San Jose signs Blake to one-year contract Staff

7/3/2008 6:16:50 PM

After losing Brian Campbell to the Chicago Blackhawks, the San Jose Sharks have added an exprienced face to their blueline.

The Sharks announced Thursday that the team has agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract with 18-year veteran Rob Blake.

"Rob is a tremendous competitor that has been one of the top defensemen in this League for many years," Sharks GM Doug Wilson told the team's official website. "While he has enjoyed mentoring the young guys, great players need the ability to win in order to thrive and his sole purpose here is to focus on winning."

The former Norris Trophy winner should be plenty familiar with the Sharks, having spent the majority of his career with division-rival the Los Angeles Kings.

While Blake is 38-years old, new Sharks coach Todd McLellan doesn't believe that will be a problem.

"Rob's skill set and intangibles speak for themselves."

"I coached Nicklas Lidstrom for the last three years and Rob is the same age as him. Rob, like Nicklas, has proven to be a leader on a championship-winning team and any coach would be lucky to have a player of his caliber."

Sharks forward Joe Thornton, who has teamed with Blake in international competition, believes Blake will fit right in with the team.

"I've gotten to play with Rob at several international tournaments and we've built a friendship over the years," said Thornton. "He'll fit right into our group and more importantly will help us win. He is extremely talented and can play, and excel, in every situation."

In 71 games for the Kings last year, Blake recorded nine goals and 22 assists and was -19. The six-foot-four, 225-pound defenseman was originally selected by Los Angeles in the fourth round of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft.