Blog Entry

Blake happy to trade places

Posted on: February 1, 2010 3:06 pm

Jason Blake didn’t even have a uniform number.

He arrived from Toronto late Sunday night after being traded by the Maple Leafs and joined his new Anaheim Ducks teammates this morning for their pre-game skate in Florida. There was no uniform number on his helmet, no name plate on his locker stall and no complaints from Blake.

“I was thrilled (about the trade),” Blake said in an interview after practice.

Relieved too because he signed a big free agent contract in 2007 and in his own words, “didn’t work out.” Blake was coming off a 40-goal season with the New York Islanders when he joined the Leafs, but only a few weeks into his new season, was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

Blake’s cancer was treatable and never kept him out of the lineup, but the veteran winger’s scoring totals in Toronto didn’t come close to matching his New York numbers and that made him an easy target for the frustration of fans and media in one of hockey most intense markets.

“It’s a tough place to play no question,” Blake said. “Everything runs through there, all the rumors and B.S,  and coming to rink dealing with 25 media guys every day asking what’s wrong, and why aren’t winning. It’s not an excuse but it does wear on you.

 “I enjoyed my time in Toronto, but I know I didn’t adapt to it well so I was looking for a fresh start a long time ago. Hopefully this will be the right fit.”

It does have potential. While the Ducks were still getting used to the idea of not having popular goalie J-S Giguere around anymore, Blake got to spend most of his first practice on a line with Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne, who will be making his return to the lineup ahead of schedule after breaking his jaw.

Coach Randy Carlyle will have them together on a lineup to take advantage of Blake’s speed, which was part of the thinking for GM Bob Murray in acquiring him in the Giguere deal. But Murray said he thought the change of scenery could breathe new life into the 36-year-old forward.

“I know how he played in New York, Toronto didn’t work out but that’s part of our business now with big contracts,” Murray said. “If you get a big contract in Canadian dn cities, you’re under the gun, that’s what happened.

“This is the piano off his back, that’s what I’m hoping for. He’s got something to prove and he will prove. He’s got some speed and with Teemu coming back, we’ve got some speed, something our big forwards can use around them.”

That’s what Blake hopes.

“I’m very excited but I’m very nervous,” he said. “You don’t want to come in a ruin things.”



Category: NHL

Since: Apr 8, 2007
Posted on: February 4, 2010 11:28 pm

Blake happy to trade places

He's been a complete dud in Toronto and as a Leaf fan its been tough to watch.
lol i dont know what to say about a leaf fan what has been positive at all to watch?closing in on another year without the playoffs...i hate the leafs and dont even enjoy watching them lose anymore...seeing the sad faces in the crowd...almost brings a tear to my

Oh and here's hopin Burke can someone squeeze Teemu north of the border for one more season jese man careful what you wish for...the old man leafs are gone,save a friggen draft pick or two and continue to build with youth...phanuf is what 24?theres your got a decent goal scorer in kessle....pull in the reigns some,let kahdri play next year,maybe get a draft pick or two for kaberle...who knows...but it finally looks like there may be hope in TO..just not this year lolol GO SENS!

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: February 3, 2010 12:44 pm

Blake happy to trade places

And playoffs? You guys aren't even in the top 8.

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: February 3, 2010 12:43 pm

Blake happy to trade places

We deserve a good year after all the crap that we have had to go through. So I won't let your comment ruin my fun.

Since: Sep 2, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2010 4:33 pm

Good Riddance

I can honestly say that from moment one I hated the move to get this goof in Toronto. The Leafs paid this guy based on his one good season (which was in a year his contract was up) and it was ridiculous. He most often won't play a full season, he's inconsistent and he has one year where he's cracked 30 goals (although yes he can technically be referred to a 40 goal scorer (on the dot I might add)). I guess when a team's as desperate as they were for goal scorers at that point they'll start seeing past all this and just notice the fact that the guy has occasionally put up good numbers.
He's been a complete dud in Toronto and as a Leaf fan its been tough to watch.
Hopefully he can turn things around in Anaheim, Teemu will definitely make him look better I'm sure. Oh and here's hopin Burke can someone squeeze Teemu north of the border for one more season. I'd say there's almost no chance of that happening but I'd definitely be making more of an effort to scrounge up the bazillion dollars it seems to cost to get to a game these days.
All the best Jason but I'm so glad I don't have to watch you play anymore.

Since: Apr 14, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2010 11:48 am

Blake happy to trade places

Sounds like a player that just didn't perform ....He claims that the media is all around ..and wears him down.  He was in NYCITY for crying out loud before this with the Islanders. When he got traded to Toronto he must have known that hockey is a PASSION up there. If he was surprised about it then he was pretty naive. Having a multiyear contract for big bucks definitely has shown that players do float at times.. and aren't as hungry once they know they got a few years on the contract to fall back on. I do believe it changes a players work ethic.  Case in point.. Where's Tom Vanek been for the Sabres ??   Derek Roy , Drew Stafford... the Sabres are loaded with these guys.
You can go through each team and find the multi year contract players that have changed...Wake up GM's..Wake UP owners.. !!

Since: Feb 1, 2010
Posted on: February 1, 2010 6:31 pm

Blake happy to trade places

I think this is a good move for Blake and well really he will have people who can pass him the puck and maybe he can regain some of his former scoring touch. While in T.O he was always going to be considered a bust and the media and fans were always going to remind him of the big contract he signed and never lived up to. New start can't hurt and in a few years the same will happen to Kessel big contract and no support and he to will be glad to leave!

Since: May 28, 2007
Posted on: February 1, 2010 6:28 pm

Blake happy to trade places

Sulton you are exactly right about Blake riding his contract. This is exactly why free agent gambles often don't work out and it is often better to deal for the guy before his contract runs out so as a team he is playing for, you can monitor his work ethic and get an idea as to the guys character. Some guys just aren't a good fit for the media crazed environment of Toronto. Blake, and others like him signing for money only, are going to get ripped in a place like Toronto where they don't let guys get by if they are overpaid and underproducing. One thing about Toronto and other hockeytowns, if you aren't giving the effort, they can see it. You may get away with not skating full out if you are playing in Tampa or Phoenix, but in Toronto, Detroit, Montreal, you are going to have to deal with the consequences, that being the media writing about it and the fans letting you hear it when you step on the ice, or touch the puck. Blake is a better fit in Anaheim where the media isn't so tough on slackers.

Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2010 6:06 pm

Blake happy to trade places

“I enjoyed my time in Toronto, but I know I didn’t adapt to it well so I was looking for a fresh start a long time ago. Hopefully this will be the right fit.” It's good to see Blake leave, he played with no desire while in the Blue and White, while i wish him good luck with the Ducks i'm still frustrated with players who ride big contracts and don't deliver, another prime example would be Olli Jokinen of the the Calgary Flames and rumors have him being chased out of town, just like they did in Florida and in Phoenix!

Since: Nov 21, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2010 5:22 pm

Blake happy to trade places

GMB Brian,

Your quite lippy for a coyotes fan.  Your having one good season,  I'd bet the Ducks get farther in the playoffs than the yotes.

Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2010 4:36 pm

Blake happy to trade places

Good, I hope Jason does welll on the ducks. Hes been my favorite player for a long time and I wish the Isles could have kept him.

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