Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Rob Blake Swatch Card

(As per years past, this is a twin-post with my "regular" blog, where I predicted the Los Angeles Kings would finish last in the NHL in 2019-20).

Rob Blake is many things: a Hall of Famer, a Stanley Cup winner (Colorado Avalanche, 2001), the 11th member of the Triple Gold Club, a former captain of two NHL teams (Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks), a Norris Trophy-winning defenseman (1998), and a current General Manager, a position he has occupied since April 10, 2017 and has yet to make any significant impact in.

With his Kings finishing in last place in the West last season, he opted to make the following roster moves at the trade deadline and over the summer:
  • Traded Carl Hagelin, who had played only 22 games with the team after being acquired for Tanner Pearson, to the Washington Capitals for two mid-round draft picks
  • Traded Nate Thompson, who had played only 79 games with the team, to the Montreal Canadiens for a fourth-round draft pick
  • Traded Oscar Fantenberg, who had played only 74 games with the team, to the Calgary Flames for a conditional pick in 2020.
  • Bought out the final two years of Dion Phaneuf’s contract
  • Signed Joakim Ryan to a one-year deal in free agency
What the actual fuck.

He's spending $11M annually until 2025 on Drew Doughty, a defenseman who has been alternating good and bad seasons since 2009-10 - and last year's 8 goals, 44 points and -34 rating in 82 games is the worst among everyone making over $7M a year - and the same can be said for $10M captain (until 2024) Anze Kopitar, who's been on and off since 2013-14.

That's saying nothing of former captain Dustin Brown's annual salary of $5.75M until 2022, who seems to have maxed out at some 20 goals per season after five straight seasons below that threshold.

And, instead of trying to help Russian superstar Ilya Kovalchuk regain his mojo, Blake stayed with head coach Willie Desjardins until the end of the season, despite Slick Willie being unable to get his team to win or even want to play.

So many bad decisions followed by so much inaction - yet so much dead wood to get rid of.

Unless he's tanking for the benefit of his successor, Blake actually seems to be on a mission to waste his boss' money with absolutely nothing to show for it on the ice, performing a reverse-Wayne Gretzky and trying to kill off hockey in California.

It seems like the only logical explanation.

Here he is wearing the King's white (then-home) uniform from the 1998-2008 era, sporting the captain's "C", on card #GG-RBL from Panini's 2013-14 Titanium set and Game-Worn Gear sub-set:
It features a black game-worn jersey swatch from the team's black (away/third) uniform of the same era.

No comments:

Post a Comment