There were a pair of recent articles detailing Rob Blake’s role as the general manager of Hockey Canada’s entry at the 2014 World Championships. The second article, though it has a Vancouver inclination, still details the responsibilities of an executive who will be calling on players who have already represented Canada at the Olympics, or in the case of skaters on the Edmonton Oilers, may have participated in this tournament multiple times.
The first article details with the construction of the team and Blake’s well-established connection to the Men’s National Team – and also contains some praise for Drew Doughty’s hip checking. “I don’t know if it’s a lost art,” said Blake, who might as well have been Michelangelo.
Lucas Aykroyd, IIHF.com: Blake gears up for Belarus
The plan is to have a coach in place no later than the end of the NHL regular season on April 13. For player selection, Blake is working closely with his staff, which includes Pascall, Phoenix Coyotes assistant GM Brad Treliving, and Philadelphia Flyers assistant GM Ron Hextall.
“We have conference calls every other day, and we basically go over the list, narrowing it down,” said Blake, who’s also gotten pointers from his boss, Kings GM Dean Lombardi. “We’ve started identifying some priority-type players. When their teams are eliminated, we approach them and get their feelings toward it.”
Vancouver was officially eliminated from playoff contention on Monday night, which means that four Canucks – Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows, Jason Garrison and Dan Hamhuis – will be getting a call from Blake, writes Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province. There are some interesting quotes from Blake on the way he plans on putting the team together, and some foreshadowing of Hockey Canada decisions down the road.
Tony Gallagher, The Province: Kings’ Rob Blake taking his time to call on Canucks
Blake has a little bit of what Wayne Gretzky and Steve Yzerman have going for them in terms of a personal charisma, combined with an enormous respect factor among the players who recognized how long and hard he played both in the NHL, the Olympics and in world championships for Canada.
So he’s the perfect guy for the job, even though this is a particularly difficult year for your baptism. And if he does well, there is nothing to suggest Hockey Canada wouldn’t give him consideration to head up the program for the 2018 team if there is to be one going to South Korea when the time comes.