Kings' maker: Rob Blake is ready to right L.A.'s ship


Rob Blake learned about the importance of preparation while working on his family's farm.
Growing up in Simcoe, Ontario, Blake watched his father, Robert, constantly delve into the small details of tilling the land for corn, soy beans and wheat. It taught the middle of the three Blake boys that meticulous planning always increases the likelihood of success.
"You never see people fail because of being over-prepared, but you see people fail from being not well prepared," said Blake, one of the best all-around defensemen of his generation, last week. "I think that's something I've always taken with me, even when I played. It all started with the way I was raised."
The Los Angeles Kings promoted Blake from assistant general manager to GM in April after firing Dean Lombardi. L.A. hopes that Blake, a Hall of Famer and Kings legend whose number is retired by the team, can reignite an organization that had lapsed into a malaise in recent years and missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
In many ways, the Kings see Blake as the right person to be a GM in today's game. He's a franchise legend who retired from playing recently enough, in 2010, that he can still relate to current athletes. But he's also a deep thinker -- he played college hockey at Bowling Green -- who tries to exhaust all analytical avenues before making a decision.