TORONTO (TICKER) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs refused to stand by idly.
The Maple Leafs made a big splash on the first day of NHL free agency, signing coveted center Jason Blake on Sunday.
Terms were not disclosed, but TSN of Canada reported that the All-Star inked a five-year, $20 million contract.
The move certainly should help improve a Maple Leafs club which has missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. Toronto went 40-31-11 this past campaign but lost three of its last five games and finished only one point behind the eighth-place New York Islanders (40-30-12).
Blake was a key cog on that Islanders club, leading the team with career highs of 40 goals and 69 points in 82 games. He also netted a tally and registered two assists in New York's five-game loss to the Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
The speedy Blake figures to provide even more explosiveness to an already potent Toronto offense while easing the burden off captain Mats Sundin, who signed a one-year extension with the team on June 12.
Blake, who turns 34 on September 2, has eclipsed the 20-goal mark each of the last four seasons. The Moorhead, Minnesota native has 134 tallies and 152 assists in parts of eight campaigns with the Islanders and the Los Angeles Kings.
Updated on Sunday, Jul 1, 2007 9:29 pm EDThttp://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slug=txma...ov=st&type=lgns
Dang it Garth sign someone.