Blake speaks

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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 one 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. I’ve always admired San Jose and they have a ton of potential. They’ve been on the verge every year and excited to be right there.”

On whether he was “on board” with the Kings’ rebuilding plans: “I’ve been on board for the past couple years. I don’t think the idea of rebuilding was just something this summer. It just became evident that there was two different thoughts going on. When you don’t hear back from a team in a couple days, it’s time to look elsewhere.”

On why he thinks things didn’t work out with the Kings and whether he’s disappointed: “I made the commitment to come back to LA. It’s a great organization and it’s headed in a great direction. I was fortunate to play with Kopitar, and Jack Johnson on defense. He’s an up and comer and he’s going to be great. As far as things with myself, I’m not really sure what happened down the line there. The team is going to be great. It’s great that they’re sticking with the plan for building. I wish them all the best and years down the road I’m sure I’ll be watching them.”

On whether he was negatively influenced by the Cammalleri and Visnovsky trades: “I really have no say in any of that. You see the direction the Kings are going and they’re going to stick with that and build going forward. They have a great cornerstone, with young forwards and goalies and defense. They’re going in the right direction.”

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  • diehrdkingsfan38

    you sound like an idiot Blake, take some speech classes.

  • brianguy

    blah blah blah, words words words. that’s all these are, words… and actions speak much, much louder.

  • ian

    Whatever Blake, that’s just smoke you’re throwing out there regarding the Kings not calling and not making an offer. You did what you wanted to do, take the PR hit for it…

  • PSP

    The Kings didn’t make an offer? What was “the smartest man in the room” waiting for? Wasn’t it reported that the two sides had been talking for weeks?

  • Anonymous

    I am really looking forward to Lombardi’s side of this. Is he really going to come out and say that he didn’t send an offer despite what he was feeding to us?

  • Quattro

    so, Rich, does that mean that Lombardi flat out lied to you about being real close on Blake?

  • HeShootsNScores

    sounds like a guy who wanted to retire as a King to me…..

  • anthony

    If Blake is telling the truth, it proves the DL is a liar.
    DL said on numerous ocassions that he wanted to sign Blake and that the two sides were talking.
    If you’re talking, it probably means that offers are being made.

    Anyway, I don’t trust Blake as far as I can throw him.
    He sees something he doesn’t like, then he high-tales and runs to the highest bidder.

    Somebody is lying here.

    But lets give Blake the benefit of the doubt.
    If he’s being truthful, then there’s something wrong with the way this team is being managed.
    If he’s lying, then Rob Blake is just being himself.

    What do you guys think.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll withold all my judgement until I hear from Lombardi…just as it was blown out of proportion with Lubo’s comments

  • Chuck

    Thank you for the nice comments regarding the future of LA, Rob. Tell us something we didn’t know! We know the young players 25 and under on the team, know the existing pipeline, as well as what was just added at the draft. Thanks for rehashing the obvious.

    That being said, I DON’T believe you when you said LA didn’t make an offer. Lombardi thought things were close the other day, obviously they weren’t. But I don’t believe you…

  • lakingzfan

    Jesus…I dont know what to think now! Who’s the liar? Being a sports fan sure F***s with my emotions smokey!

  • Quisp

    What do you want to bet that DL responded to Blake’s agent that $4MM was too much and he was going to have to come down from there a bit? That’s not an official counter-offer, but a suggestion that Blake’s agent come back with a lower number. This is a way of making an offer without making an offer. The reason to do it is this: an official offer can be shopped. “The Kings have offered $3.5MM. What will you give us?” It also doesn’t mean that DL “lied” when he said they were close on Blake.

  • S

    You people hate him if he stays… hate him if he leaves…

  • Anonymous

    From Tuesday’s conference call with Lombardi

    The GREAT Mr. Rich Hammond transcribed:

    “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?” (ORPIK, N/A)

    “Rob Blake is still there as a strong possibility, AND DISCUSSIONS ARE ONGOING.”

    WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH HERE?

  • Fletch

    I think Blake is saying what he’s saying in hopes of not looking like “the bad guy” in all of this. But the truth of the matter is that he took $12 million from us over the past 2 years with his lackluster play and was probably insulted when Lombardi wouldn’t give him $4 million for the upcoming season.

    It’s clear he would have taken the pay cut to stay, but no way in hell he’s worth $4 million at this stage in his career, regardless of what guys like Jeff Finger are getting on the open market.

    I for one am ecstatic that he’s gone and I hope we have truly seen the last of Blake in any capacity within this organization. His “loyalty” to this franchise has never been more evident than it is today.

    Bye, Rob – we won’t miss you.

  • TeamHasHoles

    Well, we better get to the bottom of this Rich. Who’s lying? Get on the phone right away so you can pacify the masses who would actually waste their time actually giving a rip about this!

  • John

    It was CLEAR by DL’s comments lately that Blake was his last option at D. And really, who wants to be the last guy picked with a 50% pay cut??! Maybe you guys just weren’t paying attention – when did DL EVER say he was close with Blake??!

  • KingzzFan

    Actually they said they were close on Sully. anthony, you have your moments, but you still sound like an idiot, its not all about the money all the time. this was about having a job next year. Kings didn’t make an offer… Thans that. Heck, if their gonna throw 5mm at him… good for him.

    I can’t beleive everything I’m hearing on this post. For the last few weeks all I herd was we better not resign him this and that. Well we didnt resign him, you should all be happy. But no, now you all can bash him for doing what we all wanted all along. give it a rest. Sounds to me Rob actually reads this blog and answered your prayers. Move on, stop bashing and look forward for a rough ride this year.

    Thanks Rich, your a god send keep up the good work
    Good Luck in SJ Rob.

  • stickboy

    FLETCH…well said…and RICh..please take the pic of him off….no more Blake in a Kings sweater plz….

  • JonG

    Quisp,

    I agree with a lot of what you’ve posted recently, and I agree with your speculation here too. The Kings were probably trying to get Blake to negotiate against himself, only Rob didn’t take the bait.

    Not for the first time, I get the impression that DL has been too clever by half.

  • Mama let your babies grow up to be hockey players!

    Let’s see, the Sharks lose Campbell to Chicago, then replace an NHL All-Star who’s in his prime by signing 38-year-old Rob Blake. Boy, should be no drop-off there, eh?

  • Anonymous

    Common guys calm down. We are not going anywhere this year so let Blake go to a contending team and lets give Doughty the experience. I do have to say with Lubo and now Blake its going to be ugly this year on the backend.

  • Quisp

    re “who’s lying”

    Blake says there was no (official) offer. DL says they were close. Not mutually exclusive. Maybe the disagreement wasn’t about money. Maybe it was, as DL said, about Rob’s role. Did Rob talk to DL personally this week? I’ll bet he did. If not, did he discuss these things with Blake’s agent? I will go out on a limb and say that Lombardi was talking to the agent or Blake about the non-contract issues, his role on the team, mentoring, ice-time issues, etc.. These are not things that go into an offer, but DL TOLD US ALL that he was working on just these matters.

    WHy, why why would Lombardi make an actual counter-offer to BLake’s 4MM offer if those things weren’t ironed out yet??? He wouldn’t. Why not?? Because if Blake says yes to the counter offer, why, then you have a f*****ing deal with Rob Blake. A contract! No, you have to work out the non-contract issues first.

    Therefore, from DL’s point of view, they are close to working those things out.

    From Blake’s point of view, no offer. Technically true. But weaselly.

  • Baumgartner22

    i don’t think the issue is about blake staying or leaving, it’s that when we tried to trade him at the deadline, he wouldn’t waive his NTC. then when he says he wants to be a part of our future, DL handles UFA market accordingly. then when blake goes back on his word, DL is hung out to dry. so it’s more about the timing of this decision and how it was handled. it would have been nice to at least have gotten a 1st rounder for him. oh well, whatever. let’s let the kids get their feet wet.

  • Cup B4 I Die

    Anyone have a spare ‘flux capacitor’ they can loan me? I want to travel in the future to see if the Kings really are heading in the right direction.

  • Anonymous

    Blakey will always be a favorite player of mine. I’m obviously disappointed that he will not be back in a Kings sweater to mentor the kids in the system but the organization must adapt. I’m just pissed that we couldn’t have gotten a pick or prospect at the end of last season. Actually, that is probably why most fans are upset.

  • anthony

    Don’t get me wrong.
    I hate Rob Blake with every fiber in my body.

    If DL refused to sign him – then Kudos for him.
    I admire him for that.

    But it also comes down to ethics.
    Somebody is lying here.
    And its either Blake or DL.

  • Hemorrhage

    Right now I see that it will be very hard for us to get to the cap floor, unless DL makes trades for overpaid players in the last year of their contracts. We’ve got 2 to 3 open spots on defense & no way are those spots all filled by rookies.

  • Anonymous

    On not getting an offer: “No, i didn’t receive one 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.
    YES….he made that decision when he went to the mailbox on June 1st and his bi-monthly $200,000 direct deposit slip from AEG wasn’t there. That had to be traumatic!!!

  • Randy Holt, Class of ’79

    Boo Hoo Hoo. Sounds like BS to me. Can’t you just pick up a phone and call? After all, you care so much about the organization. You’re a f#$*&#g geezer with a fat ass. Thanks for all the great mentoring….dick. Bye Rob

  • whatever, guy.

    no guy, its not about ethics. Who friggin cares about who said what/who offered, didn’t offer what. Its about what we are going to do now.

    Its not like we are losing anything special here (anymore). We now need to focus on making a move to make this team competitive.

  • TeamHasHoles

    Anonymous said:
    I’m just pissed that we couldn’t have gotten a pick or prospect at the end of last season. Actually, that is probably why most fans are upset.

    You are aware that, that was RB’s fault & not DL’s, right?

  • Quisp

    JonG –

    I don’t know if DL was “too clever by half” in this situation. See, I think DL only wanted Blake at a price and if he would agree to be a mentor to the kids and not demand PP/PK time, etc., etc.. If he didn’t agree to those things, I don’t think DL wanted him. He would only be too clever by half if he was trying to trick Blake into signing for less and getting him to agree to play ball (“role” wise). I think what he did was tell Rob BLake what would be expected of him, and BLake didn’t like it one bit.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Customer Service:

    I would like to cancel my season seat reservations for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

    I suffered unwilling through the Lieweke years but the recent handling of Mr. Vishnovsky and Mr. Blakes contract situations is totally unacceptable and explains in part why this organization has been a perennial loser. Those were two good players who actually wanted to play for the Kings and letting them leave the organization is incredibly poor planning, so far as I am concerned. Loyalty is a two way street and these moves prove to me at least the organization lacks good sense, planning, direction or loyalty to its players.

    More loyalty was shown to free agents who played here a year or less than to players who were loyal to us for years.

    You have created an organization like the Clippers. By the time the young kids drafted are ready to challenge at the top level, they will leave. I am sick of it.

    Pursuing brinksmanship negotiating tactics in the Kings situationwhere no one wants to play hereis simply a delusional negotiating technique. Letting Mr. Visknovski go when he is a good player, wants to play here, and people want to play with him because of that, I just question the wisdom of letting a good player like him go, even if the Kings did need more size and Hickey and others are ready. We traded an all-star for some also rans.

    After all the years Blake bled for the team and all the talk about how important Rob Blake was to mentor the young defense man and even them saying they wanted to play with himJesus, you needed the man, you wanted the man, why not sign the man and be done with it so other problems can get solved? This is the last straw for me. For years, Blake was one of the only reasons to cheer for the Kings and his play picked up last year whenever he was healthy.

    I can remain a somewhat tentative Kings fan but please let me know if I can get out of the season ticket plan at this point and any cancellation fee attendant thereto.

  • Mike

    Rich,

    Do you plan to get ahold of DL to deny or confirm whether the Kings never offered Blake a contract?

  • CBGB

    Rich,

    Fess up – Did you jump the gun by saying talks were “ongoing”? We still love you but if Rob didn’t get an offer as he claims, then talks were NOT “ongoing” as reported by you.

    I’m very much looking forward to Dean Lombardi’s reply.

    If he says he did tender Rob an offer, then Rob, once again, will be a liar.

    If he did NOT offer Rob a contract, then you MUST ask him why he wasn’t traded at the deadline.

  • SD

    Reposting on this thread so everyone sees it…

    DON’T BOO BLAKE NEXT SEASSON! Let’s show him how much we don’t care that he’s gone.

    He’s greedy, we all knew it before, we all know it now. If he really wanted to play for the Kings, he had plenty of time to wait for them to get their ducks in a row first.(No Anaheim pun intended) and he would have taken a home town discount and played for $3M, which is all he’s worth to us. It’s not like he wasn’t going to find a place to play next season.

    If the Sharks were pressuring him to make a decision he could have called DL and said, hey “I need an answer”. Him heading to the Sharks is either because A. He didn’t want to play for the youth movement Kings. or B. DL told him there’s no way he was paying $4M for him, so he took his greedy ass somewhere where that would.

    Good riddance Rob. Maybe now we don’t have to worry about the Kings retiring your number someday. If they do we should all boycott that game.

  • TeamHasHoles

    Dear Customer Service:

    I would like to cancel my season seat reservations for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

    I suffered unwilling through the Lieweke years but the recent handling of Mr. Vishnovsky and Mr. Blakes contract situations is totally unacceptable and explains in part why this organization has been a perennial loser. Those were two good players who actually wanted to play for the Kings and letting them leave the organization is incredibly poor planning, so far as I am concerned. Loyalty is a two way street and these moves prove to me at least the organization lacks good sense, planning, direction or loyalty to its players.

    More loyalty was shown to free agents who played here a year or less than to players who were loyal to us for years.

    You have created an organization like the Clippers. By the time the young kids drafted are ready to challenge at the top level, they will leave. I am sick of it.

    Pursuing brinksmanship negotiating tactics in the Kings situationwhere no one wants to play hereis simply a delusional negotiating technique. Letting Mr. Visknovski go when he is a good player, wants to play here, and people want to play with him because of that, I just question the wisdom of letting a good player like him go, even if the Kings did need more size and Hickey and others are ready. We traded an all-star for some also rans.

    After all the years Blake bled for the team and all the talk about how important Rob Blake was to mentor the young defense man and even them saying they wanted to play with himJesus, you needed the man, you wanted the man, why not sign the man and be done with it so other problems can get solved? This is the last straw for me. For years, Blake was one of the only reasons to cheer for the Kings and his play picked up last year whenever he was healthy.

    Talk about a load of cr@p! :)

  • Rich Hammond

    Expecting a call from Lombardi soon.

    And while I greatly appreciate the advice on how I should do my job, I’ve got a decent handle on it. And a GM can talk to a player’s agent without making an official offer.

  • Paul

    I’m going to reserve my opinion of how this went down and who is the “bad guy” here until Lombardi responds.

    What I WILL say is that it seems to me that signing in San Jose could have been Blake’s way of “sticking it” to the Kings, which could indicate that he doesn’t believe he got an offer, or at least not a fair offer in his mind.

    Or, it could have been that San Jose was the only team interested in him, besides the Kings (if they were).

    Regarding $5M for 1 year for Blake, it depends on which Blake they get. If they get the injured, aging Blake we had early last year, he’s ripping them off. If they get the Blake that played better at the end of last year, it’s a decent deal, but probably still a bit rich.

    So, looking beyond Blake, what do the Kings do now? They still need to reach the cap floor.

  • 28 KINGS

    DL is on record in the blog saying he met with Blake and his agent. He’s also on record saying he made an offer to Blake’s agent and talks are ongoing .So because Blake didn’t get an offer on July 1st he says”there was no offer made”. Is that was this is about? Did Blake feel slighted because everyone else was getting offers on the 1st and he wasn’t. SJ comes along and make an offer on the 1st, so Blake thinks, “oh well, the Kings aren’t offering me anything”. The guy make it sound like no offer was ever made…period. Nice spin job Rob.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Anonymous,

    um…ok…you can cancel..but may i suggest with the money you save on not buying season tickets that you go to an eye doctor….or perhaps take some medication so you can find something else to cheer for other than Blake being the only reason for you to be a Kings fan? How many yrs have you had this issue and are you seeing someone for this problem?
    Really…are you serious???? open your eyes for goodness sakes.

  • nextyear

    At least there seems to be some consistancy in the organization. There are a lot of teams making moves and committments that won’t pay off this year or for years to come. At least the Kings are sticking to their plan.

    This year they will struggle to hit .500. I see a quick start to the season but a fade after the holidays pass and the grind kicks starts.

    Still, as ever, GO KINGS!!!!

  • Crash Davis

    Got the impression from the Hammond talks with DL that Dean had a price range this year for Blake. It was a matter of finding a price both could live with. As usual, Blake thought he was a current Norris Trophy winner. This was his chance at a final brass ring.

    Obviously, they were haggling at somewhere south of the $4 mil Blake’s agent stated on July 1. On same day, SJ comes in with interest – and in last 48 hours a price was set by SJ at $5 mil. Blake concluded quickly that Kings weren’t even gonna meet his orginal $4 mil. And SJ was good enough and close enough geographically for him to tack on a year more of hockey at age 38. If lucky, he might even get back to Stanley Cup Finals. Screw the mentoring.

    Blake took the money and ran like a guy who just robbed a bank.

    I also believe that Blake was speaking “technical truth.” Right, no “official” offer. But my bet is they were “negotiating.” But Sharks trumped everything with price.

  • Anonymous

    Hey CBGB, get off Rich’s case. That guy has been working harder than any of us clowns the last few days and deserves A LOT of credit. Whether or not DL talked to that turncoat Blake is irrelevant. It is assumed that even if both parties are on the holding pattern, that the lines of dialogue are open in which case, talks are “ongoing”…

    Bottom line is that Rob Fake is a cheating liar and I hope to see the expression on his ugly face when the Sharks are booted again in the playoffs.

  • beingbobbyorr

    . . . . Its about what we are going to do now. . . . We now need to focus on making a move to make this team competitive.

    PLAY

    THE

    KIDS

    IN

    THE

    NHL

  • Quisp

    Meanwhile, this, in my book is the dumbass comment of the day:

    “I coached Nicklas Lidstrom for the last three years and Rob is the same age as him.”

    That’s the Sharks’ coach. Wow. They’re THE SAME AGE. That’s all it takes?

  • mike

    How do they make the cap floor? I thought they needed that 4 to 10 mil from Blake to cover it. I am starting to have my doubts about suli…How have they not closed that deal for the guy that is probably the most indemand RFA this season. I am truely puzzled by everything that has happend since June 29th. I thought they would announce the coach on the 29th, who is going to coach this team, Ill gladly submit my resume. This is yet another reason the Kings couldnt pick up Emery if they wanted to…
    I guess the questions that remain are in net, on the bench, and with the cap floor?

  • I post my first and last name because I think I’m really important.

    Where’s Lombardi quotes?

  • JonG

    Part of the problem might be due to miscommunication. Lombardi speaks so elliptically that it’s often hard to understand what he means. He’s the friggin Alan Greenspan of the hockey world.

    I’m guessing that Lombardi had an ongoing series of discussions with Blake’s agent but he never directly addressed the salary issue. As we’ve all learned to our dismay, salary is the only thing that seems to matter to Rob.

  • TeamHasHoles

    Rich you have MORE than a decent handle on your job.

    CBGB is trying to be universally hated on EVERY BOARD he spews his opinion on. This is one of the few he hadn’t offended anyone on yet, and he’s now managed to do it.

    Keep up the usual high level of journalism we count on Rich.

  • Marc Nathan

    I only hope Kyle McLaren asks Blake for a Kings ransom to relinquish the #4 he has worn as a Shark for the past few seasons.

    In fact, why not just have Kyle wear #4 for the Kings next season? The Sharks don’t need him any more :-)

  • Crash Davis

    Matt aka CBGB. Back off.

    Stick to casting movies. Let Rich be an accomplished sports journalist.

    He has DL in his cell directory. You don’t.

  • Jonny

    I’m over it, he wanted 4 million and DL said no. The sharks offered 5 and he took it.

  • Quisp

    To the person who said, “you hate him when he stays, you hate him when he leaves…” Uh, yes. That’s consistent. Because he’s both not very good and he’s disloyal.

  • McHenry20

    Good Riddance! Blake was not even worth the 4 million they offered him (I’d only give him 2 mil with some sort of performace incentive). What did he do for us last season other than tie up cap space and watch pucks pass him into the goal? He wasn’t even worth keeping as a teacher to Johnson and others. What can he teach? How to butt check and hug the goal post? Ohhhh. Those that are upset that the Kings did not sign him and traded Lubo, get real. They got rid of two once solid defensemen who did not live upto expectations and were not worth the money spent. If these two were so great why were the Kings the worst defense in the NHL last year. Time to move on and let some kids who what to play take over.

    Sharks fans, enjoy your waste of money.

  • Anonymous

    TeamHasHoles said: You are aware that, that was RB’s fault & not DL’s, right?

    Who’s to say exactly what went down behind the scenes. I was not in the “War Room” when DL or RB or the powers that be failed to get something in return. I’m not defending Blakey’s actions…hell, I’ll probably be one of the loudest booers at Staples when he comes back.

  • Quisp

    As every morsel of hockey news is pored over and much hand-wringing ensues over the lack of progress in this matter or that one, I can’t help but flashing on the following bit of genius from Monty Python:

    ANNOUNCER
    Novel writing which comes today from the west country from Dorset.

    (we hear the sound of a crowd in the background)

    REPORTER
    Hello and welcome to Dorchester where a very good crowd has turned out to watch local boy Thomas Hardy write his new novel “The return of the Native” on this very pleasant July morning. This will be his eleventh novel and the fifth of the very popular Wessex novels…and here he comes! Here comes Hardy walking out to his desk, he looks confident, he looks relaxed very much the man in form as he acknowledges this very good natured Bank Holiday crowd. And the crowd goes quiet now as Hardy settles himself down at the desk, body straight shoulders relaxed, pen held lightly but firmly in the right hand, he dips the pen in the ink…

    (the announcer becomes excited)

    and he’s off, its the first word, but it is not a word… oh no its a doodle way up on top of the left hand margin. It is a piece of meaningless scribble, and he’s signed his name underneath it… oh dear what a disappointing start, but he is off again and he goes the first word of Thomas Hardy’s new novel, at 10:35 on this very lovely morning, it’s three letters it’s the definate article and it’s THE, Dennis.

    DENNIS
    Well this is true to form, no surprises there. He started five of his eleven novels with the definite article we’ve had two of them with the IT, there has been one BUT, two Ats, one ON and a Dolores. Oh that of course was never published.

    REPORTER
    I am sorry to interrupt you there Dennis, but he’s crossed it out. Thomas Hardy on the first day of his new novel has crossed out the only word he has written so far and he is gazing off into space…Ohh! Oh dear he’s signed his name again.

    DENNIS
    It looks like “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” all over again.

    REPORTER
    But his… No… his done it again he is writing Dennis, he’s written THE again, he’s crossed it out again and he has written A and there is a second word coming up straight away, it is SAT, a sat, doesn’t make sense a sat, a Saturday, it is a SATURDAY and the crowd are loving it. There really enjoying this novel and it’s AFTERNOON, a Saturday afternoon, is a confident beginning and he is straight on to the next word and it is IN, a Saturday afternoon, IN, in, in… no, NOVEMBER, November’s spelt wrong, he has left out the second E, but he’s not going back it looks as though he is going for the sentence and it is the first verb coming up, the first verb of the novel and it is WAS… the crowd are going wild, a Saturday afternoon in November was, a long word here , appro, is it approval, ah no it’s APPROACHING, a Saturday afternoon in November was approaching and he has done the definite article THE again and he is writing fluently, easily with flowing strokes of the pen as he comes up to the middle of the sentence and with this eleventh novel well underway and the prospect of a goods days writing ahead, back to the studio…

  • Captain Material

    “I’m going to reserve my opinion of how this went down and who is the “bad guy” here until Lombardi responds.”

    Not trying to call out whoever’s quote that is, but it just using the statement (even if out of context) to point out something.

    Why is everyone so locked into black and white, good guy vs bad guy thinking?

    Why does there have to be a hero and a villain here? Why is the big question about who lied? Why does anyone have to have lied here at all? The world is a complicated place with layers upon layers of subtly in my personal experience. Many times truth has many facets.

    When did we get so intellectually lazy?

    This is a business. There doesn’t have to be good guys and bad guys here. So far everything seems to point to the Kings not wanting Blake so much and Blake wanting to play another year. SJ needed a puck moving defender and was willing to take a chance on Blake for a single year deal.

    Explain to me how that makes someone a villain again? Some people seriously need chill here.

  • Baumgartner22

    did i really read somebody suggest bringing in emery?

  • Quisp

    For some perspective, here’s a link to the Sharks’ fan message boards:

    http://www.letsgosharks.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=26

  • http://Oz Oz

    Wow I’d say just about everyone has lost their minds. Good job Rich. You do a fantastic job. All the comments on here by alot of you people are pure entertainment. Move on or find another team to root for already. Bring on the prospects camp!!

  • brianguy

    “Good riddance Rob. Maybe now we don’t have to worry about the Kings retiring your number someday. If they do we should all boycott that game.”

    exactly true… I was just thinking the same. if this organization ever retires that number they are out of TFM

  • gggbdfan

    Wow, I can’t believe the people on this site. Question for all of you…..The company down the street calls you and offers you a 25% raise, plus a very good potiential for a bonus (substituting “bonus” for playoff money and winning the CUP). Now you’ve asked your boss what your salary is for next year, and you wait, and you wait, and he never call’s you. Plus, knowing how your company works, there is no chance at all for receiving a bonus this year(playoff money, ya right). When profits increase in a few years, there is very good chance for a bonus. But, you most likely won’t be around. What would you do???????

    As for Blake’s ability, I agree, he didn’t play his best hockey. BUT NEITHER DID STUART, untill he left this team. PRESSING LOOKED A LOT BETTER IN OTTAWA than he did here. Could it be the overall DEFENSIVE SYSTEM sucked? Don’t be surprised if Blake looks good in San Jose. Better teams usually bring out the best in you.

  • metalmaster

    This is a business first
    Sometimes players lie and so do GM’s
    Kings can suck as bad with Blake as they can without
    him-he would not have made much of a difference had he
    stayed
    To piss everybody off he will probably play well in
    San Jose just like Roenick did but Sharks will choke
    in 2nd round as they always do if they make it that far

  • Losesomemore

    Blake said: On not getting an offer: “No, i didn’t receive one from the Kings”.

    The distinction must be made between DISCUSSIONS and OFFERS.

    Dean DISCUSSED Blake’s situation with his agent but never made an OFFER.

  • Captain Material

    “Good riddance Rob. Maybe now we don’t have to worry about the Kings retiring your number someday. If they do we should all boycott that game.”

    Why wait? I’d invite any fans who feel this way to begin their boycotts today from all things Kings. Like you say, good riddance.

  • Quisp

    Someone on the TSN site — among the usual comments like “what a steal for the sharks” and “what a ripoff for that hasbeen” — had the comment “ever notice that 4 and $ share the same key on your keyboard?” Made me laugh. Probably not the first time someone said that, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it.

  • Quisp

    I don’t know, Captain Material. I think it’s fair enough for people to think that Rob Blake doesn’t deserve to have his # retired. I don’t think he played well enough to earn that honor. He didn’t bring any championships to the Kings, which is something that might cause people to overlook his lack of stellar play. He didn’t spend his career here. He didn’t (oh god please) retire with the Kings.

    I don’t hold it against him for following the money, if that’s what he did. But I can’t help but notice that what he says doesn’t mean anything.

  • Anonymous

    This tidbit found on AP.

    Sharks sign veteran defenseman Rob Blake

    By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer
    1 hour, 52 minutes ago

    excerpt:

    Blake, who won the Norris Trophy in 1998, has been remarkably durable late in his career, playing at least 71 games in every season since 2001. Blake had nine goals and 22 assists last season while logging big minutes, and his right-handed shot is badly needed on the Sharks power play.

    Blake didnt know why Kings GM Dean Lombardi didnt return his calls after free agency opened Tuesday, but Wilson made his first call to Blake, who said he wasnt sure he would be up for yet another year of rebuilding in Los Angeles anyway.

    Im not really sure what happened down the line there, Blake said. The team is going to keep growing. I wish them all the best, and years down the road, Im sure Ill be watching them.

  • JonG

    Those of us who aren’t multi-millionaires would surely have done exactly what Rob did. But Blake has banked tens of millions of dollars from Kings fans over the years. He’s got to be worth at least $20 million. At that point, bailing for an extra million or two can only be described as greedy.

  • brianguy

    “Wow, I can’t believe the people on this site. Question for all of you…..The company down the street calls you and offers you a 25% raise, plus a very good potiential for a bonus (substituting “bonus” for playoff money and winning the CUP). Now you’ve asked your boss what your salary is for next year, and you wait, and you wait, and he never call’s you. Plus, knowing how your company works, there is no chance at all for receiving a bonus this year(playoff money, ya right). When profits increase in a few years, there is very good chance for a bonus. But, you most likely won’t be around. What would you do???????”

    it’s called loyalty… geezus I can’t believe some people don’t understand that at this point. here’s what we know: the Kings were willing to pay close to $4M for Blake’s services. they payed him $6M EACH of the past 2 seasons and overall, he played like crap and was vastly overpaid! previously, prior to lockout they offered him $8M per season and he bolted for another team and basically the same amount of money. then came back only when he was ready to cash in again in his “home” after winning a cup. a role was here in LA if he wanted it. maybe not captain, but a significant role similar to last season.

    bottom line, the more things change the more they stay the same.

  • Bob Bobson

    Captain Material is correct. There does not always have to be a good or bad guy. Shipping off Visnovsky was business. Blake signing elsewhere is business. Visnovsky was loyal and signed for less to stay in LA a year before his extension and its NTC kicked in and being shipped off was his reward for loyalty. Nothing personal, just business.

    I am glad we did not sign Blake at such a high price and I am very interested in seeing how Dean handles it. If no one else wants to come here, we will have to force them through trade. Dean, no more NTC’s please ! Pay the higher rate if you have to.

    Rich, F on CBGB and his B.S. ! You are the best source of Kings info out there and we all appreciate it.

  • Captain Material

    “I think it’s fair enough for people to think that Rob Blake doesn’t deserve to have his # retired. ”

    Fair enough, but most people I hear saying that, especially right now, aren’t basing it on anything besides comparisons to Judas. He is our best defender in team history, he’s our only Norris winner, he’s in our top 10 all time point leaders and also I believe in games played, and he was a key player in our only finals appearance. I’m not trying to make THE comprehensive argument for his jersey retirement here, but I do believe there is one to be made.

    And pending some drastic change today because of his SJ signing, Rich has made it pretty clear the franchise has already made the decision that he would be.

    “But I can’t help but notice that what he says doesn’t mean anything.”

    What do you mean exactly? He said he wanted to come back and finish his career here. So…if the team doesn’t offer him a contract and he still wants to continue playing he should hang ‘em up? What do you mean exactly? Seems to me like you have to take what he has said to drastic extremes to get where you are going. Does it mean he’s the Kings slave after he says that? They could offer him $1.50 a game and all the sodas he can drink as a contract, and if he doesn’t accept his word means nothing? I’m not trying to be too absurd here (just a little) but seriously, what do you mean?

    I have no doubt he wanted to come back here and…do exactly what he did…right? Because it didn’t work out means that wasn’t his intent? Where is his word meaningless?

    Now, I pretty much think any player is going to say he’s thrilled to be with whatever team he is currently on. I also pretty much think they mean it.

  • Captain Material

    “here’s what we know: the Kings were willing to pay close to $4M for Blake’s services”

    brianguy, please give a source for this. Thanks in advance.

  • brianguy

    Rich is the source. he said Blake’s agent offered to sign 1 year for $4M and the Kings said they’d have to come down a bit from there. obviously I’m paraphrasing…

    we all knew way before July 1st the Kings would offer Blake between $3M – 4M, it was not rocket science. there was never a firm amount and therefore Blake got greedy / impatient and bolted. not rocket science

  • Anonymous

    This really leaves a hole on our Defense. I wonder what kind of move DL has in mind now. We need Modry now though I’ve never been much of a Modry fan. What worries me here is if DL can’t close a simple 1 year deal w/ Blake, imagine how he’s handling talks w/ Sullys’ agent.

    Rich, can you get some assurance from DL that things are going as planned concerning Sully on your next chat please? I need some peace of mind here.

    Thanks again for all your work. We sure are glad to have you on Kings fans side.

  • Anonymous

    I’m pissed I got a blackberry yesterday and that this news was able to disrupt my round of golf.

    I don’t really care who lied or whatever. I do care that he is playing in SJ, which I resent on several levels. Hell, Blake should have accepted a crack at one of the free car giveaways as payment just to remain here. I disagree with Quisp, he DESERVES to have his number retired here… atleast he did. Now I’m not so sure. I love Blake, I really do, but this whole situation seems like this to me –

    DL – Blake, we love ya, but I’m thinking long term, and at 38 you don’t figure into that. I need to work out the long term here, sign other FA’s, and then, depending on how that pans out, I’ll see what we can pay you.

    Blake – I want to be here. But I want to go to the bank. I am a King, blah blah blah, but I’m also impatient, because at 38, I might break a hip soon… not that I use it to check people anymore.

    I’m bitter, but I can’t discredit Blake for all the good years because of this, but I’ll have a sour taste in my mouth about him going forward.

    I actually hated that people booed him at Colorado. I felt at that time that was fair for him to pursue more money and a winner, because he was still a premier dman back then and deserved top money. And lame ass DT should have payed him whatever he wanted. This time through however, I find myself leaning more towards blaming Blake. He really shouldn’t care about his paycheck at this point… unless he’s gambled his mega millions away… then I guess I could understand the need for a payday.

    Whatever, I’ve ranted, I’ve raved, time to move on, for both parties.
    The good news is like I said, whether he stayed or left, he had nothing to do with the teams future.

  • Anonymous

    DL is like the Harry Sinden of the west coast. He wants to field a team and pay like crap. Can you imagine Dallas signed Avery for four years and $15.5 mil and DL signed Brownie for six years and $19.1 mil. I guess Hull figures Avery is worth more to his team than DL feels Brown is to the Kings. How do the Rangers land Naslund from Vancouver? Pay for him. This team will never be successful as long as they allow marquis players to be wooed to other teams willing to SPEND MONEY!

  • Captain Material

    “he said Blake’s agent offered to sign 1 year for $4M and the Kings said they’d have to come down a bit from there.”

    So in other words, we don’t know the Kings were willing to pay close to $4M for Blake’s service. Okay, just checking…

    What we know is the Kings refused to pay $4M and another team offered at least $1M more. Hey, I don’t see any bad guys there. Sounds like three parties likely got what they wanted (LA, Blake & SJ).

    Tell me you wouldn’t jump ship from your job for $1M if you want people to take your use of the term “greedy” in a negative fashion.

    And as far as impatient, there is a salary cap and the talent out there that is available is limited. A couple days here at the start of free agency is rather critical. Someone makes you an offer and you want a week to think about it, they are likely going to move on and spend that money elsewhere. I haven’t heard really anyone speak with any appreciation of that fact.

    I think if the Kings were really interested in bringing him back, you would seriously have to think they would have worked this better and not let days pass. I mean, last year supposedly we had targeted a couple big names that we didn’t end up with that we pitched too, right? Then when that fell through there were multiple second tier guys who we did go after as sign. It didn’t take three days, it took less than one. And this guy was in house and could be negotiated with prior to July 1.

    This year there were only a couple of guys, second tier guys even, that we were after. What was eating up all of DL’s resources that Blake was not a priority? Sounds to me like the organization wasn’t that serious.

    That’s okay as far a I’m concerned. It doesn’t make Blake a villain though.

  • JDM

    Damn, thought I was signed in. The comment that starts with blackberry was me…

    Not that anyone cares it was me, just that I’m not hiding my opinion behind a masked of anonymity

  • Quisp

    “if the team doesn’t offer him a contract and he still wants to continue playing he should hang ‘em up?”

    My assumption (and of course it is just an assumption, but I think it’s a reasonable one) is that Blake and DL were hashing out the details, that when Blake says there was no offer he may be telling the technical truth but he is being intentionally misleading in order to paint himself as the victim. Also, I am referring to the fact that he said he wanted to retire with the Kings and this was supposed to be the justification for not waiving his NTC in the spring. He could have made that happen by continuing to work out the deal with the Kings. It is July 3, not August 1. He pulled the same kind of nonsense back in ’01 when he was traded the first time. If memory serves, he forced the trade by refusing to discuss his contract during the year, and then tried to make taylor look like the bad guy.

    If it turns out that DL didn’t return Blake’s calls and essentially blew him off, I will back off my assertion. But I think when Blake says “The Kings never made me an offer” he wants us to think that the Kings disrespected him. Not to mention the problem I have with his use of the word “never” to mean “not Monday OR Tuesday of this week,” I think he’s being disingenuous by pretending that DL talking to Blake’s agent about the non-money issues is not negotiating as a prelude to a counter-offer. It’s another way of saying those issues aren’t important or don’t exist. Underline: issues that are important to the Kings.

    I’m not saying that DL is saintly or incapable of a good snub. But seriously: what’s his motivation to not return Blake’s calls? Even if DL is evil, it doesn’t make any sense. On the other hand, Blake has every reason to bend the truth to make himself look like he was wronged.

  • Al

    Mr. Any Mouse, since you are cancelling your Kings season tickets, then why don’t you become the “Roady” you are and follow your “Blakey” to San Jose and for your information Hockey was not a business before a player needed an agent to keep jacking the contracts up and there was plenty of loyalty, just take one good look at this years Stanley Cup Champs… How come they don’t have guys jumping ship??? Blake is a typical L.A. ship jumper, they get told the truth and away they go because they were told what they’re really worth and I’ve watched Blake since his rookie season he sucked then and he sucks now and he is not a HOFer, just another bandwagon jumper to a team that might be close but I don’t think so. I’ve watched video of JMFJ at Michigan which happens to be where I’m from, and he was better there then he was in the latter part of his first taste of the NHL and 100% better then he was this past season and I blame Crawford and the coaching staff for that. Why didn’t Stuart want to leave Detroit?? He didn’t get that big of a contract, he was traded and found a home. As for a new Kings Captain .. Brown is much more of a leader then Kopitar.

  • PowrrrPlay

    Crash Davis said: “Matt aka CBGB. Back off. Stick to casting movies.”

    CBGB, I need a job.

    Cheers

  • gggbdfan

    “it’s called loyalty… geezus I can’t believe some people don’t understand that at this point.”

    Loyalty??? Let’s ask Lubo how loyal the Kings were to him. The only loyalty Lombardi has is to saving money for AEG. Heck, we’re going to have trouble making the bottom line for team salary caps. Where is that money going to go? Back to the LOYAL Kings fans in reduced seat prices, to O’Sullivan (who to date is still not locked up after such an improvement last year)? Who’s going to lead the Kings this year? Fourth line Armstrong, Pressing who is now our top defensman, maybe the unknown coach will get us out of the cellar. This year will be quite the year for us LOYAL Kings fans.

  • mrk

    This really leaves a hole on our Defense. I wonder what kind of move DL has in mind now. We need Modry now though I’ve never been much of a Modry fan. What worries me here is if DL can’t close a simple 1 year deal w/ Blake, imagine how he’s handling talks w/ Sullys’ agent.

    Rich, can you get some assurance from DL that things are going as planned concerning Sully on your next chat please? I need some peace of mind here.

    Thanks again for all your work. We sure are glad to have you on Kings fans side.

    Sorry for posting twice. I could have sworn I signed in on my first posting.

  • Captain Material

    “that when Blake says there was no offer he may be telling the technical truth but he is being intentionally misleading in order to paint himself as the victim.”

    I don’t think there are just victims and heros here. He didn’t get a contract form the Kings. Don’t see where that says anything but the Kings weren’t really that serious and the two sides hadn’t gotten close enough for there to be a concrete offer. Don’t personally think that makes either side heros or villains. Why must it be intentionally misleading? Why is everything a value judgement?

    “I am referring to the fact that he said he wanted to retire with the Kings and this was supposed to be the justification for not waiving his NTC in the spring.”

    Yeah, so why wasn’t there a contract worked out then if the team was serious about keeping him? Please recall there was a clear change in direction in this team after the end of the year. When DL came in, he got direction to go somewhere in between a full rebuild and “win today”, yes? Recently the direction did change to full rebuild. Crawford is suddenly fired, DL is talking about being encouraged to go “even younger”. Might just have something to do with this…

    I spoke to this already in my response to you too. He wanted to stay but the deal was not there, so his intention was not achieved. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t his intention to begin with, right?

    “If memory serves, he forced the trade by refusing to discuss his contract during the year, and then tried to make taylor look like the bad guy.”

    Based on my own memory, I’d have to say yours does not serve. In training camp DT came and offered him a deal worth a couple M less than market value (I think he wanted $8M and had specifically said he did not need to be the highest paid defender in the league, top defenders (Pronger, Lidstrom) were getting $9M, and DT offer $7M) and made it an ultimatum: “sign now or we trade you.” They had already removed him from promo materials at that point too if that gives any indication of where the team was at. So, based on that, my understanding of reality is apparently not the same as yours, so maybe that is where the disconnect on Blake’s “nonsense” is.

    And again, the constant return to understanding this in terms of “good guys” and “bad guys” doesn’t jive with my reality. DT made a business decision. The one thing I do recall where one side mentioned something directly speaking to PR was when Blake said ultimately down the road the truth would come out. I understood that to happen when he signed the extension with COL for less money proving what he wanted wasn’t what the Kings had claimed back when he left.

    “If it turns out that DL didn’t return Blake’s calls and essentially blew him off, I will back off my assertion. … But seriously: what’s his motivation to not return Blake’s calls?”

    Yeah, me too. Let’s hear what the team says. My thinking right now is it’s most likely the most obvious answer: they really weren’t that interested in him.

    You know, the one where we don’t have to have anyone being evil to explain what happened. :)

    Thanks man, I know I’m a bit of a jerk at times, but it is fun talking it out.

  • Chris

    Where, oh where is Adam Deadmarsh at a time like this? F*** Blake. Let’s move on and kick some ass!

  • Anonymous

    Lombardi is a wimp. Blakes agent also handles a few kids name Crosby and Malkin. I can’t wait to see when the wimp trys to sign another one of his kids by the name of Kopitar. Another big let down for King fans. See you Anze. What makes DL qualifed to be a GM, besides marrying another GM’s daughter.
    The Insider

  • Anonymous

    DUSTIN BROWN FOR CAPTAIN ! On the day this kid was drafted one of the commentators said that he could see Dustin as a team captain one day. That day has arrived! That is unless the Kings can F this up too.

  • Quisp

    My recall of what happened in ’01 may well be faulty. And, just to be clear, I’m not trying to make Blake out to be a bad guy for signing with San Jose. I don’t blame him.

    What I’m saying is, when he says “The Kings didn’t make me an offer,” he’s not being honest. It’s not black-and-white. I just think he’s full of it. And I thought he was full of it when he said he wanted to retire as a King. Although I don’t have the quotes to back that one up.

    But let me underline: I think you’re right that the Kings/DL weren’t that interested. I don’t think DL was “wronged.”

    I just think Blake would have us believe that he would still be a King if only there had been an offer. So, in other words, he’s telling us to blame Lombardi for the fact that Blake is not a King anymore. So isn’t it Blake who is playing the black-and-white blame game? I think so.

    When in reality, he made an offer that we were PREVENTED from countering (although we could ACCEPT it), and then became “pressed for time” and had to sign with the Sharks.

  • Quisp

    AND it turns out they DID talk personally on the phone. Whoops.

  • dman

    Hey Kings fans I’ll be honest with you I didn’t want Blake back cause I feel that he cause the Kings to lose Brad Stuart and 3 players and that he is getting older,but now maybe Blake knew something that we didn’t.. Sorry Blake I didn’t want you back this year,but how DL handle the situation was greedy.. DL has become such TIGHTASS!!!!..When a player asked to take a 2 million pay cut and the G.M. says it’s not good enough.. Well, I can’t blame Blake on leaving and think about this Kings fan.. Would you want to play for a team that is giving you only a 5% pay raise.. NO WAY IN HELL!!!!!!!! DL, you have destroyed this team you TIGHTASS,GREEDY TOILET WIPE.. What are waiting for?.. Sign free agents you Moron!!!!! Good luck Rob…

  • SJNon-Fan

    Lombardi has a history of alienating veteran players who are good in the room … Gary Suter, Vinnie Damphousse, Adam Graves. He will draft well for you, but you won’t have good quality veterans in the room to raise those kids.

    You don’t want Kyle McLarenhe’s got wonky knees and is good for at least two stints on IR getting the knee(s) scoped. Maybe you all will receive the gift of Christian Ehrhoff … Sharks are close to the cap max!

  • Big Rob in Dallas

    How about we bring in either Klemm or Chelios if we really need a mentor for the young ones. Personally, I’d like too see Cheli teaching about the art of the cheap shot. Klemm played well for the last few games when he was called up. He could be the 7-8 d-man. Of course, there is the human pylon that is Modry.

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