As recently reported per TSN, Blake is open to the possibility of being traded this summer.
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There's no question that the Leafs had a very poor season and have spent too much money on players that were not worth the cash, Blake being one of them. His 40 goal season from two years ago was not a part of his game play this year, as he finished with 13 goals and 52 points. I hate to say it, but that's a typical Jason Blake year. Only difference is that he usually was more of a goal scorer, closer to 25 goals a season, averaging almost the same amount of assists, at around 50+ points.
That 40 goal season came in his contract year with the team he loved playing for. Could he do it again? Who knows? But his track record doesn't make it seem very possible.
The Leafs got duped by an uncharacteristic season for Blakey, but some may argue it was one that was due, as he seemed to improve his game each year just a tad bit before elevating it to his best ever.
Fletcher said the team has no plans to buy him out, but when Blake was asked if he wants to return he replied with a mellow, "I don't know." When asked if he would be angry/disappointed about being traded he stated, "oh no, not at all, if that's the route." Seems like he may be eager to leave.
The media focus on hockey in Toronto can be brutal; nothing like Long Island. Here he was the hero, the diamond in the rough. There he was supposed to the savior, and he fell very short, and now he may have finally gotten the reality check he needed.
So with rumors swirling around the trade deadline that Fletcher approached Snow about trading for Blake, I'm sure we're going to see those same rumors start up again. Apparently there was not that much of a base to those trade talks, as many said they were just preliminary with nothing imminent. But you have to wonder...
Garth "The Builder" Snow is going to want to Blake to come with either a pick or a prospect if he is to trade for him. It makes sense, but isn't very appealing. However if Fletcher is asked by Blake to be traded he may not have that much of a choice. But then who would the Isles give up? I'm sure it would have to be someone young, or maybe it could be a d-man depending on who we sign or draft this off-season.
Before you make all your speculations, do you even want Jason Blake back?
My answer: If he came with a prospect and didn't require too much in return, then yes. Otherwise steer clear. I loved Blake, and seeing that he signed with Toronto after losing out on Ryan Smyth was one of the worst things I read on July 1st last summer. He was the heart and soul of this team, and no one can deny that we were missing his spark and hustle out there every shift. He was the "Grit, Character, Heart" motto that the web-site displays, and that was definitely missing this year.
Although I am speculating way ahead of the rumors which haven't even begun on this scenario, I think if he returned at the right deal it could help uplift this team's morale with him leading the charge of a re-building franchise.
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