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Whether or not P.K. Subban gets named to Team Canada will be the hottest topic of conversation at Canadian holiday gatherings this season. Everyone seems to have a strong opinion as to why the reigning Norris Trophy winner should or shouldn't be going to Sochi.
Well, here's a prediction that Montreal Canadiens fans will love: P.K. Subban will indeed be named to Team Canada January 7.
Steve Yzerman and his team would be making a major mistake by not bringing Subban to Russia. Leaving him at home would mean leaving the most dynamic offensive skill set by a defenseman off of the world stage.
If named to the squad, Subban will bring elite skating to a team that is going to be built around skating for on the larger ice surface. He will bring the best one-timer in hockey to a tournament that will feature the best goalies in the world. He'll also bring the ability to run the power play alongside the most talented players Canada has to offer.
If, however, Team Canada management brass chooses to not include Subban, it will be because he was deemed untrustworthy defensively. Here's what Mike Babcock had to say about defense, via ESPN.com:
We want skaters, the most we can possibly have, We want high hockey IQ. But the most important thing is trust. No sense taking somebody you don't trust, because they're all going to be one-goal games, and in the end you have to defend.
People think the big ice is about offense. No, it’s about defending. So you got to be able to play without the puck. Can you do that or can you not do that? To me, it's really simple. But the longer we get to watch, the better opportunity we have to make the right decision.
Subban's defensive play has been under the microscope all season. And after losing the trust of his own coach a few weeks ago, Subban has been much better of late and is being used in all situations.
Michel Therrien has even decided to finally endorse Subban for a spot on the team, as reported by TSN.ca. "The way he's playing right now, Subban is making a great case for the Olympic team. We want him to go there," Therrien told reporters November 27.
And so the debate will rage on until Canada names its team January 7. Will Subban be named to Team Canada? Judging by his play over the past year, he certainly deserves to be there. Let's hope Steve Yzerman sees it the same way.