Blake’s Takes: The Cup Final is Here

Happy Memorial Day everyone! As the season comes to an end, there are only a few things worth writing about. This edition of Blake’s Takes will feature all Stanley Cup content with a little bit of the World Championships mixed in. Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: The Cup Final is Here”

Blake’s Takes: The Stanley Cup Finals are Almost Set

This is the best time of year in the hockey world. We are in the midst of the Conference Finals and the World Championships. A few coaching hires were made and I look into the officiating problem that is leaving a black mark on this year’s playoffs.

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Blake’s Takes: Conference Finals and the World Championships

The might be the best time of the year to be a hockey fan. We are in the midst of the Conference Finals and the World Championships have started. I dive deep into both tournaments and bring back my award predictions.

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Would Pavel Datsyuk’s Return Help or Hinder the Red Wings?

For 14 seasons, Pavel Datsyuk wowed NHL fans with his elite stickhandling, skating, and passing. Defensively gifted as well, Datsyuk won the Selke trophy three consecutive seasons from 2008-2010. He was a member of two Stanley Cup-winning teams, and an almost certain Hall of Famer. After the 2015-16 season, Datsyuk returned home to Russia to be closer to his young children, and joined KHL team SKA St. Petersburg.

With his KHL contract expired, Datsyuk flew to Detroit recently and met with new Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman. Datsyuk has stated that he is not ready to retire, and made it clear that he will only play for the Red Wings should he return to the NHL. A decision on whether to return to Russia or Detroit appears imminent for Datsyuk, and is eagerly anticipated by Red Wings fans. Here is why the Red Wings should sign Datsyuk — and why they shouldn’t. 

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Blake’s Takes: Gold Medals & Game 7s

Every week in the Spring is another big week in hockey. This week, we saw a bunch of jerks move on to the conference finals and a prospect finesse his way into a contract. The World Championships are also starting this week and one country is particularly stacked. I also highlight a few potential additions to the Triple Gold Club.

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A Look at the Career of Gary Bettman

The NHL has evolved tremendously over the past 26 years — from a league of mainly Canadian athletes and meager television revenues, to a multi-national, multi-billion dollar league. At its helm since February 1, 1993 is Gary Bettman, a New York City raised attorney. Bettman’s mandate centered on growing the game, particularly in non-traditional regions of the U.S.

During Bettman’s tenure, the NHL has expanded by five teams; Florida, Nashville, Minnesota, Columbus, and Las Vegas, with a fifth coming to Seattle in 2021. Additionally, the original Winnipeg Jets and the Hartford Whalers moved to Phoenix and Carolina, respectively. These expansions, along with the recent success of teams such as Tampa Bay and Los Angeles, have increased viewership and participation in the U.S.

However, Bettman comes with his detractors. Continue reading “A Look at the Career of Gary Bettman”

Blake’s Takes: A Good Problem to Have

The NHL playoffs are in full swing and we saw the second round begin late last week. This week, I look at one of the NHL’s good problems, some interesting contract decisions and a name you need to know for the rest of the playoffs.

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Blake’s Takes: The Mighty Have Fallen

This week, I take a look at the fall of both top-seeded teams.. I also highlight Steve Yzerman’s return to Hockey Town and some key playoff roster moves.

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Blake’s Takes: Tampa is in Trouble

In this week’s edition of Blake’s Takes, I give my two cents on the impact of the Nikita Kucherov suspension and look forward at a potential playoff matchup. I also show some love to an unloved team and predict another award.

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Top 5 Serious Stanley Cup Contenders

Sixteen wins. This is what it takes to win the hardest trophy in sports. Although regular season success is often used by analysts to predict post-season play, only one President’s Trophy winner has taken home the Stanley Cup this decade, the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks. Sometimes, the wear and tear of an 82-game regular season proves to be too much. The team which raises the cup in June must have enough mental and physical resolve, and undoubtedly some luck, to power itself through two months of grueling hockey. Below are the five teams that have the personnel and coaching to seriously contend for the Stanley Cup.

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