Just from being around Rob Blake, do you have any--I mean, does anyone have any real inkling about whether he's gonna retire this year?
I have no idea, I mean, he's done it all. He's won a Stanley Cup, he captained two different franchises.
He's one of this elite group of players (who) had a reunion in Vancouver, players who've won an Olympic gold medal, a Stanley Cup, and the World Championship. I think there's only 18 players that have won all three (actually 22). They had a reception for them in Vancouver at the Olympics. They're the Triple Gold Club.
I mean, he's done everything in
hockey from that standpoint, he's made a lot of money, and played most of his career in California, and likes the lifestyle. I don't know if his body of work is done.
Steve Conroy, who used to work with me, retired young. He was only like 31 when he retired from the NHL. And I said, "Why did you retire from the NHL when you were so young?"
And he said, "'Cause I didn't like to go to
practise anymore." (I laugh.) He said, "I love going to the games, but
to drag myself out of bed every morning and go to practise, I didn't wanna put
that work in anymore, it was too hard. Mentally I couldn't do
it year after year after year--I lost the love for it."
And that's what happens to some guys: They love to play the games, but it's too hard to get themselves ready to play the games. That's where different people bow out at different parts of their career.
(While I was flipping the tape, he talked about things Blake might decide to do instead of playing, and his decision would come down to his personal priorities.)
...or it might be, I wanna
finally drive my kids to school every morning, or I wanna take my wife on a
vacation and go skiing in February, which I've never been able to do. You know, when you have the financial security, you have the ability to make choices
like that, and maybe it's something as simple as that.
Because what else does he have to prove as a player? He's going to the Hall of Fame, he's won a Stanley Cup, he's won a World Championship and he's won a gold medal.
You know, so it comes down to a real personal decision, a family decision. It doesn't appear to me that his body is broken down or anything like that.
No. He's lost a little speed, but he was one of the Sharks most productive defencemen, so--
Yeah, no question about it, I mean, he's still Rob Blake--he's Rob Friggin' Blake! A Hall of Famer.
And you're right, he doesn't skate like he did ten years ago. That's natural, to be expected. But he makes up for it with so much knowledge and his abilities to still move the puck effectively.
You know, I hope he doesn't (retire). I hope he comes back because I think he could help us.
But you know, that's between Rob and his family to decide. But from what he told me, he (has) already made up his mind, he just wasn't ready to say it yet.