Dillabaugh, who handles goaltender development for the Kings, are also included.

LOS ANGELES — Back on June 13, 2014, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, more than one hour after the Los Angeles Kings had won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship by defeating the New York Rangers in Game 5, 3-2 in double overtime, most of the Kings players had retreated into their dressing room as their own, private celebration had begun.

But a few players remained on the ice, soaking in the atmosphere. This handful of players also hoisted hockey’s version of the Holy Grail, but only briefly, and they did not skate with the Stanley Cup at all.

Those players were some of the Black Aces—young prospects who had been recalled during the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, to observe rather than play.

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A Glimpse At The Critical Role Development Has Played In LA Kings’ Championships

2014 DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Frozen Royalty begins its coverage of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2014 Development Camp with a story on what the team is trying to accomplish during their annual camp for their young prospects and the impact their development staff has had on the team’s success. ALSO: listen to an audio interview with former Kings left wing Mike Donnelly, now on the team’s development and scouting staffs.

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The hockey world is now in what should probably be known as The Dreaded Lull, that period between the height of unrestricted free agent signings on July 1, and the start of National Hockey League training camps in mid-September, a period when it seems like everything related to the game has been sucked into a black hole.

The result: hockey fans are bored out of their minds, clamoring for any little tidbit of something hockey-related to help them survive the two-and-a-half months before training camps open.

Something that helps fans cope is that NHL teams now have development camps for their young prospects in July and August, giving fans and hockey media alike something to chew on during The Dreaded Lull, and the Los Angeles Kings are no exception.

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