Toronto Maple Leafs: Ranking All 32 NHL General Managers

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 23: (l-r) Pierre Dorion and Kyle Dubas attend the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JUNE 23: (l-r) Pierre Dorion and Kyle Dubas attend the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Rob Blake, General Manager (L) and Luc Robitaille, President and Alternate Governor (R) of the Los Angeles Kings (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The 20th Ranked GM – Rob Blake (Los Angeles Kings)

Rob Blake was a hockey hero in LA thanks to his 14 years of playing for the city. After he hung up his skates, Blake made his way back to the Los Angeles Kings and took a job in the front office as their Vice President of Hockey Operations and Assistant General Manager. In April of 2017, he gave up those titles to be the Kings’ GM.

The Good – Blake has managed to stock his organization’s farm system thanks to some solid draft pickups. Holding the eight pick in this year’s draft, that’s also sure to improve. Last year, the Kings selected the mega talented center from the Sudbury Wolves Quinton Byfield. He may be ready to play in the NHL as early as next season.

It will be interesting to watch the Kings’ prospects come up together. Blake has also drafted players such as Alex Turcotte in 2019, Tobias Bjornfot in 2019, Rasmus Kupari in 2018, and Gabriel Vilardi in 2017. If these players all hit their stride together it should mean huge success for the Kings.

The Bad – The reason that Blake has managed to accumulate so many young and talented prospects via the draft is because his teams have not been very good. While a rebuild does take time, Blake is certainly testing the Kings fanbase’s patience. In Blake’s four years on the job, the franchise has only made the playoffs once. That year, they were bounced out of the first round by Vegas.

The Ugly –  For such a pretty player, ugly seems to follow Ilya Kovalchuk. This was certainly the case for his time with the Kings. While Blake looked like a hero on July 1, 2018 signing both Drew Doughty and Kovalchuk to massive deals, only one of them lasted.

Kovalchuk signed for three years at $6.25M per season. He lasted just one and half before Blake released him. The cap hit however stuck around all three years. Kovalchuk was benched for 18 consecutive games before he basically quit on the team. He also managed to earn $14M from the Kings for playing just half his contract. This wasn’t a good look for either Los Angeles or Blake.