I don't wish Jason Blake any ill will, but if I were the decision maker for the Anaheim Ducks, I'd be sending Jason Blake down to Syracuse.
I've been reading articles about the Leafs burying Jeff Finger and his salary in the minors and wondered to myself why more teams don’t do that.
Recently, Wade Redden and a few others have been in the same boat under this current CBA.
Blake is set to earn $3 million this season and next, although his cap number is $4 million each year.
To send Blake down to the AHL, he would need to clear waivers, which shouldn't be a problem. It is possible for another team to claim Blake at a reduced cost, leaving the Ducks to pay for a portion of his salary. This is a CBA protocol involved in waiver transactions; however, even that would benefit the Ducks. It was a miracle for the Leafs to find a trade partner for Blake last year. I would doubt another team would be willing to trade for Blake at this point, taking that option away from Anaheim.
Blake works hard but is overpaid for the production he is capable of and that is with him getting to play alongside a talent like Teemu Selanne.
This move would probably be best suited upon the return of Joffrey Lupul. Lupul’s injury has him a little ways away from returning. He has been battling a blood infection in his back for several months. On the bright side, Joffrey is now working out and skating on his own, which means he is on his way back.
The top line on the Ducks, consisting of Getzlaf, Ryan and Perry, is the focal point of the team, but finishing the top six forwards presently are Selanne, Koivu and Blake. In six games, the top line has collected 19 points while the second unit has 8 points. The problem with this is that Blake has not contributed a single point towards those 8.
The return of Lupul will bump down Blake, the 37 year old winger from Moorehead, Minnesota, to a smaller role, which supports my Syracuse of AHL theory.
Lupul is 9 years younger and, at this point in his career, far more talented.
Jason Blake has had a productive career, including playing in the 2006/2007 NHL All-Star Game, as well winning the 2007/2008 Bill Masterson Award for his Dedication and Perseverance to Hockey through his difficult times. This was for when Jason was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called chronic myelogenous leukemia. Jason battled on like a true warrior.
Jason's career has been a success, with him playing in 750 regular season games, collecting 190 goals and 442 points as well as 24 NHL play-off games so far.
Despite all that, if I was the man in charge of the Anaheim roster, Jason Blake's NHL career, or at least his tenure as a Duck, would be coming to its end.