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Robert Bowlby Blake (born December 10, 1969) is a Canadianmarker professional ice hockey defenceman and team captain of the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League (NHL).

He was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1988, appearing in the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals, winning the James Norris Memorial Trophy and serving as team captain for five seasons in his initial 11 season-stint with the club. In 2001, Blake was traded to the the Colorado Avalanche and won a Stanley Cup championship. After two-season return to Los Angeles, Blake signed with the Sharks in 2008.

Internationally, Blake has played for Team Canada in three consecutive Winter Olympics in 1998, 2002 and 2006, winning gold in 2002.

Playing career

Los Angeles Kings (1990–2001)

Blake was selected 70th overall in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. He had completed his freshman year with Bowling Green University of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) when he was drafted and went on to play three years total in the college ranks, earning CCHA and NCAA West First All-Star Team honours in 1990. He joined the Kings for the final four games of the 1989–90 season before tallying 46 points in his NHL rookie campaign in 1990–91 to be named to the NHL All-Rookie Team.

After a 59-point campaign in his third season, Blake helped lead the Kings to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals, where they were defeated in five games by the Montreal Canadiens. The following season, in 1993–94, Blake improved to a career-high 48 assists and 68 points, but the Kings failed to qualify for the playoffs.

In a season where Blake was kept to just six games due to injury, the Kings traded captain Wayne Gretzky to the St. Louis Blues at the 1995–96 trade deadline, leaving the team's captaincy vacant. Blake was chosen to replace Gretzky and was named the 11th captain in team history. He served as captain from 1996-2001. In 1997–98, Blake received the James Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenceman after recording a career-high 23 goals to go with 50 points.

With Blake about to become an unrestricted free agent in the 2001 off-season, the Kings traded him, along with Steven Reinprecht, to the Colorado Avalanche for Adam Deadmarsh, Aaron Miller, Jared Aulin and a 1st round pick (David Steckel) on February 21, 2001.

Colorado Avalanche (2001–06)

After 11 seasons in Los Angeles, Blake joined Colorado late in the 2000–01 season and made an immediate impact, tallying 10 points in the final 13 games of the regular season after being traded. He then won his first Stanley Cup with the Avalanche, adding 19 points in 23 post-season games. Blake re-signed with the Avalanche in the off-season and recorded 56 points in 2001–02, his highest total with the club.

Blake in his second tenure with the Kings in 2008.

Return to Los Angeles (2006–08)

After four seasons with Colorado, the Avalanche chose not to pick up his contract option for the 2006–07 season, making him a free agent. He re-signed with his former team, the Kings, for two years at $6 million per year on July 1, 2006.

Having come off a 51-point campaign with Colorado the previous year, Blake's production dipped upon his return to Los Angeles. He recorded 34 points in 2006–07 for his lowest total since 1996–97. Nevertheless, prior to the start of the 2007–08 season, Blake was re-named team captain on September 28, 2007, after previous captain Mattias Norström's departure to the Dallas Stars.

San Jose Sharks (2008–present)

Becoming an unrestricted free agent once more in the 2008 off-season, Blake signed a one-year, US$5 million contract with the Kings' Pacific Division rival San Jose Sharks on July 3, 2008. Blake reached the 40-point plateau once more with the Sharks, tallying 10 goals and 35 assists in his first season in San Jose.

Blake extended his contract with the Sharks, re-signing for another year at $3.5 million to avoid free agency. After years of failing to live up to expectations in the playoffs as a team, Sharks management stripped Patrick Marleau of his captaincy, challenging players to earn positions of leadership. On September 30, 2009, the Sharks named Blake the new team captain.

Personal life

Blake was born in Simcoemarker, Ontariomarker. He and his wife Brandy have two children. His best friend in the NHL is New York Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson, with whom he grew up playing hockey in Simcoe. He is also closely related to Hall of Famer Red Kelly. In 2008, Blake appeared in the Mike Myers film The Love Guru as himself.

Awards



Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1985–86 Brantford OJHL-B 39 3 13 16 43
1986–87 Stratford OJHL-B 31 11 20 31 115
1987–88 Bowling Green CCHA 43 5 8 13 88
1988–89 Bowling Green CCHA 46 11 21 32 140
1989–90 Bowling Green CCHA 42 23 36 59 140
1989–90 Los Angeles Kings NHL 4 0 0 0 4 8 1 3 4 4
1990–91 Los Angeles Kings NHL 75 12 34 46 125 12 1 4 5 26
1991–92 Los Angeles Kings NHL 57 7 13 20 102 6 2 1 3 12
1992–93 Los Angeles Kings NHL 76 16 43 59 152 23 4 6 10 46
1993–94 Los Angeles Kings NHL 84 20 48 68 137
1994–95 Los Angeles Kings NHL 24 4 7 11 38
1995–96 Los Angeles Kings NHL 6 1 2 3 8
1996–97 Los Angeles Kings NHL 62 8 23 31 82
1997–98 Los Angeles Kings NHL 81 23 27 50 94 4 0 0 0 6
1998–99 Los Angeles Kings NHL 62 12 23 35 128
1999–00 Los Angeles Kings NHL 77 18 39 57 112 4 0 2 2 4
2000–01 Los Angeles Kings NHL 54 17 32 49 69
2000–01 Colorado Avalanche NHL 13 2 8 10 8 23 6 13 19 16
2001–02 Colorado Avalanche NHL 75 16 40 56 58 20 6 6 12 16
2002–03 Colorado Avalanche NHL 79 17 28 45 57 7 1 2 3 8
2003–04 Colorado Avalanche NHL 74 13 33 46 61 9 0 5 5 6
2005–06 Colorado Avalanche NHL 81 14 37 51 94 9 3 1 4 8
2006–07 Los Angeles Kings NHL 72 14 20 34 82
2007–08 Los Angeles Kings NHL 71 9 22 31 98
2008–09 San Jose Sharks NHL 73 10 35 45 110 6 1 3 4 4

NHL totals 1200

233

514

747 1619 131 25 46 71 156


International play

Played for Canada in:



International statistics
Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1991 Canada WC 2 0 2 2 0
1994 Canada WC 8 0 2 2 6
1996 Canada WCH 4 0 1 1 0
1997 Canada WC 11 2 2 4 22
1998 Canada Oly. 6 1 1 2 2
1998 Canada WC 5 1 0 1 6
1999 Canada WC 10 2 5 7 12
2002 Canada Oly. 6 1 2 3 2
2006 Canada Oly. 6 0 1 1 2
Senior Int'l Totals 58 7 16 23 52


References

  1. [1]

External links




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