Good move by the San Jose Sharks today, naming Rob Blake team captain.
"(Blake) has experience captaining a team and will give us everything he has,” coach Todd McLellan was quoted as saying on the Sharks web site http://sharks.nhl.com. "He will hold his teammates to the highest standard.”
Blake, who turns 40 in December, has been captain of the Los Angeles Kings and won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. Perhaps he can show his teammates what it takes to win in the playoffs, something the Sharks haven't managed to do even after successful regular seasons.
Joe Thornton, the Sharks' best player, will wear an 'A' as an assistant captain, along with Dan Boyle.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Blake is entering his 20th NHL season and second with the Sharks. He's coming off a 10-goal, 45-point season and was a plus-15.
McLellan took the captainship away from Patrick Marleau in the offseason following the Sharks' first-round loss to the eighth-seeded Anaheim Ducks in the playoffs after winning the Presidents' Trophy with the NHL's best regular-season record.
"When you're expected to go far in the playoffs and you don't, things change," Marleau said. "I don't think it's total blame. It's collectively. Everybody on the team knows we messed up."
The underachieving Sharks have won four Pacific Division titles in the past seven seasons, but they've never made it beyond the 2004 Western Conference finals.