According to TSN on Monday, the Los Angeles Kings will retire the number four jersey of Canadian Olympic gold medalist Rob Blake on January 17, 2015 when the Kings play host to the Anaheim Ducks. Blake won a gold medal for Canada at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
A defenseman from Simcoe, Ontario, Blake was drafted in the fourth round, 70th overall out of Bowling Green University in Ohio at the 1988 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Blake would play 14 seasons with the Kings, and generated career highs in assists and points in the 1993-94 regular season. That year he had 48 assists and 68 points. Blake had his career high in goals for the Kings in the 1997-98 season when he notched 23 goals.
It was when Blake registered his career high in goals in 1998 that he won the Norris Trophy for the best defenseman in the National Hockey League. Blake also represented the Kings at four National Hockey League all-star games, was on the NHL's first all-star team while a member of the Kings in 1998 and on the NHL's second all-star team while a member of the Kings in 2000. Blake would also play for the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks.
Blake will become the sixth Los Angeles King to have his number retired. He will join Marcel Dionne (16), Dave Taylor (18), Luc Robitaille (20), Rogie Vachon (30) and Wayne Gretzky (99).
Blake scored one goal and two assists for three points for Canada's gold medal winning hockey team at the 2002 Olmpic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. His goal was Canada's first in the Olympic hockey tournament, during a 5-2 loss to Sweden.
Internationally, Blake also won two World Hockey Championships for Canada. He was on the Canadian team that finished first at the 1994 World Hockey Championships in Italy and the 1997 World Hockey Championships in Finland.