It is extremely
rare, in these days of rapid player movement and free agency sweepstakes, for a professional athlete to admit that they made a mistake in signing with a new team. It's just about nonexistent
, actually. While Toronto winger Jason Blake may not have done exactly that in a recent article in the <a href="http://torontosun.com/Spo...639922-sun.html">Toronto Sun
</a>, he came awfully
close with some of his comments.
Note: Since, for whatever reason, I cannot insert an HTML link whenever I post anything on the myHB side of things, here's the direct link to the original article: http://torontosun.com/Spo...07/11/08/4639922-sun.html
Blake has been frustrated early on in his first season as a Maple Leaf both with his team, which has been wildly inconsistent and with himself, as he has only produced 2 goals in 16 games.
But does he regret his decision to sign with Toronto?
In Steve Simmons' article, "Blue and White and Blue All Over
," in today's edition of the Sun
, Blake vents his frustrations about his current team ...
"I'm not going to sit here and blow off steam because if I did, we would be here for an hour. It has nothing to do with my (health). I feel 100 times better than I did last year. It has nothing to with adjusting to a new team. I've adjusted ... It's certain things ..."
Hmmm ... he continues ...
"Where would I start? I can't say what ... I'm not going to ... It is what it is."
Very cryptic, Jason! Again ... hmmm ...
Later, Blake also gives high praise to his former organization as well as some individual players ...
"No. 1, (the Islanders) have an unbelievable coach. Ted Nolan's the best. No. 2, we played like the Senators, that way. We weren't as talented, we weren't as big, we weren't as strong but we moved the puck. We tried to hit the open guy. No. 3, we had Brendan Witt, one of the most underrated defenceman in the league."
And, after Simmons prompts Blake for No. 4?
"The best goalie. The best upcoming goaltender in the league. (Rick) DiPietro will win the Vezina in the next three years."
I don't think, honestly, that the day will ever come where you'll see an athlete come out and say, "Hey, listen, I never should have signed here. I made a mistake. I should have stayed put." That's just not going to happen - at least not while the player is still with the team in question - but Jason Blake just came darn
close to doing so.
The Leafs are a mess ... and this is just a small indication thereof.
On the other side of things ... all due respect, Jason, but the Isles are doing just fine without you.
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Pretty shocking comments by Blakey. As an Isles fan it makes me feel great about our organization though. I guess sometimes "you dont know what you've got til its gone" with Blake. The truth is the character on the Isles team is tremedous and the guys that Blake named are a huge reason why. Brendan Witt is my favorite player on the team and he is extremely underrated b/c he does the "little" things that help you win hockey games. It seems more and more though that the "little" things are actually the "big" things and a player with "superstar" written on their forehead does not win championships. Isles are on the right track but are still a few players away from a cup.
From what I see its almost like he is trying to carry the load for the entire team. I see interview after interview where he is speaking up for the team. I like this fellow and do not see him the problem. I am sure its a big adjustment for anyone to come and play in TO. Especially how they have been playing of late :(
How many other professional hockey players and ballplayers followed the money to other teams only to become unhappy and watch their game slip. Blake may become more disgusted when he's watching the Isles PO run while he's emptying his locker for the year. I dont feel sorry for him. He said he wanted to remain with the Isles but then he decided to go free agency. Isles could have traded him at last years deadline and gotten something in return. Looks like both sides lost a little something. Thats the business of hockey. The Island was his home, in his case, he can never go home again. Good luck Jason, you'll need it.
As a Flyers fan it is good to see Blake on a team we play four times vs. a team we play eight. He always seemed to have our number.
wow.. thats crazy.. looks like blake should have stayed put.
I think that was very unprofessional of Blake, regardless of his feelings and regardless of the teams performance those comments should not come up to the media. I understand where he is comming from, but thats not how you deal with the media.
i am starting to think that the old guard is going to have to be sent packing in order for the leafs to adapt.McCabe, for sure needs a new environment unless he can shape up fastTucker, would miss him but Bell will ease into the positionAntropov, because it is a long season and odds are =he'll be hurt, unfortunatelyPonikarovsky, because he is just big...so was Renberg...the hard parts are Kaberle and Sundin - i would be tempted to hold onto them until we see here the Buds are at come trade deadline.
I am very surprised by Blake comments, I know from just the working world it is very easy to become frustrated but you need to avoid making statments when your angry. The NY Media may be bad but it is nothing compared to the Toronto Hockey Media. They will burn Blake if he continues to make statements about the Islanders rather then how he will improve his game and the Leafs game. As they say...money cannot buy you happiness....
then again, SOMEONE had to say it...why not the new guy? Everyone one else is complicit and complacent, apparently.
Didn't Chara say he shouldn't have left Ottawa?
Kind ofHe said he misses the style and loved playing there, and he wanted to stay but Ottawa didnt seem to want him, and he was hurt even after he signed.
the story goes that technically blake was traded at the deadline, but as the story goes.. it hit the league office too late, and the deal was rejected.... it would have been for draft picks.. (smyth's trade kept blake on the island b/c all the attention went to that trade)
Blake needs to play with a playmaker. Wellwood to be excact. The scorers should play with playmakers. Sundin is not a playmaker, he is a scorer.
Wonder if Paul Maurice noticed Blake's pointed praise of Ted Nolan?