The Kings retired their sixth number in franchise history on January 17, 2015 – raising Rob Blake
’s #4 to STAPLES Center’s rafters.
Blake’s history with the organization stretches back to 1988, when he was selected 70th overall in the fourth round of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal, QC. A tall, lanky defenseman, Blake developed his physical prowess in the CCHA with Bowling Green University for three years before making his NHL debut with the Kings in 1990.
Blake played in a total of 14 seasons with the Kings – his first stint going from 1990 – 2001, then again from 2006 – 2008. In 805 career regular season games with Los Angeles, Blake registered 161 goals and 333 assists for a total of 494 points.
Prior to Blake’s enshrinement, the Kings retired numbers of five players from their organization. Rogie Vachon’s #30 was retired on February 14, 1985, Marcel Dionne’s #16 was retired on November 8, 1990, Dave Taylor’s #18 was retired on April 3, 1995, Wayne Gretzky’s #99 was retired on October 9, 2002, and Luc Robitaille’s #20 was retired on January 20, 2007.
On January 17, 2015 – it was Blake’s turn, in a pregame ceremony prior to that night’s contest against the Anaheim Ducks at STAPLES Center.
Every fan in attendance received a special commemorative poster signifying the night.
The maintenance crew at STAPLES Center painted #4’s on the ice behind both nets.
The stage was set.
A large number of Blake’s former Kings teammates and alumni showed up for the ceremony.
As many had forgotten, there was still a hockey game to be played that night. In honor of Blake’s retirement, all Kings players donned the #4 and a ‘Blake’ nameplate during warm ups.
Blake’s name graces the Kings’ record books in multiple categories:
4th all-time in Games Played: 805
5th all-time in Game-Winning Goals: 29
4th all-time in Penalty Minutes: 1,231
5th all-time in Power Play Goals: 92
Blake currently serves as Dean Lombardi’s right-hand man as the club’s assistant General Manager, a position he was hired for in July of 2013 when Ron Hextall left the organization after serving that role for seven years. Blake, at the same time, was appointed as the General Manager of the Manchester Monarchs – a title he will carry over to the Ontario Reign this upcoming season as they embark on their first season in the American Hockey League.