Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jason Blake Gets the Toronto Treatment

I still have a Google search on my favorite hockey player, no matter what team he plays for. There is always something coming up in my email in the morning. Sometimes they are just a reference of his name, but recently, there have been full feature articles on the ex-Islander with the highly controversial $20 million deal with the Leafs.

While many articles have been exceptionally critical and some downright rude, the last two items Google presented me have softened their stance considerably.
With his birthday looming large on September 2nd, Jason Blake still has something in the tank. Even at 35, he's still the little-hockey-player-that-could. He's one of the interesting hockey stories of today and the driving force behind that book in my head that I insist will have it's final chapter written this season.

First there is this entry and video from Leafs TV. It discusses his inconsistency and questions his production this coming season without line mate Dominic Moore. It also makes note of the unexpected benching Ron Wilson imposed on him last October and November. (Yes, I've watched the video more than once and yes again, that was the game I travelled all the way to Boston to see! Ron Wilson, I'd like to have a chat with you about that.)

Then there was this article appropriately titled "Don't Give Up On Blake Yet" on Leafs Hot Stove. I should have written back, "I never have. I never will."

For all those who know me well, you know I've never taken my eye off the Energizer Bunny of hockey. He was the reason I started actually ENJOYING Islanders games again and the reason I started writing. (So for many of you, that's just two more reasons to hate the guy.) An Islanders buddy of mine was even so generous as to buy me a signed Leafs Blake jersey from a Charity auction. (I'm not allowed to wear it out, but I DO wear it when I'm home watching Leafs games!)

The Toronto media and many of their fans have been relentless in their coverage, especially his first disappointing season with them. But I have a feeling that Jason Blake will not disappoint Brian Burke this upcoming season. I'll bet on it.

*Oh, and I wouldn't count him out of the Olympics either. As Brian Burke said, there's still a chance he'll make the squad. It all depends on him.

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