KINGS WELCOME BACK DEFENSEMAN ROB BLAKE
"Rob Blake is a special player and more importantly a special person," said Lombardi. "He belongs in a Kings uniform."
The highest scoring defenseman in Kings' history, Blake, 36, was originally drafted by the Kings (fourth-round/70th overall) in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-2, 225-pound native of Simcoe, Ontario, spent 12 seasons in a Kings uniform during which time he became the first King to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman (1998) and served as the team's captain from 1996-2001. He was also a member of the 1993 Kings team that reached the Stanley Cup Finals.
This past season, Blake played in 81 regular season games with the Colorado Avalanche and had 51 points (14-37=51), 94 penalty minutes, a plus-2 rating, seven power-play goals, one short-handed goal, one game-winning goal and 264 shots, with the 51 points topping all Colorado blueliners. In nine post-season games, he had four points (3-1=4), eight penalty minutes, a plus-1 rating, two power-play goals, one game-winning goal and 42 shots.
In 984 career regular season games with the Avalanche and the Kings, Blake has 637 points (200-437=637) and 1,329 penalty minutes. In 125 career playoff games with the Avalanche and Kings, Blake has 67 points (24-43=67) and 152 penalty minutes.
Traded by the Kings to Colorado on February 21, 2001, with Steven Reinprecht for Adam Deadmarsh, Aaron Miller, Jared Aulin and a first-round draft choice in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft (David Steckel), Blake, with the Kings, was a four-time NHL All-Star (1994, 1997, 1999 and 2000, when he was selected as a starter for the first time); was named to the NHL All-Star First Team (1997-98) and the NHL All-Star Second Team (1999-00); and was an NHL All-Rookie Selection (in 1990-91).
With the Avalanche, among Blake's many highlights were: A Stanley Cup victory in 2001; three All-Star Game appearances (2002, 2003 and 2004); and an NHL Second Team All-Star selection in 2002.
On the Kings' all-time scoring list, Blake ranks first in goals (138), assists (291) and points (429) among defensemen, and 10th overall in individual scoring. His 291 assists rank eighth all-time while his 138 goals rank 13th overall.
On the Kings' all-time top-10 list, Blake ranks sixth in games played (662), fourth in penalty minutes (1,051) and sixth in power-play goals (76). His 662 games played was a franchise record for club defenseman before it was surpassed by Mattias Norstrom on November 26, 2005.
On the Kings' all-time playoff list, Blake is tied for fifth in games played (57), 10th in all-time scoring with 24 points (8-16=24) and tied for 10th with 16 assists. He co-holds the record for most goals by a defenseman in one playoff year (four in 1993), and he co-holds the record of most assists by a defenseman in one playoff game (Kings versus Vancouver, April 10, 1991) with three, while the results of that game also tied a record for most assists by a rookie in one playoff game.
Blake led all Kings defensemen in scoring six times (1992-93, 1993-94, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-00). He led all NHL defensemen in goals scored in 1997-98 with 23 goals, and in 1990-91 he led all NHL rookie defensemen in scoring with 46 points (12-34=46). In 1999-00, his final full season as a King, Blake ranked third in scoring among all defensemen with 57 points (18-39=57) and he was a finalist for the Norris Trophy. Blake also recorded his only career hat trick as a King on December 14, 2000, versus the New York Rangers.
Blake has earned the following team awards as a King: Most Valuable Player – twice (1997-98 and 1999-00); Outstanding Defenseman - six times (1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1997-98 and 1999-00); Most Popular Player – once (1997-98); Most Inspirational Player – once (1998-99); and Community Service – three times (1995-96, 1998-99 and 1999-00).
Blake made his NHL debut with the Kings on March 27, 1990, versus Winnipeg. He scored his first NHL goal in a playoff game on April 12, 1990, in Game 5 of a first-round post-season series at Calgary. Prior to joining the Kings, he was a Hobey Baker Award finalist during his three-year tenure at Bowling Green University.
Internationally, Blake has represented his native Canada at numerous tournaments. Among his highlights are: a Gold Medal at the 2002 Olympic Games; named Top Defenseman for Team Canada at the 1998 Olympic Games; and named Top Defenseman at the 1997 World Championship.
Rob and his wife, Brandy, have two children, a son Jack and a daughter Brooke. They reside in Manhattan Beach.