Why Are The Kings So Loyal to Rob Blake, When Rob Blake Has Never Been Loyal To The Kings?
Things were sure exciting this morning when the Mayor Tweeted “Trade Coming” – Okay, so it was a bit anticlimactic with the acquisition of Daniel Carcillo.
But then later in the afternoon, THIS bombshell
And later confirmed by the absolute best John Hoven HERE.
My first reaction was…..
What the fuck is going on??????
WHAT ARE ROB BLAKE’S QUALIFICATIONS???
Where’s the loyalty to Mike Futa (a former OHL GM), Ferreira, Solomon, Emerson?
This means Rob will be recommending to Lombardi that the Kings overpay for over the hill players who are past their prime and then not complain when they refuse to be traded to help the team they say they want to help in the first place?
Maybe Carcillo was acquired just so he could just punch Blake in the face?
This is a guy who forced a trade with the Kings, then came back, took 12 million of the Kings dollars, and didn’t do what he said he was going to do.
What the hell is the obsession with this guy?
Rob Blake has made over 80 million dollars in hockey. Hey, Rob. GO AND SPEND IT!!!
Why are the Kings so loyal to Blake? He’s never been loyal to the Kings!
If this traitor, if this un-loyal Kings player gets his name in the rafters, I will quit being a Kings fan and those who know me know how I feel about this. I may be an asshole, I may be a jerk, but I am one loyal motherfunker, and Rob Blake is about as loyal as Jaromir Jagr.
The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup BECAUSE Rob Blake was NOT part of it! Why change that?
If your best friend’s girl cheats on him and he dumps her, and then she comes crawling back, and he takes her back, and she cheats on him again, and he dumps her yet again and then he takes her back AGAIN….? You dump that dumb ass friend.
From Pumpernickle over at LGK
“I find it funny that I am so opposed to the replacing of a man who had nothing to do with our organization by someone who has such close ties to it.
But here I find myself. Rob Blake is a traitor of the highest order.
His abandonment of this organization at a crucial time in our history set the club back a decade. He doesn’t respect the logo, the fans, the city, or anything about why it is that for 45 years so many people dedicated themselves to a team that didn’t produce results that their passion deserved.
Kings fans, the ones who have been around for a long time, are creatures of loyalty. In spite of all other indications, they stuck by a team. If this team was in most other markets it would have folded or been relocated many many years ago. It’s something I’m proud of really.
Hockey in Southern California exists because of those fans. Rob Blake defines the anthesis of what makes those fans so great. His actions, to me, are intolerable. I boo him every time they trot him out on the ice for any kind of legacy events. I boo’d him every time he touched the puck after his betrayal, even when he was a King for the second time. I’d boo him if he was walking past me on the sidewalk.
I became sick when there was discussion of retiring his jersey. He defines what was wrong with this organization for so many years. I want him to have nothing to do with the club. Our success that we have now is a testament to the will of the people who didn’t abandon the ship when things looked murky. To allow him to be a part of a team that will likely have a lot of success in the next decade is disheartening to say the least. Simply put, he is beneath us. The idea of him getting another Stanley Cup ring with a Kings logo on it should we win again is making me sick again. I have no love for this man and never will.”
HERE’S AN ARTICLE I RESEARCHED FOR A FEW MONTHS AND THEN WROTE ABOUT A WHILE AGO
THE TRUTH ABOUT ROB BLAKE
For years, that’s the sound Kings fans made every time Rob Blake has touched the hockey puck. How could a once proud Kings Norris Trophy winner be the brunt of such fan wrath?
“He was our homegrown player,” said Dave, a La Canada resident and fan since 1981. “He was the only player we had to hold our hopes on, especially after Gretzky.”
Drafted in the 4th round in 1988 out of Bowling Green University, Blake made the jump directly into the Kings lineup and by his third season was playing in the Stanley Cup finals. Following two dismal seasons where he spent more time in rehab than he did on the ice, famed workout guru T.R. Goodman promised Blake he would win a Norris Trophy if he trained with him. Blake did just that in 1997-98.
In 1997 Anaheim Mighty Ducks’ Paul Kariya held out for 32 games before signing a deal that paid him 5.5 million and 8.5 million the following season. 8.5 million in 1998. 13 years ago.
That same year, Sergei Fedorov held out, demanding a trade and saying he would never play for the Red Wings again. With 21 games left in the season Fedorov signed for 6 years, 38 million dollars after Detroit matched the Carolina Hurricanes offer sheet. The signing included a 14 million dollar signing bonus.
But Rob Blake is greedy?
In September of 1998 Kings President Tim Leiweke said, “We’re prepared to make (Blake) the highest-paid defenseman in the NHL,” following Al MacInnis’ record 3 year 15 million dollar deal.
But that almost didn’t happen.
Blake held out of training camp for 5 days before signing a 3 year 15.8 million dollar contract. The LA Times reported the Kings had a 5 year 25 million dollar offer on the table. This was the same year Matt Johnson and Jamie Storr held out and Aki Berg elected to play the entire season in Finland rather than accept the contract the Kings had offered. It was the same year Ziggy Palffy held out with the Islanders as well.
Rob Blake also purchased a suite at Staples center for $652,000 per year. He donated that suite to charity. Does that sound like something a greedy player would do?
The Times also reported that Blake signed for less money than his original demand, believed to be $19 million for 3 years or $35 million for 5 years.
“I know the NHL owners didn’t want the Kings signing me to a huge contract,” Blake told the Times. “And I think I owed it to the players around the league to get as much as I could for my position. I think the contract has defined the pay for the position . . . for a year, at least.”
Fans are quick to point out Rob Blake’s apparent greed, but Mark Messier held out and when his demands weren’t met, he was promptly traded to the Rangers.
Scott Neidermayer held out in 2000 and then turned down the league maximum of 7.8 million in New Jersey to play with his brother in Anaheim. Why isn’t he booed?
In 1998 Jason Allison held out and then was promptly traded to the Kings
Nikolai Khabibulin held out the entire 1999-2000 season
2000 saw a glut of holdouts. Bill Guerin, Anson Carter, Alexi Yashin.
When Andy Murray took over the Kings, the first person he went to was Blake. “Rob said they needed a little more discipline, some more accountability,” said Murray. “I wanted to know if I could be a fit. . . . What Rob did was to give me a feeling that what I could offer was what this team needed.”
Blake and Murray did what Larry Robinson could only do once in his four year tenure as coach. Reach the playoffs.
The biggest issue fans haven’t seem to forgive Blake for came in September of 2000.
With his three year deal coming to a close, the luxury of becoming a free agent for the first time at age 31, and contract negotiations at a stalemate, Blake removed himself from the Captaincy. Dave Taylor, the Kings’ general manager, said Blake approached club officials prior to the Kings’ first exhibition game in Phoenix and his request was honored.
“When you’re told you might not be around for the whole season, I thought it might be a distraction,” said Blake. “I didn’t want to remain captain if I wasn’t going to be here in the long run. I just didn’t feel it was right.” Andy Murray took it a step further by removing all the “A’s” that designate alternate captains.
But was this simply a negotiation tactic gone horribly wrong?
“Nobody relinquishes the captaincy going into a contract year,” said JT, a fan from Orange since 1983. “Joe Sakic didn’t do it. Chris Chelios didn’t do it. Vince Damphousse didn’t do it. He disrespected the captaincy, he disrespected his team mates, he disrespected the organization.”
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that the Kings had offered Blake a 3 year deal worth $7.5 million a year. Blake contends the Kings wanted him to play for $5.25 million. McKenzie also reported that Blake gave up his captaincy after the Kings suggested they might trade him if he didn’t agree to a new contract.
According to Blake’s agent at the time Ron Salcer, at the beginning of training camp, the Kings offered a “take- it-or-leave-it” deal that would have paid Blake an average of $7.5 million a season for the next three years. Blake left it. Salcer said it was “below market”. “I was so surprised that it was their final offer” said Blake. “I thought negotiations were just starting. I thought we had the same goals. That’s why I’m so surprised how it’s been handled.”
“In light of his refusal and the fact that Rob will become an unrestricted free agent when his contract expires on July 1, 2001, we must assess the long-term impact that Rob’s decision will have on the club,” Kings GM Dave Taylor said in the statement.
6 Days later, after a discussion with Andy Murray the “C” was given back. “I am captain of the Kings and I intend to be captain until my days in L.A. are over . . . whether it’s [years] or a day or an hour.”
“I thought about it, but I couldn’t see disrupting things, hurting our team, putting myself before my teammates,” Blake told the Times. “I have a contract for one more year that I signed, and that I must honor to the best of my ability. This team needs me. I owe it to them. I can only worry about what I control.”
Here’s where the real trouble started.
In October of 2000, Chris Pronger inked a deal with St Louis for 3 years at 29.5 million.
“It shows that the Blues’ management is committed to keeping their franchise player in St. Louis,” Ron Salcer said. “We haven’t seen that commitment here (with the Kings).” The Rangers Brian Leetch was being paid 7.68 million and Detroit inked Nik Lidstom to 7.25.
In February of 2001, Blake’s asking price had apparently skyrocketed to 9.6 million a season. The Kings said they couldn’t afford more than 8 million a season for the 5 year deal he was seeking and Dave Taylor admitted that he was “actively discussing what he can get for Blake”.
In a non salary cap era and with the Rangers and Red Wings spending upwards of 60-70 million dollars annually on payroll, Kings president Tim Leiweke didn’t believe playing one player 20% of the teams budget. “If people want to cancel their tickets, I understand it, that’s their right. But I don’t believe this is a step backward. We will be active during this trade and the off-season to build this team into one that’s consistent and competitive.”
Since the 2000-01 season, the Kings made the playoffs once in the following 8 years. So much for being consistent and competitive.
Tim Leiweke also said if they can trade Blake for younger players with lower salaries, they can funnel money toward acquiring a top-notch goalie before the March 13 trade deadline or this summer.
That never happed either.
On February 15th, General Manager Dave Taylor flew to Minnesota in an effort to reach a compromise with Blake but could not because Blake was intent on testing the free-agent market. “When it became evident he was intent on becoming a free agent, it became evident we had to make this trade.” Taylor told the Times.
On February 22nd, Rob Blake was traded along with center Steven Reinprecht to the Colorado Avalanche for Adam Deadmarsh, Aaron Miller, a 1st round pick and eventually prospect Jared Aulin.
4 months later, Rob Blake was hoisting the Stanley Cup.
He never did test the free agent market, instead signing a 5 year deal worth 9 million per season. What was ironic about the deal was that not many people knew the 5th year was Colorado’s option, which they chose not to renew. Had Blake taken the 5 year 8 million dollar deal the Kings had apparently offered, he would have made 4 million dollars MORE with the Kings and been immortalized.
5 years later, and no other King wore #4.
When Colorado allowed his contract to expire, new GM Dean Lombardi opened his checkbook to Blake to the tune of 12 million dollars over two years for a 36 year old defenseman long considered past his prime. “He totally understands what being a winner is about.” Lombardi said. “The important thing is to get quality hockey players and quality people who are winners.”.
“I called Rob and told him that he had to come home,” Luc Robitaille said.
During his press conference, Blake turned his jersey around, putting the Kings crest in the back and his name in the front. “It’s spelled this way,” he said, indicating the letters BLAKE, “Not, ‘BOOOO.’ “
But the second honeymoon didn’t last long as Lombardi dealt away Captain Mattias Norstom. Then came the free agents that didn’t work. Brad Stuart, Ladislav Nagy, Tom Preissing, Dan Cloutier and the trades of Michael Cammalleri and Lubomir Visnovski.
When free agency began, so did the soap opera. Blake claims he was never tendered an offer. Lombardi claims that Blake’s new agent Pat Brisson demanded 4 million dollars. Days went by and teams were signing players. Blake, not wanting to settle for having to play for Atlanta or the Islanders received a generous 5 million dollar offer to play for the playoff consistent Sharks, a team Lombardi helped to build.
He took it.