Posts Tagged ‘Rob Blake’

Top Line: Penguins coach Bylsma, five Maple Leafs on hot seat; more links

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Coach Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins

If things don’t start looking up for the Penguins, coach Dan Bylsma may be a goner. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

• Rob Rossi explains what’s behind the Penguins’ lackluster 6-6-2 record since the Olympic break. Rossi’s reasons all seem like valid explanations, but they’re not quieting rumors that Pittsburgh may consider a coaching change before the playoffs.

• Dion Phaneuf and Randy Carlyle top the list of five Maple Leafs on the hot seat as the team fumbles away its playoff chances.

• Steve Simmons asks scouts to explain the lost season of Toronto’s David Clarkson, but even they can’t quite figure it out. This looks more and more like a buyout situation this summer, doesn’t it?

Don Cherry teed off on the Maple Leafs after they signed college free agent Eric Knodel yesterday. Toronto’s management usually deserves the scorn thrown its way, but I think Grapes missed the mark on this one.

• There’s a theory out there that suggests Canadian fans have some emotional stake in a team from Canada winning the Stanley Cup. I don’t buy it, but on the off-chance that you do, Cam Cole suggests you might not want to get your hopes up. Again.

Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers has ramped up his game since returning from Sochi, but is he really Norris Trophy material? David Satriano makes the case.

Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos wants to remind everyone that he’s pretty good at hockey.

• “Oh my god … I just got traded for Jarome Iginla!”

Read More…

  • Published On Mar 27, 2014
  • Rob Blake’s new job opens door for key hiring in NHL player safety

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    Rob Blake served as the Los Angeles Kings' captain from 1996-2001 and 2006-08. (AP)

    Rob Blake served as the Los Angeles Kings’ captain from 1996-2001 and 2006-08. (AP)

    By Allan Muir

    Los Angeles Kings fans can finally cheer Rob Blake again.

    At least, they can stop booing him.

    Blake, who played 14 seasons with the Kings, was named assistant general manager today by Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi. He’ll assume the role vacated earlier in the week when Ron Hextall made a lateral move to Philadelphia.

    Though homecomings are usually warmly welcomed, there’s no telling how this will go over in SoCal. Blake won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman in 1998 and served as captain from 1996-2001. But he became a whipping boy for the fans when he was dealt as a pending free agent to Colorado in 2001 and was heckled the rest of his career…even when he returned to L.A. for a two-year stint from 2006-08.

    Tough crowd.

    Read More…

  • Published On Jul 18, 2013
  • SHANABANNED! Corey Perry gets four games for late hit on Jason Zucker

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    By Allan Muir

    Corey Perry just earned the season’s first “message” suspension.

    The Anaheim winger learned he’ll sit out four games and forfeit more than $115,000 in salary for his late hit on Minnesota’s Jason Zucker last night.

    Brendan Shanahan conducted the hearing by phone, but it was Rob Blake, his Department of Player Safety cohort, who checked off all the obvious points in the video explanation: it was a late hit; Perry “recklessly made significant contact to the head of a player ineligible to be hit,” he had time to avoid or minimize it; Zucker was injured on the play; Perry had previously been suspended.

    But the most interesting part of Blake’s presentation was this line: “In spite of the fact that all players need to be aware of their surroundings, it is perfectly reasonable that Zucker should no longer expect to be hit this long after possession.”

    The whole “blame the victim” thing has long been a part of hockey culture. Honestly, I’m as guilty of it as anybody, because I was always taught that a player has a responsibility to keep his head up and stay alert, especially just after making a pass or taking a shot. If you’re dumb enough to stop to admire it, you’ll get what you deserve.

    When I caught the replay, that was my initial reaction. If Zucker doesn’t take such a long look at his pass, he would have seen Perry in time and dodged the brunt of the hit.

    But that’s wrong-headed thinking because all it does is validate opportunistic predation. Once a player has given up possession, he should have a reasonable expectation that he won’t be destroyed by a late hit.

    I guarantee there will be plenty of disagreement with that since it essentially takes the onus off the victim to protect himself. But this doesn’t mean that players can’t finish their checks. It sets a standard that should eliminate the long runs like the one Perry made.

    There should be punishment and prevention elements to any supplemental discipline decision. Shanny made an example out of a superstar-caliber player. Odds are the message won’t be overlooked.

  • Published On Mar 13, 2013