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Published: Tuesday, 6/24/2014 - Updated: 1 month ago

Blake to be inducted into Hall

Bowling Green great played 20 seasons in NHL

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Rob Blake Rob Blake
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

Former Bowling Green State University star defenseman Rob Blake has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Blake, who spent 20 seasons in the NHL with Los Angeles, Colorado, and San Jose, was selected on Monday to be inducted in November.

Blake, who played at Bowling Green from 1987-90, scored 777 points in 1,270 regular-season NHL games. The native of Simcoe, Ont., made seven All-Star game appearances.

Blake's best season was in 1997-98, when he won the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman.

Blake will be inducted along with former Detroit Red Wings goalie Dominik Hasek and legendary forwards Mike Modano and Peter Forsberg. The late Pat Burns will be enshrined as a coach in the builder category, along with referee Bill McCreary.

The inductees were chosen by an 18-person committee this past weekend in Toronto. The 2014 Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Nov. 17 in Toronto.

Blake led Colorado to the Stanley Cup in 2001. He recently won the Cup a second time as an executive with Los Angeles. He also won a gold medal with Canada at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

Blake was elected in his second year of eligibility.

“It is a great honor … it is very rewarding when you answer that phone call,” Blake told NHL.com.

Hasek won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie six times in his 16-year NHL career. He helped the Red Wings win two Stanley Cups (2002 and 2008).

Hasek's best years came with the Sabres, when he had seven straight seasons with a save percentage of .930 or higher. He had 234 regular-season wins.

Blake played in 131 games for the Falcons. He scored 39 goals to go along with 65 assists.

In 2011, Blake told The Blade that playing at Bowling Green were some of the best days of his playing career.

“When you're in college you think it's hard — you have to go to classes and make sure your grades are good, you have games on the weekend and coach is on you,” Blake said. “When you step back 20 years later, you'll realize how minor it is. Have fun and enjoy it. These are the best years … because you don't have to worry about the business.”

Blake visited the Bowling Green campus in 2011 as part of the school's “Bring Back the Glory” campaign.

“As I was driving around [campus], I started thinking, 'I remember this place and that place,'” Blake said. “Being in the arena and watching these kids play, then they win the game, then they're singing with their fans — none of that takes place in the NHL. It's part of the college experience, and if you don't play here you don't experience it. When I was watching, I realized it was fun — it was what I played hockey for.”

Blake said he wanted to continue to lend his support to the BG hockey program.

“[This program] has a tradition second to none,” Blake said. “To keep that tradition going is a positive step. It will take coaches, administration and alumni to help — and I think that is what is happening.”

Contact Mark Monroe at: mmonroe@theblade.com, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.



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