2014 Canadian Olympic Hockey Team Snubs: Top Players Left off Sochi Roster

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2014

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 12:  Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on prior to the father and son team photo following his game against the Montreal Canadiens on December 12, 2013 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Len Redkoles/Getty Images
Canada's 2014 Men's Hockey Olympic Roster
ForwardsTeam
Jamie BennDallas Stars
Patrice BergeronBoston Bruins
Jeff CarterLos Angeles Kings
Sidney CrosbyPittsburgh Penguins
Matt DucheneColorado Avalanche
Ryan GetzlafAnaheim Ducks
Chris KunitzPittsburgh Penguins
Patrick MarleauSan Jose Sharks
Rick NashNew York Rangers
Corey PerryAnaheim Ducks
Patrick SharpChicago Blackhawks
Steven StamkosTampa Bay Lightning
John TavaresNew York Islanders
Jonathan ToewsChicago Blackhawks
DefensemenTeam
Jay BouwmeesterSt. Louis Blues
Drew DoughtyLos Angeles Kings
Dan HamhuisVancouver Canucks
Duncan KeithChicago Blackhawks
Alex PietrangeloSt. Louis Blues
P.K. SubbanMontreal Canadiens
Marc Edouard VlasicSan Jose Sharks
Shea WeberNashville Predators
GoaltendersTeam
Roberto LuongoVancouver Canucks
Carey PriceMontreal Canadiens
Mike SmithPhoenix Coyotes
Source: NHL.com

As the defending gold medalists, there will be immense pressure on Team Canada to repeat at the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia.

While there is plenty of talent on this year's roster, there were several marquee names like Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux, San Jose’s Logan Couture and others that were robbed of their rightful spot on the team.

These men have been snubbed.

Here is the full roster (via NHL.com), the top five snubs and the most glaring oversights made by the team.

 

Biggest Snubs of 2014
PlayerPositionTeamGoalsAssistsPoints
Logan CoutureCSan Jose Sharks142135
Claude GirouxCPhiladelphia Flyers122638
Dan BoyleDSan Jose Sharks71219
Eric StaalCCarolina Hurricanes102535
Martin St. LouisRWTampa Bay Lightning172138
Source: NHL.com

 

Now that we've seen the full roster, here are the top snubs Team Canada passed on:

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23:  Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates a Flyers goal during an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild at Wells Fargo Center on December 23, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

 

The Inexcusables

Claude Giroux, C, Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers and captain Claude Giroux started the 2013-14 NHL season slowly, but led by the center’s elite play and ice-vision, the team has surged back into contention.

Giroux should have been rewarded for his play with a spot on the Olympic roster, as few have been as statistically dominant over the last three seasons, according to David Strehle of The Fourth Period:

Philadelphia has won seven of the last nine games, with Giroux leading the charge behind five goals, eight assists and 13 points during that stretch. He is clearly the best player on the team and one of the most gifted athletes in the sport.

Team Canada dropped the ball snubbing the star center, but the Flyers are hoping it could light a spark for the second half of the season, just as Sam Carchidi of The Philadelphia Inquirer suggests:

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27:  Logan Couture #39 of the San Jose Sharks during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on December 27, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. The Sharks defeated the Coyotes 4-3 in an overtime shoot out.  (Photo by C
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Add in Giroux’s willingness and ability to play in every facet of the game—he is an effective power-play specialist and a force on the penalty kill—and the versatility and tenacity of Giroux will be missed during the Olympics.

 

Logan Couture, C, San Jose Sharks

The news that Sharks center Logan Couture would be forced to undergo surgery on his hand, per Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com, made his snub from the Olympic team easier to deal with, but it is still an egregious error.

Mark Purdy of the Mercury News agrees:

Couture, 24, should have been named to the team and a replacement could have been named. Instead, his 35 points and stellar play at both ends of the ice will be excluded from the festivities.

Yahoo! Sports’ Greg Wyshynski feels bad for Couture:

The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the young star, but the blatant snub this year should create the motivation to make the next Olympic team in 2018. It’s a shame he’ll have to wait that long.

 

*Stats via NHL.com.