Toronto Maple Leafs fans have heard the name Jason Blake tossed around more and more as the trade deadline nears.
The 35-year-old veteran winger is stirring up a lot of trade talk in the past few weeks with his constant stellar play and the debate over whether he should be shipped out of Toronto for a young prospect or draft pick.
Those against the trade say he is more valuable in Toronto for his skill and role as a mentor to the younger guys on the team.
The fact of the matter is Jason Blake is old, too old to be on a team rebuilding. The Leafs can use him best to gain assets for the future.
Now is the perfect time for a trade, with Blake on pace for a 30-goal season (which would be only the second time in his career he hit the 30-goal mark). He surely is attractive to a team that could use a good veteran presence in the playoff push or as another weapon for a finals-bound team needing help to win the Cup.
If you were the one in control, if you were the one to decide Blake future in Toronto, what would you do? Give him to a team that is a contender, one that thinks that within the next four years they could win the Cup. Trade for a draft pick or a young prospect.
When I say prospect, I don’t mean a player who has been compared to Sidney or Ovie or any of those guys. I’m just thinking about a guy who can contribute every night, maybe score 20 goals a season. Someone reliable for the Leafs roster.
We don’t need a superstar and I don’t expect one. Jason Blake isn’t going draw trade talks for Malkin, Stamkos, or Kane, and he doesn't have to. They just need someone that can make their presence felt and let you know they mean business.
Some don’t want to see Blake leave because in the past months they have fallen in love with the scoring “machine” he has become. But that is not in the best interest of the team as a whole, neither now or in the future.
Need further proof? After this season, Blake’s payout on his contract goes down. Any GM not on board with that needs their head examined.