The rafters at Staples Center will become a little more crowded this coming season with the addition of Rob Blake’s No. 4 jersey Jan. 17. The Kings announced Monday they would retire the former defenseman’s sweater in recognition of his Hall of Fame career.
Blake’s jersey will be the sixth retired by the club, joining Wayne Gretzky’s No. 99, Luc Robitaille’s 20, Dave Taylor’s 18, Marcel Dionne’s 16 and Rogie Vachon’s 30. Blake’s jersey banner will be from the silver-and-black era, the team announced.
Blake spent 14 of his 20 seasons in the NHL with the Kings and is the franchise’s all-team leader in goals, assists and games played by a defenseman. He helped the club reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 1993 and won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman in 1998.
Blake recorded 161 goals and 333 assists in 805 games with the Kings.
“It’s an honor to be included with the former great L.A. Kings players who have their jersey retired,” he said in a statement. “I have always felt L.A. was a special place to play and it was and is a tremendous privilege to put on an L.A. Kings jersey.”
The Kings traded Blake to the Colorado Avalanche in 2001 and he went on to win the Stanley Cup with his new team, drawing the ire of many of his former club’s fans. He currently serves as an assistant general manager for the Kings and often receives only tepid applause from fans.
Blake will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 17 in Toronto. He will join former players Peter Forsberg, Dominik Hasek and Mike Modano plus the late coach Pat Burns and referee Bill McCreary in the class of 2014.