Player evaluation: Blake

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ROB BLAKE

This season: 71 games, 9 goals, 22 assists, minus-19 rating

Positives: At times this season, Blake was the Kings’ best defenseman. A slow start, mostly caused by his recovery from offseason hip surgery, gave way to a period of strong hockey, which Blake was unable to maintain, in part, because of other nagging injuries. When healthy, Blake remains a strong physical presence on a team that lacks physical defensemen.

Negatives: Not uncommon for 38-year-old players, Blake is injury-prone and slowing down. He didn’t come close to giving the Kings $6-million worth, but that contract was the Kings’ fault, not his. Still plays well in spurts, but might no longer have the energy to maintain it for an entire season.

Looking ahead: Despite some uncertain moments during the season, on both sides, it seems as though Blake would like to return to the Kings and that the Kings would like to sign him to a short-term contract, far below the $6 million he made in each of the last two seasons. Blake still has some value, particularly as the Kings attempt to work in a new, young crop of defensemen.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

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  • Anonymous

    Blake will want $4 million. The Kings will want $2 million. They will settle on $3 million.

  • Anonymous

    He will stay no matter what, all he wants is to retired his number, he wants people to remember him like Luc. So please don’t spend too much on him, he will stay anyway.

  • anthony

    He better remain a free agent.

    I know that many of you guys have an opinion of me that’s not favorable.
    But if there’s one post you can believe in, let it be this one.

    Rob Blake is the worse player you can have on this team. TRUST ME. I can give you many reasons to support my position.

    REASON #1
    Rob Blake does not care about the team. All he cares about is the large amount of money he’s making and the hope to one day enter the organization’s front office (ala Luc Robitaille)
    Whether the King’s make the playoffs or not, is of no concern to this player. So long as his pocket book is full.

    REASON #2
    His play in the first half of the season was horrible. By far, he was the worse player on the team, even worse than LUbo, Armstrong, and Handzus. And that says alot if you consider the company I just mentioned.
    He was completely useless, especially on the defensive side. Doing nothing to box players away from the goalie.

    REASON #3
    His MINUS-19 rating was 2nd worse on the team behind Handzus. I can’t believe even Lubo did better than he did. When Blake was on the ice during even stregth, it was like the other team was on the power play.

    REASON #4
    He not longer sacrifices his body for theam. When was the last time any of guys saw him throw a hip check, like he used. Now, all we see is watch other players dance around him while he does nothing.
    He must be preserving that beautiful body of his for Science.

    REASON#5
    He’s more of a distraction to team than a positive. God forbid, if the Kings are out of the playoffs early next season. They’ll be a dispute as to trading him.
    Remember this season, he agreed to waive his NTC, then said No. Then he said OK to competing teams, then said NO again. Then he said he’ll only agree to be traded to Colorado.
    And that didn’t happen.
    Then after the trade deadline was over, his injury miraculously healed.
    I think his injury was BS. Maybe he faked it a little so he’d stay in LA.
    I can see the same thing happening next season.

    REASON #6
    The Kings were a better team when he was out of the lineup.
    Last season the team was 32-43-7. While Blake was injured, the team was 5-6-1. Clearly the team played better without him being a distraction. And without his Minus-19.

    I can think of about 10 more reasons not to sign him, but this selfish player isn’t worth anymore of my time.

    And this notion that he’s a good positive influence over the youngsters is laughable.
    For the reasons just stated. It makes Rob Blake a cancer in the locker room. How can a piece of cancer play a positive role on any team. That’s the most rediculous thing I’ve ever heard.

    Please Mr. Lombardi, do not sign him to a new contract. Nothing good can come out of signing Rob Blake to a contract. Only losing, poor play, distraction, and more losing.
    Please don’t sign him DL. If you don’t I’ll never call you Dumbardi again. I’ll wash your car. I’ll pet your dog. I’ll do anything.

  • JGSmall

    Rob Blake was recovering from his hip. That would mean he was not only sore and favoring it, but also he would be in less than prime conditioning at the start of the season.

    However, that is not important. The problem is that Rob cannot be effective in the “no check” NHL. The way the rules are now, you cannot clear the front of the net. His style requires direct contact and that means sitting in the box. Gone are the days of two defensemen – team defense is now required.

    Until this is addressed, Blake and all other defensemen on the Kings will be ineffective. The game must be played close quarters in your own end.

  • metalmaster

    Over the hill player that is asked to play way too
    many minutes.If the Kings
    are truly rebuilding as
    they claim he will not be
    resigned and they will both
    move on.

  • Anonymous

    I disagree. I think that Blake did help the Kings. He is a good mentor for the young guys. I would not mind him being back on the team next season if it’s for around $2mil.

  • Ciccarelli

    Blake is not the worst d-man on this team.

    5-6-1 equates to a record of 35-42-7, which is not much worse than 32-43-7 to make an arguable difference

  • SuperSonic420

    If we can sign Blake for half of what he is making now, then by all means bring him back. Twords the end of the year he was playing at a very high level, even sneaking down low and getting a few goals. I as much as anybody would love to him return to his days of hipchecking guys outta the lineup and firing bombs from the point on the PP, I believe most of those days have passed him by. He is still a solid d-man when hes 100%. The key is to bring in a # 1-2 d-man to take pressure off of everybody, including Blake, Johnson and Lubo. If Lubo and Preissing had played up to their potental this year, Blakes play wouldnt have even been an issue.

    His leadership is invaluable to the youngsters on this team, especially the d-men. There is reason why guys like Jack Johnson, JM Liles, and Matty Norstrom look up to this guy.

    If you dont think hes such a great leader, I would point out the game after Labs got hurt, Blake took things into his own hands when the refs failed to do so. Maybe it was a game late, for sure, but he was the one who stepped up and rest of the team seemed to wake up, even Cammy. From that point on, nobody ran our goalie without paying a price. I just hope we will see more of the same right outta the gate next season.

    You can say what you want about Blake, but he doesnt need the money. He can hang up the skates and live comfortably for the rest of his life. He wants to come back to help this team learn how to win. He wants one more shot at the cup, and he wants to do it in LA. As a fan, I cant fault him on that, I think we would all like to see that. If we want to be a playoff team, we need him. Do the Devils win cups without Scott Stevens? Do the Ducks win without Pronger? Even if Blake doesnt make it to a cup in LA, he can still pass along his experience and knowledge and for 3 million for a # 3 d-man, I’d say it would be well worth it.

  • anthony

    With respects Supersonic420,
    You really can’t compare Blake with Pronger (who I really hate) and Stevens.

    When Stevens was nearing the end of his career, he was still contributing to the Devils.

  • lakingzfan

    I think we have limited options this summer with our defence. If Blake is willing to return for less money, than we should resign him. He can still be very effective even in the ‘new NHL’. Opposing players respect him and will think twice before running our goalie with him out there. He was one of the only players I saw this year that responded to goonery when the need arose. He wouldnt even let Lappy fight JJ after he made a clean play on that stick weilding jouster Ryan Smith. Blake loves his morning surfing, he wont be able to do that anywhere else in the league (except anaheim and they wont sign him) Im sure well get him for cheap.

  • Big Rob in Dallas

    Would anyone swap Blake for Chelios?

  • vfelric

    It does look like they’ll re-sign him, but hopefully only for $1 mil and I still think that’s being generous.

    I would’ve rather we re-signed Corvo than ever pick up Blake again. We would’ve saved money and had a guy who could skate the puck into the zone.

    His offensive numbers are low yet they are still padded number because he’s getting the ice time during the PP.

    Let’s drop Blake and get some other physical D-men. Maybe we could pick up Orpik or Commodore.

  • SuperSonic420

    anthony said:
    With respects Supersonic420,
    You really can’t compare Blake with Pronger (who I really hate) and Stevens.

    All I mean is that those kinds of players in the playoffs are key to winning. Look at the Cory Sarich in game 3 of the Sharks/Flames series. That hit turned around the entire game, just like when Stevens took out Kozlov and Lindros in the playoffs. I know Blake doesnt really play that style of hockey anymore. But who knows how he would play in the playoffs. All good players turn up their games in the playoffs and there is no reason to think Blake wouldnt given the chance. If this team is going to suceed in the playoffs in the future, they have to learn how to play tough, to fight back and play tight defense. They cant back down once the hitting starts, they have to step it up and I dont see anyone else on the roster they can even learn that stuff from. He has playoff experience and hes been succesful thats why its such a top comodity in FA’s, because it does mean something.

  • the voice of reason

    Anthony your post is just plain silly.

    I’m guessing you have never once stepped foot into the King’s dressing room, or conversed with any of the players over a beer about their thoughts on Rob Blake.

    And yet you are convinced he is a cancer and a distraction to the team.

    The one instance in which you attempted to use evidence to back up one of your outlandish ideas it was quickly debunked by some simple math on the part of Ciccarelli.

    Most of our team had horrible plus/minus because we were the worst team in the league and allowed a ton of shots on goal. Considering the minutes Blake played it is no surprise he was on the ice for many of those goals, that is just bound to happen.

    Blake may be a shadow of the player he once was, but to consider him worthless to this team is downright foolish. Ask any of the kids whether or not they enjoy skating with a future Hall of Famer. I won’t pretend to answer for them as you do, but I can offer a pretty decent guess as to what they might say.

  • nykingfan

    Anthony,
    This may be your most ridiculous post ever. The guy played hurt in the beginning of the year and it showed in his play, but at least he was out there trying. By the 2nd half I thought he was playing well.
    Plus/minus stats and giveaway stats are the most ridiculous stats going. Do we say that Kopitar is a poor puckhandler and makes poor decisions with the puck since he was amongst the league leaders in turnovers? Of course not! Same with +/- If you’re out against the top players and playing more minutes than anyone else and you play on a lousy team..you’ll have a lousy +/- stat.
    I hope he is back again next year and I hope he plays with JJ again.

  • Eric K

    great post, SuperSonic. i think blake had a poor start and mose people held it against him even when he really came on towards the end of the season. it’s not a coincidence that JJ came on around the same time, either… another year of that pairing will help JJ immensely, and blake will be able to play more like the rob blake we expect to see.

    and if you’re a Sonics fan, i’m sorry for what you guys are going through… seeing what the new owners are doing makes it REALLY hard to complain about AEG at all.

  • SuperSonic420

    Nope, Lakers fan, not a Seattle fan. It comes from an Oasis song.

    But it does suck for them. Yea at least AEG isnt threatning to move the team to KC or Vegas.

  • Anonymous

    All you folks talking $$$$
    Should go to NHLSCAP.COM to see even what an average d-man makes. Corvo 2.75 mil

  • Old Man:

    I have to agree with anthony.Were stuck with Handzus and a few other bad contracts,but Blakes is up.PLEASE DEAN!don`t make the same mistake twice.Find a d-man with heart.Let him go.If he had anything left in the tank some other team would have picked him up at trade deadline.He`s making older by the seconds. Thank`s Rich for the time!

  • Anonymous

    Blake is a sure-fire hall of famer and who wouldn’t want him on their team??? Sure he’s had his bouts with the injury bug..but so far they didn’t knock him out for good… He’s a mentor to the kids that will take over his spot in two years time…and I hope they don’t retire his number until well after Hickey’s NHL career is over…

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