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I hate you, Toronto, ON • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
ronguillet@gmail.com
Don't look now, but Jason Blake is on pace for 25 goals and 56 points (in 78 games).

And don't give your eyes a rub, that's actually on your computer screen, folks.

While Don Cherry is red in the face over the coaching of Ron Wilson, Blake couldn't be happier. After registering a disappointing 15-goal (although he did have 51 points) campaign in 2007-08, Blake has flourished under Wilson, scoring 14 goals so far this season.

Blake may lack the defensive game to establish himself as an effective two-way forward, but considering his +1 rating, he's obviously doing something right.

Blake is most effective, however, as an energetic forward who uses his speed and tenacity to create scoring chances down low.

All that said, I'm going to come right out and say it: Blake does not belong on this team.

I don't care how much he improves, he just doesn't fit.

Blake is best utilized as a top-six forward. So, what's the problem? The Leafs lack top-six forwards anyway, right?

Wrong.

The Leafs are a rebuilding team. So, how exactly, does Blake fit? He doesn't implement any sort of leadership to the line-up, and at 34, he's not exactly a young stud. Even if he was there for leadership, isn't that why character players like Mayers and May were acquired in the first place?

Wilson may be responsible for the re-emergence of Blake, but the signing was a mistake ever since John Ferguson Jr. signed the dotted line two summers ago.

Blake is signed on for three more years after this season, possessing a hefty cap-hit at 4 million dollars. It's important to note, however, that he will be making a fair 3 million dollars during the last two years of his contract.

And this, ladies and gentleman, could play a big part in the potential trading of Blake at this year's Trade Deadline.

If Blake can keep producing as an offensive juggernaut (he now has 7PTS in his last 4GP), the Minnesota-native may generate some interest once March 4th swings around.

It's entirely possible the Leafs continue to be handcuffed with his lucrative contract, but don't be surprised if Burke ends up unloading him, even if it's for a mid-round draft pick (although I would imagine the Leafs would be taking some salary back).

So, what do you think? Is a trade possible? Do you want him off the team? If so, what type of return are you expecting?

www.mapleleafshotstove.com

[email]ronguillet@gmail.com[/email]
Filed Under:   Blake   Leafs   Burke   Deadline   hockey  
January 23, 2009 7:36 PM ET | Delete
January 23, 2009 8:39 PM ET | Delete
I think he would actually fit well on minnesota, they are gonna need someone to score next year with gaborik gone and a return of a third round pick or something like that would be great for a crappy signing by JFJ
January 24, 2009 9:27 AM ET | Delete
I think Blake might move by next deadline if he could keep his play up. Burke is known for his ability to trade, let's hope he can pull a rabbit out of his hat and move him this year.
January 24, 2009 11:53 AM ET | Delete
Although it would be awesome if we can actually get something for him, we might have to strap a younger player along with him for teams to bite. He is a decent player, just his salary clearly doesn't justify that. A team that is in the playoff hunt, and has salary cap space, would be interested, granted, as you said, we take some salary back. The Wild have some HIGH priced garbage. Kim Johnnson is getting paid an insane amount of money. Maybe the leafs would be willing to take the large amount of cap hit now, but only deal with Johnsson for one more season, whereas with Blake it is over a longer period of time.To Wild:Blake To Leafs:JohnnsonPouliot or 2nd/3rd RD Pick
ndk
January 24, 2009 2:26 PM ET | Delete
Blake and White for PMB???????
January 24, 2009 10:27 PM ET | Delete
Blake
January 24, 2009 10:31 PM ET | Delete
and White for PMB is very wishful thinking. The trade would not be too great for the Wild, but excellent for the Leafs. If Blake can't be moved this year, maybe in coming years when his player salary is down to $3M. Granted his cap hit remains the same, but he is still a decent option as a veteran leader who can chip in with some goals. Maybe the Stars are still interested, lets bring back those Blake for Avery Pick rumours.
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