Naming 4 exceptions (usually contained to star players) of which 2 of 4 named are all but retired among a league of 800 players does not provide a significant rebuttal to its "a young man's game".
I guesstimated that Blake at age 36 is already in a 10-15% small group still playing beyond that age and that might be high even.
How many of the NHL 800 odd players do you think are age 36 and beyond? Blake is the oldest Leaf player so all of Leafs entire 60 player training camp roster is already beneath him in age.
Fact remains, more and more players are playing in the NHL in their later years than ever before. Moose clearly pointed out the importance of nutrition and fitness with NHL players, thus seeing longer careers than ever before. Whether or not Blake it too old, is subjective, point is he is a good player who plays hard and puts up points. I believe Zeke took the time to post a list of players making Blake's salary and what their contributions are compared to Jason. You don't like Blake or his contract, I get it. But he has proven to be worth it, and certainlly no disapointment.
Not only that but in the last dozen games of a Leafs season post trade deadline in the past, where the playoffs are all but gone, have seen many Leafs put on their best last season points bursts.
When the pressure of winning is off and its simply pond hockey to complete the year, stats padding is very common among Leaf players in the past.
We have all see Kubina and many others elevate their games during this time, that always left us asking where was that effort when it really mattered.. Heck Boyd Devereaux is popping hattricks in game #82 and hasn't even gotten an NHL training camp invites sniff despite that offensive outburst.
So late season stats (sample data set) need to be taken with a grain of salt in light of that situation, and its common practice on many bad non playoffs teams to have players padding their own personal stats when wins and losses no longer are a concern. Blake's ppg stats still fell off to his earlier pace despite this anomaly.
Except the data on Jason Blake says exactly the opposite. So no, late-season non-playoff pond hockey has exactly nothing to do with this.
Originally Posted by mooseOAK
Dominic Moore had double the points last season in 63 games than he did in any season before and the Leafs turned that into a 2nd round pick. Thank Jason Blake.
No doubt. Jason Blake is a better player than Dominic Moore. He is definitely responsible for turning a waiver pick-up into a 2nd round pick.
What I am very interested in seeing is keeping the chemistry which they displayed and developed.
Originally Posted by TML4LIFE
Yet you failed to mention that he has had a short career relative to his age, with much less wear and tear than others in his age group. JFJ also signed him at an age where he cannot retire and the Leafs take the cap hit if he chooses to do so. No love for Blake; all the guy does in produce and give his all every shift. Chelios, JR, Lidstrom, Neds and many many others have proven your "NHL is a young mans game" theory wrong.
He also neglected to mention that he's now set personal records for assists in a season twice in a row, or the 21% point increase this season over last.
But, hey, Mess is more into the rhetoric than stats.