Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: Rob Blake
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
In its eagerness to develop a following in Europe, the NHL overlooked an audience closer to home: its Western Conference.
West teams routinely jump time zones on winding trips and get stuck with less-experienced referees working their games. NHL executives often attend games in the East but rarely venture past the Hudson River. Players feel overlooked by fans, league officials and the media.
Former Kings defenseman Rob Blake, the NHL’s new hockey operations manager, can’t change all of that. But as the first hockey operations executive based outside league headquarters, he hopes to give a voice to players who toil beyond the Eastern power axis.
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“I lived that first-hand. Being a player out here in the West and playing my whole career here you do kind of feel that you’re forgotten,” said Blake, who retired last summer after a 19-season career that included parts of 14 seasons with the Kings, a Norris trophy and a Stanley Cup title with Colorado in 2001.
NEW YORK (January 27, 2011) – A Stanley Cup Champion, Norris Trophy winner and one of the best defensemen to ever play the game, Rob Blake, will join the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department as a manager, the National Hockey League announced today.
Blake will work with Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell and his staff on all aspects of the game. He will work closely with hockey executives on the Club level and be involved with the Competition Committee and the NHL’s summer Research and Development Camp.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The NHL’s head office may soon add another former big-name player to its ranks.
Having already brought in Brendan Shanahan last year as the league’s vice president of hockey and business affairs, two sources have told ESPN.com that Rob Blake could be next.
Blake, who retired this past summer after a star-studded career, is slated to meet with league officials this upcoming week to see if there’s a fit for him. The idea is he would work alongside Shanahan, although remain based in Southern California.
Blake told ESPN.com during this past postseason that he wanted to remain involved in hockey after his playing career was over. He’s always been one of the brighter minds in the game, taking an active role in NHL Players’ Association affairs and being an original member of the competition committee after the lockout. Colin Campbell, the NHL’s executive vice president and director of hockey operations, has spoke highly of Blake for his competition committee work.
read on for more hockey talk
Rob Blake will announce his retirement tomorrow so why not present to you some of the big time hits given out by Blake.
from CSN Bay Area,
Sharks captain Rob Blake is retiring from the NHL after 21 seasons, a source close to the situation has told Comcast SportsNet Bay Area exclusively.
The source said that Blake is waiting until the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals because he did not want to be a distraction while the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers are still playing.
An official announcement could come as early as next week. When contacted by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, the Sharks declined to comment on the story. Comcast SportsNet Bay Area also reached out to Blake but he has not returned calls.
added 4:58pm, via Darren Dreger tweet,
Rob Blake confirms he’s retiring.
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
Sharks captain Rob Blake is leaning toward retirement at age 40, according to a source familiar with the situation, but he is holding off on any announcement just yet.
“You need time to unwind after the season and different things,” Blake said Wednesday as players cleaned out their lockers for the season. “My kids are in school until June, and I want to meet with Doug (Wilson) and meet with Todd (McLellan) and talk things over and go from there.”
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Blake earned $4 million this season, his second with the Sharks, and averaged 23:20 ice time in the postseason, second highest of any skater on the team.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
This week, he is unabashedly addressing Chicago’s confident swagger.
“They’ve earned that confidence by winning two in our rink,” Blake said. “Now we’ve got to respond. They’ve stuck to their game very well and we haven’t been doing that by any means.”
So which means are the right means?
“They look quicker right now,” Blake said of the Blackhawks. “But we can be quicker, too, getting out of our zone and moving the puck. Don’t take anything away from them. They want to win. They’re a good team. But our execution and poise with the puck can be better. We’re not playing as crisp as we were. They’ve been able to knock down pucks.”
As he notes, though, the Sharks are greatly assisting in that effort. The most discouraging statistic from the first two games of the series is that our beloved Los Tiburones have been credited with 40 puck giveaways to Chicago’s 15. Meanwhile, the Sharks have actually been credited with more puck take-aways, 22-16.
from Mark Emmons of the Mercury News,
“He finishes his hits, and he’s good at it,” Foote said. “I’ve played with him long enough to know that he’s not that kind of player. But he can hurt you with a hit. We just have focus on not trying to hit Rob Blake or it will take us off our game.”
The focus of Colorado fans tonight will be to ride Blake.
“They’ll love that team I was on forever,” he said. “But now they have this year’s team. It’s 2010. They love this team, and I understand that.”
Now, Blake is the villain.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Blake’s cross-check/punch to the face of TJ Galiardi in overtime of tonight’s 6-5 Sharks win was a dirty cheap shot, and worthy of a suspension. Blake absolutely should be suspended by the NHL for that hit. Will that happen?
Probably not. Because, Galiardi emerged apparently uninjured on the hit – although because it was one to the head, the effects of injury may not show up right away. As far as I could tell, Galiardi was OK after the game, so the NHL front office might just let it slide because the victim of a dirty hit didn’t need a stretcher to leave the ice.
That doesn’t excuse any of it. I know the Avs were hot after the game over the UNPENALIZED hit by Blake.
read on and you can decide if Blake should be suspended by watching the hit…
via Adrian Dater tweet,
Mueller has concussion, out indefitely. Not on road trip
No video of the Rob Blake hit on Mueller so far, but a few screen caps can be viewed here. (Mueller hit the boards face first)
As I tweeted last night, Mueller had no idea Blake was there but hockey sense should have told him a defender was coming.
via the San Jose Sharks,
The San Jose Sharks have named Rob Blake as their captain for the coming season. Joining Blake in official leadership roles are alternate captains Joe Thornton and Dan Boyle.
SAN JOSE – San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has re-signed Group III unrestricted free agent defenseman Rob Blake to a one-year contract. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Blake, 39, finished his 18th NHL season in 2008-09, recording 45 points (10 goals, 35 assists) in 73 games with San Jose. He finished eighth among League defensemen in shots with 198 and tied for 16th in points. Blake recorded his 500th NHL career assist on Jan. 9 at Edmonton, placing him 22nd all-time for assists amongst NHL defensemen. He was selected as the Seagate “Sharks Player of the Month” for November, leading all League defensemen for the month with 16 points (five goals, 11 assists).
“Rob’s performance this past season speaks for itself,” said Wilson. “He’s a true professional, a leader that has been a captain in the League and still plays at an elite level. The way that he carries himself day-in and day-out is something that every player in our locker room should try to mirror.”
SAN JOSE – San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has re-signed Group III unrestricted free agent defenseman Kent Huskins to a two-year contract. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Kent played an important role on a Stanley Cup winning team and knows what it takes to win,” said Wilson. “He is a player that can play in all situations and does whatever is necessary to get the job done on this ice.”
via David Pollak of Working the Corners,
The team signed the 39-year-old defenseman to a one-year deal that will pay him $3.5 million next season, according to a team source. Blake would have become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Officially, the Sharks still aren’t saying exactly what injury has sidelined Rob Blake after he blocked a shot against Calgary only to have the puck roll up the shaft of his stick and strike him in the chin.
“I won’t go into the test results, but it was better than we thought,” Coach Todd McLellan said.
But Blake did meet with reporters this morning and some of the damage is pretty obvious: a walnut-sized swelling on his lower left jaw and a wiring mechanism in place that limits its mobility.
Unofficially, another player identified Blake’s problem as a fracture.
Blake was able to talk — his jaw, he said, would be wired shut only a couple hours each day — but he wouldn’t spell out the precise damage, saying that they still wanted to do more tests.
via David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Defenseman Rob Blake will miss the next two games because of an injury suffered when a deflected puck struck him on the chin during Thursday night’s 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.
A team source did not disclose the specific injury, but did rule out a concussion after Blake underwent tests last night and again today. He will miss tonight’s (Saturday night’s) game against Detroit and Tuesday’s against Vancouver, but is expected to be ready to return after the NHL All-Star break. San Jose does not play again until Jan. 27 in Colorado.
How would you respond to the critics who say you’re past your prime or may question your decline in point production over the past few seasons?
It’s no secret that as you get older you tend to change your game a little. I still think there are things I can offer. When you get older, you need to find a team where a role is going to fit you. You can come in here and see this is a real good team. You can come and fit in right away and not have to do too much. Every night you just try to do something to help them win. My biggest thing is to fit in on a team capable of winning.
from Eric Stephens at NHL.com,
Goodbye, Los Angeles. Hello, San Jose.
“To be honest with you, I knew I wanted to play after last season,” (Rob) Blake said. “I started to feel better over the summer and I wanted to continue to play. When the option wasn’t there with L.A., I had to look elsewhere. With San Jose being in close proximity, but also being a very hungry team, I looked at it and thought it would be a good fit.
“When I had to look elsewhere, it was ‘Where do I think I can go that has the most opportunity to win?’ At this stage, I follow that.”
Rich Hammond has a poll up at Inside the Kings and it looks like LA fans will not be greating Rob Blake warmly.
from Mark Emmons of the Mercury News,
“You can’t rely so much on your size and getting in the way of forwards anymore,” Blake added. “You have to be quicker. I’ve had to change my game, and you’re never too old to learn new things. I worked really hard in hopes of increasing my speed a bit.”
Blake told Wilson last week that he should have come to San Jose a few years sooner.
“I said, ‘Yeah, you should have,’ ” Wilson recalled. “But we’ve got him now.”
more on Blake…
from Inside the Kings,
OK, here we go. For those who enjoy soap operas, strap in…
We started with Blake’s statement that the Kings never made him an offer, and with my clarification that Blake’s agent, Pat Brisson, had called Lombardi on Tuesday morning with a one-year, $4-million contract request.
So here’s the time line, according to Lombardi, with quotes from Lombardi added where appropriate.
Here’s what Pat Brisson, Rob Blake’s agent, had to say tonight about the way things went down between Blake and the Kings. It’s lengthy, but if you’ve been following the saga today, you might find it to be a good read. As I told Pat tonight, all I’m trying to get is get the information out there. People can make up their minds based upon what they believe and read. What an interesting subplot to the week though, huh?
From Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,
Just got off a conference call with Rob Blake, who says the Kings never made him an offer. (Left unsaid was that Blake’s agent apparently talked to the Kings on July 1 and asked for $4 million). Before Blake got on the call, San Jose general manager Doug Wilson said he called Blake’s agent on July 1 to inquire about Blake’s services. Here’s some quotes from Blake…
On not getting an offer: “No, i didn’t receive [an offer] from the Kings. As time went past on July 1… I made a decision a few weeks ago, a month ago, that i wanted to play again. That wasn’t going to be happen in L.A. and I had to start looking elsewhere.’‘
Note: Blake was signed for one-year at $5 million earlier today.
via Inside the Kings,
I have an unconfirmed report, from a source very close to Rob Blake, that he has signed with San Jose for $5 million.
Update 5:19pm ET: Confirmed by Inside the Kings:
Rob Blake has signed with San Jose, apparently for one year and $5 million. I’ve confirmed this with two sources close to the situation but the Sharks have yet to release word of this.
Update 6:02pm ET: TSN reports this as breaking news, “TSN has learned the San Jose Sharks have signed defenceman Rob Blake to a one-year deal.”
Update 6:06pm ET: From David Pollack at Working the Corners—
Expect the official announcement in about an hour, but the Sharks have signed veteran defenseman Rob Blake to a one-year, $5 million contract.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson declined to discuss the impending announcement of what will be the Sharks’ first free-agent signing of the summer, saying it was “a little premature.” But he didn’t shoot down the report that first surfaced on a Southern California web site.
A “Southern California web site”? Is it that hard to provide credit?? Sheesh.
Update 6:09pm ET: San Jose Sharks press release below.
via Inside The Kings,
It’s not too hard to figure out what happened today. The Kings made a play for Brooks Orpik and it didn’t work out. Now the attention, most likely, turns to another tier of defensemen and the Kings will look to grab a guy on a short-term contract, either via trade or signing.
The more interesting thing is that Rob Blake remains unsigned. I did not anticipate that, and perhaps if his agent would return calls I might get a little insight. But when there’s mutual interest people a player and team and there’s no deal, you have to follow the money, right?
Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings spoke with Kings GM Dean Lombardi tonight. Some highlights from that conversation:
—The Kings were right there on Brad Stuart, and apparently didn’t have a problem with either the term or the money, but Stuart decided that he wanted to play for the Red Wings. To this, Lombardi basically tipped his hat and said, ``I can’t blame him for that.’‘
—Lombardi still has his eye on a defenseman who, in his words, fits with both the present and the future. He’s not at liberty to name names, obviously, but I don’t think it’s hard to do some reading between the lines, right?
—Rob Blake is still there as a strong possibility, and discussions are ongoing.
From Brian Christ at the ABQ Journal.com,
One of the most revered traditions in sports is the handshake ceremony after each Stanley Cup playoff series, when the bloodied warriors on each team line up to offer congratulations to their foes for a job well done. Sportsmanship at its greatest.
It’s just seems incomprehensible, though, how guys who had just been knocking the pus out of each other can all of a sudden start hobnobbing. For me, it’s not uncommon to hold a grudge against someone who takes 3 minutes to heat a pile of rice in the office microwave.
So, is this on-ice glad-handing genuine?
Note: Accessing the complete text of the article above may present obstacles to some readers, so I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing the relevant excerpt below the “continue reading” link
From Elliotte Friedman at CBC,
“His brother owned the one gym in town,” Roloson said. “And we would meet him there to work out. John took it very seriously, and eventually we did, too.”
“I believe his nickname was Rambo, because of how hard he worked out,” Blake said.
Stevens is still in excellent shape and expects nothing less from his players. During the off-day between Games 3 and 4 of this series, the Flyers didn’t skate but did have a weight-training workout.
But his impact extended beyond the exercise room.
more from Dwayne Roloson and Rob Blake on how the Flyers’ coach impacted their own early careers
via Inside the Kings,
(Rob) Blake indicated that he still favors a return to the Kings next season and perhaps beyond, and sees many reasons to be excited about the future.
“I feel like I want to play another year or maybe a couple,” he said. “I’ll approach that this summer and I’ll train like I always do and then see the options that are there for me. My focus has always been Los Angeles since I returned, and even though I don’t like the position that we are in, I still think there are steps that can be taken this summer to really improve this team and take it to another level.”
The Los Angeles Kings have activated defenseman Rob Blake from the injured reserve list, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
via Inside The Kings,
Rob Blake doesn’t expect to be back on the ice before the Feb. 26 trade deadline, which could obviously affect his tradeability. He attempted to skate today and it didn’t go well. He is going to have an MRI to check on the ankle’s progress tomorrow and said he won’t try to skate again until next week.
added 6:54pm, from the LA Times,
Kings defenseman and captain Rob Blake said today that he has not been asked to waive his no-trade clause by the organization and does not want to do so.
“I want to stay here and remain a King,” said the injured Blake, who was at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo. “I stressed that with them and talked about the plans of the Kings and the future. . . . That was it.”
continued (reg. req.)
added 8:02pm, from another blog post at Inside the Kings,
On meeting with Lombardi: ``Nothing’s changed on my part. I expressed my feelings to stay here again and kind of do what I wanted to do when I came back here two years ago. That’s not going to change. Hopefully it works out that way.
``He was just saying there are teams inquiring. But there’s been no talk of waiving the no-trade on either side. I think a lot of things you hear are people blowing things out of proportion. I’m not going to respond every time I read something….”
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer on the last post on Blake…
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,
According to highly-placed league sources, Anaheim is where Blake will be headed at the trade deadline.
He wouldn’t even be required to move house to play for the cross-town Ducks and since Blake owns a no-trade contract, he can make that call.
That’s not the only reason why Blake won’t be coming to Detroit.
A non-displaced fracture of the left ankle kept Blake out of the lineup Thursday.
A desire not to displace themselves of their future will keep the Wings from making a move for Blake.
from Dan Rosen at NHL.com,
But with the ball in his court this time around, (Rob) Blake certainly doesn’t sound like a man who wants to pick up and go anywhere, even if the reward could come in the form of another Stanley Cup ring.
“You know there is a group of teams that can compete for the Cup and if they want to get a couple of guys just to push them over the top, I am totally for it,” Blake said. “If I was an older player without a Cup, maybe. My goal was to come here and to build something and that’s what I hope happens.”
That being said, even he admits you just never know.
“There will be a lot of speculation over the next few weeks for sure,” Blake said.
from Fire & Ice,
The Kings will be without defenseman Rob Blake tonight. He returned to Los Angeles because of a stress fracture in his ankle/foot and is expected to miss two weeks.
more on the Kings/Devils matchup…
added 2:25pm, More on Blake at Inside the Kings…
from the LA Daily News,
If the Kings’ Rob Blake wasn’t so good, this wouldn’t be so awkward.
Blake, the club’s aging captain, has to go. He is still one of the top four players in franchise history and his Hall of Fame credentials are unquestioned. He is a stand-up guy.
But the team is going to miss the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year. His best contribution right now would come from leaving, with the club getting a couple of draft picks before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
Chelios also talks trade possibilities, saying that he thinks a defenseman would help the team most. His defenseman of choice? Rob Blake of the Los Angeles Kings. “He’s in a situation there where there’s just no end at the light of the tunnel and he’s lost his drive right now,” Chelios says of Blake. “I’ve been there. I talked to him last time we played him, and he would love to come here.”
via Adrian Dater at the Denver Post,
He is 38 years old, has a no-trade clause and makes a lot of money. But Rob Blake would still be attractive to many NHL teams at the league trade deadline or sooner, and the former Avalanche defenseman said he would consider waiving his clause to go to the right team.
“(The Kings) would have to come to me first, but, yeah, it’s a possibility,” Blake said, after Saturday’s 3-1 Kings victory over the Avs.
Blake, who played with Colorado from 2001-04, is in the final year of a contract earning him $6 million. With the Kings having the worst record in the NHL, even after Saturday’s win, the team could become sellers by the Feb. 26 deadline. “Hopefully, we can turn things around here first, before any (trade) talk happens,” Blake said.
from the LA Times,
The questions posed in El Segundo likely will be following Kings defenseman Rob Blake to Canada here for the start of a two-game trip, and will probably be even edgier and to the point.
Uh, Rob, what about that minus-nine, worst in the NHL?...
“He’s been more a victim of circumstance,” Crawford said at Wednesday’s practice in El Segundo. “There’s been a big difference of his level of performance than Nagy’s. If you’re gonna look at statistics, sometimes they can be misleading and in his case, that is a misleading stat.”
read on (reg. req.)
via the LA Kings,
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Rob Blake will serve as Kings captain for the 2007-08 season, Kings head coach Marc Crawford announced from London. Joining left wing Scott Thornton as assistant captains are defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky and left wing Michael Cammalleri.
“Rob and these players have the professionalism, drive and intensity that will be necessary for the Kings to keep improving in a very competitive NHL,” said Crawford from London.
from Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,
Q: Can you talk a little about your relationship with Jack Johnson? You’re expected to mentor him. What’s that been like so far and what do you see from him?
A: You see the competitive nature. Obviously coming in last year for a handful of games, you saw how competitive he was and how much he wanted to battle. I think he understands that his college career is done and now the next step is to play professional hockey.
He’s trained hard this summer, he’s been to a couple different camps and he’s here expressing himself and knowing that he’s going to be a big part of this team. From the older guys’ perspective, he probably can show more things off the ice.
He understands that he’s going to compete on the ice, but it’s a long season and you do need a little guidance throughout that.
more on the Kings…