Rob Blake expected to announce retirement next week

Thumbnail image for robblake.jpgAt 40 years old, it’s far from stunning that all signs point to Rob Blake retiring. Mark Emmons of the Mercury News reports that Blake will probably make that announcement sometime next week.

The formal announcement is not expected to come until next week. On Wednesday, both the Sharks and Blake declined to comment.

But his retirement, first reported by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, is expected. It had been clear for months that Blake, 40, was leaning toward hanging up his skates after the season. And when the Sharks were eliminated from the postseason by Chicago, Blake sounded as if he only needed a few weeks away before making it official.

Blake made a big impact during his two seasons in San Jose. A steadying presence in the locker room, Blake was praised by teammates for his quiet leadership. So it was no surprise when he was named team captain last fall, taking over the role from Patrick Marleau.

His decision marks the first domino to tumble in what probably will be a busy Sharks offseason. Marleau and goalie Evgeni Nabokov become unrestricted free agents July 1. Among other pressing business is re-signing young standouts Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchi, who are restricted free agents.

Rob Blake has had an excellent (probably Hall of Fame-worthy) 20-year career in the NHL as a member of the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks. He has 777 career regular season points and 73 points in the playoffs. He also won a Cup with the Avs during the 2000-01 season.

We’ll probably go more in-depth regarding Burke’s career once he makes his retirement official.

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    Fight video: Flyers’ Manning vs. Penguins’ Gaunce

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    Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.

    The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.

    With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.

    Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.

    Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.

    Dreading the work week? Watch this dog get ‘ice time’ with puck

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    Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.

    Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.

    Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.

    Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.

    Patrik Laine’s out sick for Jets on Sunday

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    Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.

    It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.

    The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.

    NHL schedules hearing for Micheal Haley’s sucker-punch on Calle Jarnkrok

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    The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.

    The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.

    Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.

    “When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.

    In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.