Defenseman Ken Block was by no means a flashy performer during his junior or professional hockey career, but he was a steady, reliable blueliner who always gave it the proverbial "110 percent."
Block played two years of junior hockey with the Flin Flon Bombers in Manitoba before turning professional in 1964-65 when he played for both the New York Rovers of the EHL and the Baltimore Clippers of the AHL. Block was a career minor-leaguer, and like so many others in the same situation, played on an assortment of clubs, always hoping that the one stop may one day lead to a shot at the NHL.
In fact it took Block six years to get his one and only opportunity to play in the NHL. After seven stops in the minors he was called up to play one game for the expansion Vancouver Canucks. He was back in the minors with the Rochester Americans immediately afterwards and did not get a chance to play at an elite level again until the advent of the rival WHA in the fall of 1972.
With the arrival of the WHA came new hope for many players like Block, who were very talented in their own right, but could not quite crack a full-time roster spot in the NHL. He joined the New York Raiders, playing an entire season in the Big Apple. For Block it was a large raise in salary compared with the money in the minor leagues and also provided the chance to go head-to-head against some of the best players in the world on a regular basis, including the likes of Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, Derek Sanderson and Gerry Cheevers, who all fled the NHL for the lure of the almighty dollar. Block then spent a year with the New York-Jersey Knights and a season on the west coast with the San Diego Mariners. The last five years of his pro career were spent with the Indianapolis Racers. During his final season with the Racers in 1978-79 he played alongside a pair of 17-year-old stars named Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, although the future superstars were with the club for just eight and five games, respectively before being sent to the Edmonton Oilers.