Rob Blake, who recently accepted the position of general manager for Canada at the upcoming world hockey championship, is ready to have his moves questioned by passionate fans.
Over the next three weeks, the Los Angeles Kings assistant GM will narrow his list of potential players as NHL teams get eliminated from playoff contention.
“Anytime Canada is entered into these [international] tournaments the expectation is winning,” Blake, a retired NHL defenceman, told Hockey Night in Canada Radio host Rob Pizzo and co-host Kelly Hrudey on Tuesday.
Blake expects to be doing a lot of convincing of players to play at the worlds next month in Minsk, Belarus.
“When you’re … not in the playoffs and things haven’t gone well for your team the last thing you want to do is take three weeks in Europe [and play more hockey]. You have to give them time to understand what the tournament is about.”
For Blake, he will try to convey to the players that the tourney is an opportunity to win something again.
“You can open eyes [of GMs and scouts in attendance] by playing well over there,” he said.
Click above to listen to the full interview, which also includes Blake discussing the Kings’ stellar performance in March, the strength of the NHL’s Western Conference this season and Kings centre Mike Richards’s adjustment to a fourth-line role.
Pizzo and co-hosts Hrudey, Elliotte Friedman, Craig Simpson, Tim Wharnsby and Cassie Campbell-Pascall discuss the game of hockey in an entertaining way on Hockey Night in Canada Radio, the flagship of NHL Network radio on SiriusXM. Weekdays from 3-5pm ET on Sirius 207 and XM 211.