LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Kings defenseman Rob Blake will serve as Kings captain for the 2007-08 season, Kings head coach Marc Crawford announced from London. Joining left wing Scott Thornton as assistant captains are defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky and left wing Michael Cammalleri.
“Rob and these players have the professionalism, drive and intensity that will be necessary for the Kings to keep improving in a very competitive NHL,” said Crawford from London.
Blake, 37, previously served as Kings captain from 1996-01 and as a Kings assistant captain during the 2006-07 season (Click here for a complete history of the Kings Captaincy). The 6-4, 225-pound native of Simcoe, Ontario, who will open his 18th NHL season ranked first in career goals (214), seventh in career assists (457) and fourth in career points (671) among active defensemen in the NHL, is a two-time winner of the club’s Most Valuable Player award and six times during his career he has been recognized as the Kings Outstanding Defenseman. Blake is also a two-time recipient of the Kings Community Service award, and a past winner of both the club’s Most Popular Player award and Most Inspirational Player award.
Blake, a Stanley Cup Champion with Colorado in 2001, is also a past winner of the Norris Trophy as he was voted the NHL’s top defenseman as a King in 1998. He also was a finalist for the same award in 2000. In addition, Blake was a First Team All-Star in 1998 and a Second Team All-Star in 2000, 2001 and 2002. The blue-liner has also skated in the NHL’s annual All-Star Game seven times (twice as a starter), and he was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team in 1991.
Thornton, 36, is in his second season with the Kings and 17th in the NHL, having previously played for San Jose, Dallas, Montreal, Edmonton and Toronto. The 6-3, 220-pound native of London, Ontario, served as a Kings assistant captain in 2006-07, and he was San Jose’s nominee for the Kings Clancy Memorial Trophy, an award given annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities both on and off the ice, in 2005-06.
Visnovsky, 31, is in his seventh season with the Kings and the NHL. The 5-10, 188-pound native of Topolcany, Slovakia, represented the Kings in the NHL’s annual All-Star Game and set a career high with 18 goals last season while leading all Kings defensemen in scoring for a second consecutive season. Visnovsky, a member of the NHL’s All-Rookie Team in 2000-01, has won several team awards during his Kings career including the club’s Most Valuable Player award, the Best Newcomer award and the Leading Scorer award. He is also a three-time winner of the club’s Outstanding Defenseman award.
Cammalleri, 25, is in his fifth season with the Kings and the NHL. The 5-9, 185-pound native of Richmond Hill, Ontario, set career highs in goals (34), power play goals (16), game-winning goals (5), assists (46) and points (80) while leading the Kings in scoring for the 2006-07 season. Thanks to his breakout season, Cammalleri was also named the club’s Most Valuable Player last season.
The Kings’ 2007-08 regular season opener is set for tomorrow at the O2 Arena in London with the game against the Ducks scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (PT). The game will be broadcast on FSN Prime Ticket, on KTLK AM 1150 and on the Kings Radio Network.
The Kings and Ducks then face-off against each other again on Sunday at the O2 Arena with that game also scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (PT). Sunday’s game will be broadcast on VERSUS, on KTLK AM 1150 and on the Kings Radio Network, and following both games hear special international editions of “Kings Talk,” the club’s popular post-game radio call-in show, with Kings radio broadcasters Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans taking questions and comments from fans.