Date of Birth:  December 10, 1969
 Place of Birth: Simcoe, ON
 Residence: N/A
 Years on National Team:
 N/A
 Height:  6'4"
 Weight: 225 lbs

A stalwart on Team Canada's blueline for years, Rob Blake is back for his third consecutive Olympic Games, this time in Turin in 2006. With three points in six contests at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, Blake was the top point-getter among Canadian defenders. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise because, despite his imposing physical presence, the veteran has always been equally lethal at both ends of the rink.

Packed with a howitzer from the point and the ability to join the rush, Blake was instrumental in helping Canada win gold four years ago. It was sweet redemption after the heartbreaking loss in Nagano in 1998, when Canada came up short in the semi-finals, losing in a gut-wrenching shootout to the Czech Republic. They would end up in fourth place after subsequently losing in the bronze medal game to Finland.

The Simcoe, Ontario native is particularly ready to play in Italy after being forced from the gold medal-winning Canadian team at the World Cup of Hockey in 2004. Scott Hannan ended up replacing the injured veteran in the tournament and though he played well, Blake's size and strength were definitely missed.

One of the all-time great value draft picks in NHL history, Blake was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round of the 1988 NHL draft, 70th overall. He would play the first nine and a half seasons of his career in L.A., winning the Norris trophy as the league's top defender in 1995-96, before being traded to Colorado in February of 2001. The deal saw Blake and forward Steven Reinprecht sent to Colorado for a package that included Adam Deadmarsh, Aaron Miller and a first-round pick that ended up being David Steckel.

Blake made an immediate difference late in that season and was one of the team's most heavily used players in the playoffs as the Avalanche rolled to their second Stanley Cup in six years, and Blake, to the first of his career.

In 2005-06, the 37-year-old is still logging heavy minutes on the Avalanche blueline, especially after the offseason loss of Adam Foote to Columbus. However, the two should be ready for a reunion when they likely skate together in a defence pairing once again at the Games.


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2006 Hockey Coverage