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Thread: When Is It Time To Call Out Rob Blake?

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    Default When Is It Time To Call Out Rob Blake?

    I waited and waited and waited for years to come to the same conclusion about GMRB and Co. What started as an orchestrated firing of two of the most successful GM/Coach tandem in Kings history has turned into nothing but a long series of missteps by Rob Blake/Luc Robitaille thus far. I love them to death as players, but we're not only going sideways, in fact, we're going backwards. What once was a high-level prospect in Kale Clague was just given away like Dominik Kubalik. Is this the right coach for this team? Are we going to continue hoarding all our prospects only to give them away? Are we ruining Vilardi/Turcotte? These are concerning questions i'd be asking right now. Sorry, just my .02.

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    Hard to call out Rob on Clague. Lombardi drafted him. And Kubalik refused to play in L.A. How is that on Blake?

    But I agree that McLellan makes bad use of the personnel available to him - especially in his forward line combinations.

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    Clague was not good. His draft position is irrelevant. Vilardi, too, has been bad this season. The right move is to send him to the AHL to work on his game. Turcotte could use some time in the AHL. That's not a bad thing. If you want poor asset management, then by all means keep calling guys up so we can put more guys on waivers, or have them unavailable if/when some injuries happen.

    Some guys simply aren't going to pan out. That's the reality of the sport, and it happens to every team. If you want to evaluate things that Blake is actually responsible for, then lets do that.

    • The maatta trade? Hasnt worked out like we'd hoped. What did it cost us, really? Some money? Have we not been giving youngsters a chance? Anderson, Bjornfot, Strand, Clague, Durzi... So, bad signing? Not really. But it obviously didnt go like we'd hoped. But it hasnt really impacted the team either.

    • Draft picks? He's made solid choices. We have a very deep pool of quality prospects. Do you expect all of them to make it in the NHL? I don't. The criticism from me would be that we're nearing a point that some of these guys havent gotten a shot with the Kings. Some of that is simply that they havent maybe earned it. But regardless of you stance there, I would argue that Blake needs to look at finding ways to move a couple for assets, or else risk losing them for nothing. And its a different situation than what we have with Clague. That guy got an opportunity last season, and this season. He hasnt looked all that great. But there are guys in the forward group that are young enough that they still have a shot.

    • Arvidsson trade. I like it.

    • Danault signing. Love it.

    • McClellan? Debatable for sure. Ive seen a lot of vitriol for coach, but very little actual evaluation and founded arguments. VCRW brought up how he managed the forward line combos, which i think is at least an argument worth having. I think coach is probably the big issue where you might be able to look and and suggest blake could have dont better, but again, that depend son your evaluation of McClellan, and ive seen very few people bringing actual reasoned thought to the table here.

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    Plenty of time in the next few seasons to get these AHL players NHL ready. 2024 season, will be a playoff run. Be patient. Let these players gel in the AHL.

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    Yes be patient, folks. No one out-runs the clock. Changes should be made in April.

    and I thought the CGY game was sort of proof that... the critical error was not the style of hockey, but that Lombardi stopped actively targeting and finding players to EVOLVE the Kings and who would excel at playing for Darryl Sutter. DL got off track with culture, loyalty and all that stuff. AEG had to fire them when they did. What has happened since, on the other hand...is not better and not even good.

    Ultimately, I'd like to see AEG sell to a guy like Vinik (Tampa). An un-criminal, legit version of McNall. They can still play at Crypto and fill the dates up for AEG after the Clippers go.


    But we can't have everything...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helvetica View Post
    Clague was not good. His draft position is irrelevant. Vilardi, too, has been bad this season. The right move is to send him to the AHL to work on his game. Turcotte could use some time in the AHL. That's not a bad thing. If you want poor asset management, then by all means keep calling guys up so we can put more guys on waivers, or have them unavailable if/when some injuries happen.

    Some guys simply aren't going to pan out. That's the reality of the sport, and it happens to every team. If you want to evaluate things that Blake is actually responsible for, then lets do that.

    • The maatta trade? Hasnt worked out like we'd hoped. What did it cost us, really? Some money? Have we not been giving youngsters a chance? Anderson, Bjornfot, Strand, Clague, Durzi... So, bad signing? Not really. But it obviously didnt go like we'd hoped. But it hasnt really impacted the team either.
    It seems fairly obvious that Clague wouldn't clear waivers, so I'm guessing they tried to trade him and there were no takers, which speaks for itself.

    We're debating waiving Clague over Maatta, when neither one was playing and neither looks to have a future in the organization.

    I think the decisions are probably being motivated by the need for the team to play better in the short term. That is the inherent conflict any GM or coach has. If things haven't been going well, they start thinking about their own necks. Blake might be thinking, "If Edler goes down, who do I trust more?" Picking Maatta is rational, although personally I would have kept Clague.

    One nice thing about Clague is he can play on the right, but next year Doughty, Roy, Walker, Clarke and Durzi would have been in front of him. You have to think they are looking to upgrade on the left side next year, and with Anderson and Bjornfot in solidified positions, Clague doesn't project to ever find a role here.

    My concern is less with Blake, who's done a good job overall, and more with TM's apparent stubbornness when it comes to line ups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HeadInjury View Post
    I think the decisions are probably being motivated by the need for the team to play better in the short term.
    absolutely. The team has higher expectations now, and the choices the team makes have to take that into account. Additionally, they suffered two lengthy injuries to the D. Everybody was ecstatic about Clague getting a shot when he was called up, but there's a downside, and we're seeing it now. There's a fine line between giving young guys playing time, and overplaying your hand. At a certain point you have to commit. Clague did not respond. There's a ton of people here that seem to complain about young guys not getting called up, with little to no regard for how that effect them and other players/prospects with respect to things like waivers. Then when they do get called up and it doesn't work out, they want to **** on that decision too. "we lost so and so"... "are we ruining this guy?". It all rings a little hollow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helvetica View Post
    absolutely. The team has higher expectations now, and the choices the team makes have to take that into account. Additionally, they suffered two lengthy injuries to the D. Everybody was ecstatic about Clague getting a shot when he was called up, but there's a downside, and we're seeing it now. There's a fine line between giving young guys playing time, and overplaying your hand. At a certain point you have to commit. Clague did not respond. There's a ton of people here that seem to complain about young guys not getting called up, with little to no regard for how that effect them and other players/prospects with respect to things like waivers. Then when they do get called up and it doesn't work out, they want to **** on that decision too. "we lost so and so"... "are we ruining this guy?". It all rings a little hollow.

    I continue to support bringing kids up for a chance. The AHL sure does not seem to be developing them. If we are going to lose like this we might as well find out what we have. We need to rip the bandaid off and go full rebuild. The biggest issue I have with Blake is his unwillingness to accept the facts Iím front of him. His vets are done. Accept that and move on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helvetica View Post
    absolutely. The team has higher expectations now, and the choices the team makes have to take that into account. Additionally, they suffered two lengthy injuries to the D. Everybody was ecstatic about Clague getting a shot when he was called up, but there's a downside, and we're seeing it now. There's a fine line between giving young guys playing time, and overplaying your hand. At a certain point you have to commit. Clague did not respond. There's a ton of people here that seem to complain about young guys not getting called up, with little to no regard for how that effect them and other players/prospects with respect to things like waivers. Then when they do get called up and it doesn't work out, they want to **** on that decision too. "we lost so and so"... "are we ruining this guy?". It all rings a little hollow.
    Calgue does have the 4th most points out of defensemen for us this year, and that is taking into account only having played 11 games (Roy played 22 games and only has 1 more point to show for it). I agree with you that Clague wasn't "good" but I also wouldn't put him in the bad category. He needs more time to develop, and 33 NHL games over 3 season really isn't allotting such time. To me it seems like the Kings organization, or the coach, was never willing to commit to giving him the time as we have seen done with other young defensemen over the past two seasons who have struggled but were given the time in the NHL to work through it. Had the Kings put Maatta on waivers it's unlikely anyone would have claimed him, and they could continue to pass him between the AHL and NHL as needed. Letting Clague go this way, regardless of long term plans within the team for him, is simply poor asset management.

    On a positive note, Kings are a pretty classy organization so perhaps this was done, after a conversation was had, to allow Clague the chance to earn an NHL spot elsewhere and solidify his role.

    Also I agree with you earlier point on Maatta. While he didn't turn into the defensemen we were hoping for, having him on the roster has come in handy several times over the past two seasons. His biggest problem is lack of speed which unfortunately isn't going to get better. Still, for what we gave up to get him, I'd rate the overall trade as a C+.

    I also agree with you that Blake's draft record, thus far, has been close to stellar. The Bjornfot pick especially still impresses me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DryKing View Post
    Calgue does have the 4th most points out of defensemen for us this year, and that is taking into account only having played 11 games.
    That sounds impressive until you realize our defensive unit hasnt scored any points this season. And while i agree that a guy with offensive potential hurts to lose, i think his defensive game and consistency simply were not good enough (take a look at his zone starts to see just how massively sheltered he was). The issue here is that our coach and the identity the team seems to be trying to develop is one of fast pace, possession, and responsibility/dependability. We've seen McClellan talk about it directly with guys like Bjornfot and Anderson. Develop a strong and consistent fundamentally sound defensive game, and then work on your offense. The belief here seems to be that a player should be responsible and comfortable first, and that the offense will follow. If people have issue with that philosophy, then certainly that's a valid criticism. But I buy into it.

    Either way, i agree with people that losing him sucks. I disagree that it's a big deal, since he hasn't shown enough so far to be upset about losing him. 3 of his 5 points came on the PP (again, gave the kid opportunity to be successful there). I think it's great he had some assists this season, but i wasnt very impressed with his game.

    I'll be curious to see if any justification is given for the move through waivers.

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