Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bowling Green's Blake Named to Hall of Fame

The Hockey Hall of Fame is adding another NCAA player to its ranks. 

Rob Blake (Bowling Green), a 20-year NHL defenseman who won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, will be inducted into the Hall this year along with goaltender Dominik Hasek, center Peter Forsberg, center Mike Modano, coach Pat Burns and referee Bill McCreary, according to NHL.com.

Blake won the Norris Trophy in 1998 as the NHL's top blueliner, and was a six-time NHL All-Star Game participant. He was named to the All-NHL Second Team three times, and to the first team the same year he won the Norris.

Blake scored 240 goals and added 537 assists for 777 points in 1,270 career NHL regular-season games, while also accumulating 1,679 penalty minutes. He also scored 136 power-play goals in his tenure with the Los Angeles Kings, Avalanche and San Jose Sharks, and 41 of his goals were game-winners.

A native of Simcoe, Ontario, Blake also participated in 146 Stanley Cup Playoff contests over 13 seasons, collecting 26-47—73 points and 166 PIM. He posted career playoff highs of 6-13—19 points in 23 games in 2001 in helping Colorado to its second-ever Stanley Cup with a seven-game victory over the defending NHL champion New Jersey Devils in the final.

The Kings drafted him fourth overall in 1988 after his freshman season at BGSU, where Blake put up 39-65—104 points and 368 PIM in 139 career games with the Falcons under head coach Jerry York, including a 59-point junior campaign in 1989-90. He left school a year early to turn pro with the Kings that same season.

Blake was named as the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's Best Offensive Defenseman and to the All-CCHA First team in 1989-90, the same year that he also earned First Team All-America West accolades. He was later named to the CCHA's 1980s All-Decade Team, according to his Wikipedia entry.

Blake, who also participated in five World Championships and three Winter Olympic Games with Canada, won a gold medal at the Salt Lake Olympic Games in 2002. He was also a member of Canada's silver-medal squad at the 1996 World Cup. He played his final NHL game with San Jose in the 2009-10 playoffs, appearing in 15 postseason contests after skating in 70 regular-season outings.

Blake now works with the Kings as their assistant general manager, and will add another Stanley Cup ring to his résumé  following last month's Los Angeles victory over the New York Rangers in the final in five games. He was also selected by Hockey Canada to be their General Manager for the 2014 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships in Belarus, where Canada finished fifth overall..

The Hockey Hall of Fame induction for the Class of 2014 will be held in November in Toronto.

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