On Saturday night, Rob Blake’s popular No. 4 jersey will be retired by the Kings at STAPLES Center in a special pregame ceremony.
THE KINGS ARE ENCOURAGING FANS TO BE IN THEIR SEATS NO LATER THAN 6:30 P.M. THE ON-ICE CEREMONY -- WHICH WILL BE HOSTED BY BOB MILLER AND WILL FEATURE CLOSE TO 40 FORMER KINGS PLAYERS -- WILL ALSO AIR LIVE IN ITS ENTIRETY ON FOX SPORTS WEST AND ON RADIO ON KABC 790 AM.
No. 4 will join No. 20 (Luc Robitaille); No. 99 (Wayne Gretzky); No. 18 (Dave Taylor); No. 16 (Marcel Dionne); and No. 30 (Rogie Vachon) in the arena rafters.
Here is more on these Kings Legends…as Rob Blake JOINS THE CLUB! #4INTHERAFTERS
One of hockey’s great goaltenders during his illustrious 16-year NHL career, Rogie Vachon became the first player to have his number retired by the Kings when he was honored on February 14, 1985.
Vachon spent seven seasons (1971-72 to 1977-78) with the Kings as a player, putting an indelible mark on the club’s record book. He is the Kings’ all-time leader in games played (389) and shutouts (32), and he is second in wins (171). Perhaps his greatest season wearing the Forum purple and gold was 1974-75, the year Vachon posted a 27-14-13 record (including six shutouts) and a 2.24 goals-against-average. The Hockey News rewarded Vachon by naming him the NHL Player of the Year.
After Vachon ended his playing career during the 1981-82 season, he returned to the Kings as an Assistant Coach. On January 30, 1984, Vachon was named General Manager of the Kings, a post he held for eight-plus seasons.
The fifth greatest scorer in NHL history, Marcel Dionne was the King of the Kings during his 12 seasons in Los Angeles. He had his No. 16 retired in 1990.
The 1975 acquisition of Dionne brought Kings fans a player who performed offensive magic like no King before. In his second Kings season Dionne became the first player in club history to score 50-plus goals (53) and record 100-plus points (122).
Dionne’s greatest glory as a King came as a member of the “Triple Crown Line.” Centering a line with Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dionne posted the biggest numbers of his career.
Before a 1987 trade sent Dionne to the Rangers, he set Kings career scoring records that still stand: 757 assists and 1,307 points. Upon Dionne’s retirement, his career scoring accomplishments (731 goals, 1,040 assists and 1,771 points) were surpassed by only two men – Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe.
Dionne was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992.
No player in the history of the Kings ever wore the uniform with more distinction and class than Dave Taylor. For 17 seasons, Taylor gave his all, both on and off the ice, receiving All-Star status for his outstanding play. He was rewarded with the retirement of his jersey on April 3, 1995.
Taylor served in a variety of front office positions with the Kings including the position of President, Hockey Operations/General Manager.
The Kings’ 15th round pick in the 1975 NHL Draft, he hooked up with a center named Marcel Dionne, who helped ignite Taylor’s career. As a member of the renowned “Triple Crown Line” with Dionne and left wing Charlie Simmer, Taylor became a prolific scorer who also packed a fearsome check. Before retiring at the end of the 1993-94 season, Taylor played in 1,111 games and recorded 431 goals, 638 assists and 1,069 points.
In 1991, the NHL honored Taylor’s contributions to hockey and the community by awarding him both the Masterton and King Clancy trophies.
When the Kings acquired Wayne Gretzky in 1988 from Edmonton, hockey changed forever. His career as a King came full-circle in 2002 when the Kings officially retired No. 99.
The arrival of “The Great One” brought credibility and notoriety to the Kings. Sellout crowds became the norm at the Forum and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood quickly followed.
Gretzky – the greatest scorer in the history of the NHL with 2,857 points – played eight seasons in Los Angeles during which he won the NHL’s scoring title (Art Ross Trophy) on three occasions; was named the league’s Most Valuable Player (Hart Memorial Trophy) once; and he led the Kings on their first run to the Stanley Cup Final in 1993.
Fourth on the Kings all-time scoring list, Gretzky recorded 918 points (246-672=918) in 539 games as a King. Some of his more memorable highlights as a King include October 15, 1989, when he became the NHL’s all-time leading scorer, and March 23, 1994, when he became the all-time leading goal scorer.
Probably the most popular player in Kings history, Luc Robitaille had his No. 20 retired on January 20, 2007. In 2009, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The highest scoring left wing in NHL history, Robitaille’s accomplishments with the Kings are nearly unmatched, including the most goals ever by a King. He played 14 of his 19 NHL seasons with the Kings, and his prolific scoring touch, on-ice determination and will to win is unrivaled.
But it is Robitaille’s true and genuine passion for the game that helped elevate him into a unique grouping of athletes in this community. Robitaille has been as active off the ice as he was on the ice, promoting the sport of hockey in numerous charitable endeavors.
Following his retirement as a player, Robitaille was named President of Business Operations for the Kings. His day-to-day work helps give the Kings tremendous leadership and his tenure has seen the franchise achieve numerous records on the business side of the hockey club.