Every year, I devour THN's Yearbook. Great human interest pieces (some actually go far deeper than hockey, like the one a few years back talking about Andrew Ference & Steve Montador going to Africa to help villagers, play some soccer, and generally be awesome dudes). I always read those first, and then hit the team reports after. Invariably, this always means I'm not done those until October, and makes me late for writing a Year in Preview deal. Not this year folks.
So last night, while reading THN's annual Top 50 Players piece, it dawned on me: I wonder if there are enough Canadians in here to field a hockey team...say, in Vancouver, in 2010, in case something big happens to be going on around then.
Low & behold, THN named 15 forwards (I’ll show the top 13), seven defensemen, and four goalies (I’ll show the top three & give the fourth honourable mention) of Canadian descent. For the record, I'll be doing one of these in November, but for now, here's THN's Accidental Team Canada (lines are done based on the order they’re on the list, with positional preference going to the highest-rated player at that position on the line).
LW – Ryan Getzlaf C – Sidney Crosby RW – Eric Staal
LD – Chris Pronger RD – Mike Green
LW – Jeff Carter C – Vincent Lecavalier RW – Jarome Iginla
LD – Jay Bouwmeester RD – Scott Neidermayer
LW – Marc Savard C – Joe Thornton RW – Mike Richards
LD – Duncan Keith RD – Shea Weber
LW – Martin St. Louis C – Rick Nash RW – Corey Perry
Extra Forward – Dany Heatley
Extra D – Dion Phaneuf
Starting Goalie – Roberto Luongo
Backup Goalie – Martin Brodeur
3rd Goalie – Marc-Andre Fleury
Honourable mention goes out to Cam Ward, Jason Spezza, & Simon Gagne.
Obviously those wouldn’t be the lines that I’d actually put together. It’s simply done like that for list continuity. While it may or may not be the roster I’d choose, I certainly can’t say that I’d have a problem taking that team to Vancouver.