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Fans' Reception Still Is Difficult for Blake

January 26, 2002|Jerry Crowe

Former King Rob Blake and the Colorado Avalanche will make their first appearance of the season today at Staples Center--and Blake still hasn't forgotten the nasty reception that greeted him here during the playoffs last May.

The all-star defenseman blames the Kings for the boos that rained down on him, believing management portrayed him unfairly in contract negotiations that eventually broke down, leading to his trade to the Avalanche last February.

"They had their agenda," Blake told the Denver Post last month. "They told me on Day 1 of training camp, 'If you want anything over $7 million, we're going to trade you.' Management said I'm greedy, that I wanted this, I wanted that. But, I mean, they offered me $20 million less than what I got [in a multiyear deal from the Avalanche]. I mean, does anyone in the world really take that much less?

"Ask any of those fans that booed me and every one of them would do the same thing I did. But management wants to paint a picture of me as being greedy, and the fans are going to eat that up."

King General Manager Dave Taylor on Friday called Blake's comments "inaccurate" and said the club had done nothing to portray Blake badly.

"We made what we felt was a fair offer, and it wasn't good enough," said Taylor, adding that it was "considerably more" than $7 million a year. "He had the ability to be an unrestricted free agent and made it clear that he was going to exercise that option, so it wasn't much choice for us. We had to make a deal, and we're happy with the deal [that brought Adam Deadmarsh and Aaron Miller to the Kings]."

Blake, second in scoring among NHL defensemen with 36 points, is making $9.4 million this season in the first year of a five-year, $47.5-million contract.



vs. Colorado, 1

Fox Sports Net

Site--Staples Center.

Radio--KSPN (1110).

Records--Kings 23-18-7-2, Avalanche 29-16-6-1.

Record vs. Avalanche (2000-01)--2-2.

Update--Fifty games into their season, the Kings finally play the Avalanche, whom they pushed to the brink of elimination last May in the Western Conference semifinals. Both teams have recovered from slow starts. The Avalanche is 19-4-5-1 since Nov. 21, the Kings 15-4-3 since Dec. 8.

Tickets--(888) 546-4752.


Jerry Crowe

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