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Defenseman Rob Blake retires after 20-year career

compiled from staff, San Jose Sharks and NHL news

Coming into the 2009-2010 hockey season, Rob Blake knew that this would be his last NHL season.

He performed quite well for a player of 40 years old, helping his team, the San Jose Sharks reach the Western Conference Finals.

He made the decision officially last week at a press conference that his career is over. He will probably end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Blake leaves the game on his terms, still able to play at a high level against the younger players in the NHL and could’ve played another year or two but didn’t want to be selfish and take up a roster spot that could go to a younger player.

Rob Blake (nhl)

Blake had a very satisfying and decorated career. He helped the Los Angeles Kings advance to the Stanley Cup final in 1993, winning the Norris Trophy for the Kings as the league’s to defender in 1998.  Winning the Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001 and earned a gold medal for Canada in 2002.

He helped San Jose post the top regular season record in the Western Conference the past two seasons, but the team was unable to get into their first Stanley Cup final.

Blake was named team captain this past season for San Jose, and his leadership was a steadying influence on a team that needed a steady hand to lead the players.

He teammed with Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Blake had seven goals and 23 assists in 70 games and was the team’s most reliable defenders.

Blake grew up on a farm in Ontario, never thinking that his hockey career would last until he was 40. He played college hockey for the Bowling Green State University Falcons and was a fourth-round pick by the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. He came up to the NHL late in the 1989-90 season after finishing his college education and career. His first goal as an NHL player came in the playoffs against Calgary.

Blake leaves the NHL 10th on the career list with 240 goals as a defenseman. He finished his career with 537 assists and 777 points. His 136 power-play goals are the third most by an NHL defenseman, trailing Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (173) and Al MacInnis (166).

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