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Rob Blake expected to announce retirement next week

Rob Blake

San Jose Sharks defenseman Rob Blake skates against the Detroit Red Wings in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Wednesday Feb. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)


At 40 years old, it’s far from stunning that all signs point to Rob Blake retiring. Mark Emmons of the Mercury News reports that Blake will probably make that announcement sometime next week.

The formal announcement is not expected to come until next week. On Wednesday, both the Sharks and Blake declined to comment.

But his retirement, first reported by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, is expected. It had been clear for months that Blake, 40, was leaning toward hanging up his skates after the season. And when the Sharks were eliminated from the postseason by Chicago, Blake sounded as if he only needed a few weeks away before making it official.

Blake made a big impact during his two seasons in San Jose. A steadying presence in the locker room, Blake was praised by teammates for his quiet leadership. So it was no surprise when he was named team captain last fall, taking over the role from Patrick Marleau.

His decision marks the first domino to tumble in what probably will be a busy Sharks offseason. Marleau and goalie Evgeni Nabokov become unrestricted free agents July 1. Among other pressing business is re-signing young standouts Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchi, who are restricted free agents.

Rob Blake has had an excellent (probably Hall of Fame-worthy) 20-year career in the NHL as a member of the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks. He has 777 career regular season points and 73 points in the playoffs. He also won a Cup with the Avs during the 2000-01 season.

We’ll probably go more in-depth regarding Burke’s career once he makes his retirement official.