San Jose Sharks defenceman Rob Blake announced his retirement on Friday after 20 NHL seasons. The 40-year-old notched seven goals and 30 points with a plus-14 rating and 60 penalty minutes in 70 regular-season games last season for San Jose, his second with the club. He added a goal and two points in 15 playoff tilts as the Sharks were swept in the Western finals by Chicago.
Since breaking into the NHL during the 1989-90 season with Los Angeles, Blake has compiled 240 goals, 777 points and 1,679 minutes in penalties over 1,270 career game. The Canadian from Simcoe, Ontario was the recipient of the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenceman in 1998 while playing for the Kings and won a Stanley Cup in 2001 as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Blake is just one of 24 players who can claim to have won a World Championship (1994 and ’97), Olympic gold medal (2002) and Stanley Cup (2001). An All-Rookie Team choice in 1991, Blake also made seven All-Star Game appearances. He was also a Norris Trophy finalist in 2000 and 2002, and was selected as a First-Team NHL All-Star in 1998 with three Second-Team selections. Internationally, Blake has played for Team Canada in three consecutive Winter Olympics in 1998, 2002 and 2006, winning gold in 2002.
After four seasons with Colorado, the Avalanche chose not to pick up his contract option for the 2006–07 season, making him a free agent. He re-signed with his former team, the Kings, for two years at $6 million per year on July 1, 2006. After 2 more seasons with LA and a stint as captain, he joined the San Jose Sharks on a 1 year $5mil contract in July of 2008. After that season he re-signed for another year at $3.5 million to avoid free agency. Blake would be named captain of the Sharks approximately six weeks after previous captain Patrick Marleau was stripped of the role by Sharks management.