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Hall Of Famer Larry Murphy: The LA Kings’ First Offensive Defenseman

LA KINGS HISTORY: Defenseman Larry Murphy won four Stanley Cup Championships, two with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and two with the Detroit Red Wings, in a 21-year National Hockey League career that culminated in his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. But fewer and fewer people remember that Murphy began his NHL career with the Los Angeles Kings in 1980. In the first installment of a series based on exclusive interviews, Frozen Royalty looks back at Murphy’s time with the Kings.


Former LA Kings star defenseman Larry Murphy, shown here during the Kings Fantasy Camp on March 12, 2015, at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Many may know Larry Murphy from his work on Detroit Red Wings broadcasts before he left Fox Sports Detroit a couple of years ago, or maybe you saw him as an analyst in spot duty on the NHL Network.

Older hockey fans might remember Murphy as a player, most recently with the Red Wings. He also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota North Stars and the Washington Capitals.

Many Kings fans are likely to be unfamiliar with Murphy since he spent the vast majority of his career playing for teams based in the Eastern time zone. But Murphy started his National Hockey League career with the Los Angeles Kings, who selected him in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft.

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LA Kings Luc Robitaille Honored With Statue Erected At Staples Center – In Photos

LA Kings President/Business Operations Luc Robitaille (left), his family, and “Voice of the Kings” Bob Miller (right)
look on as a statue of Robitaille is unveiled at Staples Center on March 7, 2015.
Photo: David Sheehan, CaliShooterOne Photography/FrozenRoyalty.net

 

LOS ANGELES — The Anschutz Entertainment Group honored former Los Angeles Kings left wing and current President/Business Operations Luc Robitaille by erecting a statue of him in Star Plaza at Staples Center on March 7, 2015.

A large crowd of fans, Kings alumni and honored guests, witnessed the statue unveiling, including former Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Mario Lemieux, and two others with statues in Star Plaza: former Los Angeles Lakers superstar guard and former general manager Jerry West, and former Kings superstar Wayne Gretzky.

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Frozen Royalty Video: LA Kings Luc Robitaille Talks About His New Statue

LA Kings President/Business Operations Luc Robitaille
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Prior to the start of the Los Angeles Kings game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Staples Center on March 7, 2015, the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the retail, real estate and entertainment conglomerate that owns Staples Center, L.A. Live, the Kings, and much more, will honor former Kings great and current President/Business Operations Luc Robitaille with the unveiling of a statue of Robitaille in Staples Center’s Star Plaza.

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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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