With Rob Blake Set to Retire, Who Will be San Jose's Next Captain?

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 With Rob Blake Set to Retire, Who Will be San Jose's Next Captain?

The San Jose Sharks once again fell short of expectations this past season as they failed to win the Stanley Cup despite finishing first in the Western Conference during the regular season.

And as it turns out, that failure against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals will be the last series that Sharks defenseman Rob Blake will ever play.

The 20-year NHL veteran is reportedly going to announce his retirement sometime next week.

This past season was Blake's second in San Jose but it was the first and only season in which he was their team captain.

A former captain with the Los Angeles Kings, Blake had more than enough experience and leadership to wear the "C" for San Jose, but fans wondered whether it was the right move given his age.

The future Hall of Fame defenseman had a solid season statistically in his final campaign, tallying 7 goals and 30 points with a plus/minus rating of plus-14.

Furthermore Blake was only penalized for 60 minutes this past year compared to 110 in his first season with the Sharks, and in his final postseason, Blake led his squad in blocked shots.

However, the writing was clearly on the wall for Blake, 40, who showed time and time again this season that he simply cannot keep up with the majority of his opponents anymore.

Try as he could, Blake just wasn't a force to be reckoned with when it mattered most and because of that, most of us Sharks fans couldn't see Blake being the first Shark captain to receive the Stanley Cup.

I mean after all, with the way the NHL is heading, it seems the as if the young, up and coming stars are the ones winning the Cup or getting close to it.

This season it was the 22-year-old Jonathan Toews who raised the Cup first, last year it was the then 22-year-old Sidney Crosby and this year's runner-up captain, Mike Richards is just 25.

Granted the two years prior to the Penguins winning the Cup, veteran defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Scott Niedermayer were the captains hoisting the championship trophy.

Both defenseman were still top-2 if not top-1 caliber defensemen on their squads during their respective Cup winning seasons.

Blake, however, was barely a top-4 caliber defenseman this past season in the twilight of his career.

So where does the captaincy go from here?

Will it be an up and coming young star or the team's most prolific defenseman?

Anyway you slice it, there are really only two possible choices for the job as Sharks captain and they are as follows...

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