Blake’s Takes: Welcome to the Offseason

Barely a week after the Lightning hoisted the Stanley Cup, the offseason has entered full swing. The expansion draft is on Wednesday, and the Kraken have an exclusive negotiating window with all UFAs until then.

In this week’s column, I’ll share my thoughts on who could suit up for the Kraken this fall, a number of high-profile offseason moves, and one notable retirement. 

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Welcome to the Offseason”

Blake’s Takes: Lightning Go Back-to-Back

The Lightning have won the 2021 Stanley Cup. This team thrives off unusual circumstances. They have now won a Stanley Cup in the middle of a pandemic in a bubble in Edmonton, and won another at the tail end of the pandemic during a truncated season. This column will be mostly dedicated to the Lightning and their accomplishments.

It won’t be all Tampa Bay, though. My last two takes will be a little spicy and cover two topics I think all of you will enjoy reading about.

Happy Monday!

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Lightning Go Back-to-Back”

Blake’s Takes: Stanley Cup Final Set

The Stanley Cup Finals are set. The defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning will square off against the underdog Montreal Canadiens. I’m excited to watch such an interesting matchup. If Tampa Bay wins, they’ll be the first team since 2017 to win back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. If Montreal wins, they’ll be the first Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup since they did it back in 1993. Game One is tonight. Buckle your seatbelts. 

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Stanley Cup Final Set”

Re-imagining the 1991 NHL Entry Draft

Thirty years ago was the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. First-overall pick Eric Lindros was by far considered the best player available in the draft — a can’t-miss prospect who would be the next Wayne Gretzky. 

In fact, Lindros was called “The Next One” since he was 14 years old. And who could argue? He was 6’4″ and 230 pounds. He scored 149 points in just 57 games during his last season of major junior hockey. Lindros was a dominant force that could control the game. So, it wasn’t any surprise when the Quebec Nordiques selected Lindros with the first-overall pick. 

But was Lindros really the best player in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft? Would NHL scouts and GMs spend a first-overall pick on The Big E, or someone else, knowing then what we know now?

So, let’s imagine that we could re-do the first round of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. Let’s set our Wayback Machines to June 22, 1991, pack an iPad with Hockey DB and Hockey Reference already bookmarked — we’ll worry about finding a WiFi hot spot when we get there — and see how the first round of the 1991 Draft would have played out in our alternate timeline.

Continue reading “Re-imagining the 1991 NHL Entry Draft”

Blake’s Takes: Stalemates in the Conference Finals

I’m back after a week off and we’re right in the thick of the Conference Finals. Both series are nearing their end as both matchups have given us amazing hockey. This week, I’ll take a look at both matchups and the four teams that are still alive.

I’ll also share a few of my favorite stories from across the league, including two notable extensions and one fun and inclusive hire in the Pacific Northwest. Happy Tuesday!

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Stalemates in the Conference Finals”

Blake’s Takes: Scheifele Suspension Upheld

Last week’s hockey news was dominated by Mark Scheifele’s hit on Jake Evans that resulted in a four-game suspension. There was a heated debate on Twitter over the severity of the suspension. Scheifele appealed but the suspension was upheld. Outside of Scheifele’s suspension, there were a few other gems in the hockey world that I’ll share with you all. That includes huge steps in diversity and my favorite play of the week

Happy Monday!

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Scheifele Suspension Upheld”

Blake’s Takes: Toronto Blows a 3-1 Lead

Just like the Golden State Warriors, the Maple Leafs have blown a 3-1 series lead in the first round of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Is it the Drake curse?

Regardless, the Maple Leafs couldn’t get it done. I’m sure the entire hockey universe will be talking about this for years to come. That is this week’s first take.

My other takes highlight some of my favorite moments from Game 1 between the ‘Avs and Golden Knights. That game alone provided two worthy takes. My last two takes are a surprise. Keep reading for some great hockey content.

Happy Tuesday!

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Toronto Blows a 3-1 Lead”

Blake’s Takes: The 2021 NHL Playoffs Are Underway

We are in the midst of the first round of the 2021 NHL Playoffs. Some teams have already been eliminated, and some teams are still fighting for their playoff lives. Regardless, this is what we’ve been waiting for. 

This week’s takes will focus on a few of the most notable postseason storylines, including a noteworthy suspension, a serious injury, and an unsurprising playoff standout.

Happy Tuesday.

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: The 2021 NHL Playoffs Are Underway”

Blake’s Takes: Regular Season Wrap Up

We have finally reached the NHL playoffs. In this week’s column, I’ll deliver a few takes that will tie up some loose ends from the regular season. After this week, playoff hockey will be priority number one.

This week’s set of takes are still top-tier. The NHL celebrated a few major milestones last week. I’ll give you all my two cents about each of those and one notable player’s return from injury.

Happy Monday!

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Regular Season Wrap Up”