LA Kings LW Prospect Maxim Kitsyn: “It’s Just Me. I Have To Be Better…It’s Not Anybody Else”

LA Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn, shown here
playing for the ECHL’s Ontario Reign.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — When we last checked in with Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn in December 2014, his head coach said that “he wills his way, every shift.”

A couple of months later, that hasn’t changed.

“You know [that] when he puts on the uniform, he’s going to give you 110 percent,” said Jason Christie, head coach of the Ontario Reign, the Kings’ current ECHL affiliate. “You see him out there—he works, he competes. That’s why he got a call up—because he battles. He’s determined. I think that’s the biggest thing—how determined he is, as a player.”

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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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