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?
For those who might not know, Brisson is one of the biggest agents in the game and is close friends with Luc Robitaille. His client list is deep and impressive and also includes Jack Johnson and Anze Kopitar.
“Rob signed here (in 2006) because he wanted to come back. There wasn’t going to be a youth movement at that point. The plan didn’t work and then last summer that plan didn’t work. Rob’s intentions have always been to be in L.A. (In 2006), he didn’t know. He thought he might have two or three or four or five years left, but his career plan was always to retire as a King. Last year they asked him to waive his no-trade clause but that wasn’t something he believed in. He wanted to stay here. All the time, his plan was to stay here. He knew the plan was to help the youngsters. He’s an all-star, Norris Trophy winner, Hall of Famer. He knew of his stature and all that and what he needed to do. He and Dean had many conversations and Rob and I had many conversations.
“After the draft, we knew we had to start making a decision. I knew Rob was going to get calls. If I sent messages out there, to all 30 teams, that Rob Blake is available, I’m going to get 20 calls. Some will (offer) 3.5 million, some will offer four or five, maybe even up to six. We wanted to avoid going into July 1 without having something done. I tried to talk to Dean about this and we finally hooked up, like he said, on Sunday night. I was pretty confident Rob was the perfect fit for the role. I talked to Dean and I said, `I want to make sure you’re on board and he said, absolutely.’ We talked about the role and all that and I talked to Rob and he was completely on board with it.
“So then I wanted to go back to the Kings. I tried all day Monday, Monday afternoon and Monday night. I got a hold of (Jeff) Solomon and we talked and I said, `I’d like to talk to Dean.’ Then I’m making calls at 7 (a.m.) Tuesday, trying to get it done. I’ve got that and I’m trying to get Brad Stuart’s deal done, because once the bell rings (at 9 a.m.) I’m going to be getting 40 to 50 calls per hour for all our other clients. So I was hoping to close it out (with the Kings) before the bell rings on Tuesday. In my opinion, it should take 10 minutes. He knows his role and it’s X number of dollars. Let’s get it done. This is not a cap (maximum) team. Their payroll is probably going to be $41 or $42 million. Why are they waiting to see what these other players are going to get when we already know what the range was for Rob? I’m trying to get an answer from them and I don’t get an answer. It was so easy. So finally I just put it out there. It’s this (amount of money) and it’s this if you make the playoffs. Because that’s good motivation for a player in Rob’s position.
“So finally at 11 or noon, Dean texts me and he says that it’s important that we get this done but we can only get this done when I see what’s happening with other things. If it’s a cap (maximum) team, I would understand. But when we’re talking about a (salary cap) floor team and we’re talking about a player who is willing to give his experience and play in that role we’re talking about, I need an answer. So, Rob called Dean. He’s not a 20-year-old player. He has no problem calling the GM directly. Dean told him, `We’re not prepared to do this right now.’ How do you think that makes the asset feel? When I saw `asset,’ I mean the player. So he looked at the situation and he said, `Pat, I think it might be time to look at other offers and maybe a team that might want me for another role.’
“I didn’t want to wait until today and call teams and say, `Hey, what about Rob Blake?’ and have them say, `It’s too late, I’m already at 52 (million).’ I’m not pointing fingers here. I’m just saying how it played out. It didn’t work out, but it’s OK. He will be in San Jose in a different role. Rob was drafted here and he has a lot of appreciation for the city of L.A. I’m not trying to create a soap opera here. There’s nothing personal here between Rob and myself and the Kings organization.”