Reading the Tea Leafs: Jason Blake

Following on the success of two other dormant series PPP and I have decided that in order to fill the gap in NHL news that we'll take a look at each of the current Leafs, possible Leafs on the Marlies, and prospects. We'll recap their performance last year, what we can expect from them, and how they can win our hearts (hint: signing the contract was a good first step...unless your name is Bryan McCabe). We have no idea how long of a series this will end up being or how consistent it will be but with two of us expect it to only be half as half-assed and twice as timely.

 

That's literally the only time I didn't wish Jason Blake died of cancer all season. (DTFC son.)

 

Contract Status (according to NHL Numbers)
$4.5M salary, $4M cap hit, UFA July 1, 2012 (Gott in himmel)

Age (as of October 1, 2008)

35 - September 2, 1973

THIRTY FIVE WITH FOUR YEARS LEFT KILL ME NOW

NHL Seasons
Eight too many.

 

2007-2008 Stats and Team Ranking

(Scoring rates via Behind The Net)

Counting Stats Total/Rank Category 5-on-5 5-on-4 4-on-5
Games Played 82-1 TOI/60 13.95 3.00 0.14
Goals 15-7 Pts/60 2.05 2.93 0.00
Assists 37-3 GFON/60 2.89 5.36 0.00
Points 52-4 GAON/60 2.73 1.22 10.45

Marital Status
Chemotherapy. Editor's Note: With his wife Sarah he has a 6-year-old daughter, a 4-year-old son and an 8-month-old daughter. Is it any wonder he couldn't make a good hockey decision to save his life. 

Former Leaf he'd have to play like in order to be christened a deity
Mats Sundin, Doug Gilmour, Jesus' second coming.

Biggest Question Marks
Jason Blake had a 4.5% shooting percentage last year. He put up decent points and his PP numbers look good, but Toronto acquired him in need of a sniper and he didn't deliver. I'm being hard on the guy but honestly he's got the skill set, and if he picks better shots he could be enormous this year.

Check out the brutal PK numbers, in case you missed them. Wow.

2007-2008 Summary
Jason Blake got cancer and he also came down with leukemia. 4.5% shooting percentage? Ugh. 52 points for $4m looks like a steal today though, thank God there was a lockout to keep salaries down.

Projected 2008-2009 role/team
Obviously Blake will be on the Leafs roster. If he shoots 4.5% again I'll kill him myself so I'd expect him to either have a better season than last year or an extravagant funeral.

Seriously though, Blake has some wheels. If he can play smarter, he could play with Hagman and Tlusty as a really fast goal scoring line. It's too bad it all centers around Blake taking good shots instead of seeing if he can score through the goalie's chest.

I'd draw an interesting parallel to J.D. Drew. Drew came to the Red Sox and sucked his first season, mostly because his son was in a full body cast all season and cried everytime Drew left the house. Blake came down with cancer and I think anyone here can understand how that would screw someone up. Jason Blake has a lot to prove to the city of Toronto and he's going to get the minutes to do it this year. Let's hope he can pull a J.D. Drew and go from being called washed up to being a hero.

Run of the Mill Biographical Information

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