Everyone loves a good celebration, so whether you are cutting your own cake or wishing friends and family a happy birthday today, here are a few LA Kings players, past and present, who were also born on this day.
Tobias Björnfot – 2001 (22)
LA Kings Defenseman (2019 – Present)
Tobias Björnfot was a first-round pick (22nd overall) of the LA Kings in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, who debuted as an 18-year-old on opening night on Oct. 5, 2019, against the Edmonton Oilers. Currently, the native of Upplands Vasby, Sweden, has appeared in 115 games (nine during 2022-23), collecting 15 points and a minus-18 rating.
Interestingly, his only NHL goal came on May 1, 2021, against Ryan Miller and the Anaheim Ducks in a 6-2 loss at the Honda Center. Although Björnfot has not made many headlines thus far in his career, he did catch the media’s attention when he gave up his number 33 so Viktor Arvidsson could have it when he arrived from Nashville at the 2022 trade deadline.
After switching to jersey number 7, he became just the 22nd player in Kings’ history to wear the number, following in the footsteps of Rob Scuderi, Tomas Sandström, Phil Sykes, and Mike Murphy.
Mike Blake – 1956 – 2022 (66)
LA Kings Goalie (1981 – 1984)
Mike Blake was born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, and was the nephew of Hockey Hall of Famer Toe Blake, a legendary player and coach with the Montreal Canadiens. Although Blake was an undrafted prospect, he joined the Kings organization for the 1981-82 season, appearing in 40 NHL games after a stellar career with Ohio State University.
After compiling a 48-28-4 record over four seasons in college, he made his NHL debut on Mar. 24, 1982, making two saves in a relief appearance during a 5-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Interestingly, Blake would become a part of history just four days later in his first start against the Edmonton Oilers. As Wayne Gretzky continued his march towards 100 goals in the regular season, Blake surrendered goal #92, which remains the NHL record to this day.
Sadly, he passed away on Nov. 29, 2022, at 66.
Steve Short – 1954 (69)
LA Kings Left Winger (1977 – 1978)
Steve Short played in six NHL games, suiting up for five with the LA Kings in 1977-78, followed by one game with the Detroit Red Wings in 1978-79. Furthermore, the former eighth-round pick (142nd overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1974 Amateur Draft never scored a point during his brief tenure in the league, finishing with a minus-five rating, two shots on goal, and a single penalty on his resume.
Although Short was a property of the Jets during their stint in the WHA, he never played for them. Instead, he spent most of his professional hockey career in the AHL, CHL, and IHL. Additionally, his AHL totals included 78 points (15 goals and 63 assists) in 337 games with the Richmond Robins, Springfield Indians, and Adirondack Red Wings.