Jason Blake recently made the NHL All-star lineup for players over the age of 35 and I am quite shocked myself. There are some high quality players around the league that are over 35 and Jason Blake is not really the first guy you think of when you are picking you starting lineup consisting of 35+ (age that is) players. It seems the people who picked this list are either trying to focus on him because he plays for the Leafs or due to his battle with cancer. I am not knocking Jason Blake as he was quite good last year but that doesn’t mean he deserves to make this list.
Goalie: Martin Brodeur
Defense: Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermeyer
Forwards: Teemu Selanne, Slava Kozlov, Jason Blake
There are some high quality players in that list and it’s surprising to see Jason Blake in it. One thing that Blake still impresses people with is the fact he’s a speedy skater for his age, and he can probably skate with the best of them and still come out on top. He was also a big part of the Leafs offense last season and thus probably got the vote as well. The reasoning given by the NHL is as follows...
“Talk about a late bloomer: Blake didn't play his first NHL game until he was 25 and didn't break the 20-goal mark until he was 29. Since then, though, he's had five seasons of 20 or more goals, including a 40-goal performance in 2006-07, and led Toronto in scoring last season with 25 goals and 63 points. Blake is one of the NHL's quickest skaters, and though he's just 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, he's more than willing to get into traffic to score goals. He was the Leafs' best forward for much of last season.” (nhl.com)
The players that I feel should have made this list ahead of Jason Blake are Daniel Alfredsson, Mark Recchi and Alexei Kovalev. Those that disagree with me can have a viable rebuttal by saying that Alfredsson and Kovalev play on the right wing thus were not put in the list. If that’s the reasoning then perhaps you can put him in the list although Recchi at 40 years of age is as good as Blake in my opinion. It’s rare for a Leafs fans to argue against his own player, but this selection is a lame one and deserves to be argued against. Jason Blake has had quite a few goals but with the amount of shots he was taking you would think he was Ovechkin or something.
In the end the decision has been made and Blake is the winner, we should be happy as Leafs fan to see one our our older guys being appreciated and that too for his offensive abilities on the ice. I hope he has another great season and proves me wrong by scoring 50 goals (even half of that would be fine :p).