Kings Welcome Back Veteran All-Star Defenseman Rob Blake
Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not announced. "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.
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.
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.