If you’re a hockey fan, you’ve probably read a story or two about the upcoming Olympic Games and the NHL players expected to compete for their respective countries.
If you’re a Canadian hockey fan, you’ve probably read ten times that amount.
Over the last year, countless stories have been written about who should lace ‘em up for Canada at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver this coming February.
Instead of rehashing this same discussion, I’m going to go in another direction and highlight a few of the potential Team Canada candidates (outside of the obvious players who have sustained noteworthy injuries early on in the season) who I think shouldn’t make the team and why they should be left off the roster.
So hold onto your helmets sports fans…here we go!
Although Brodeur is the NHL's all-time leader in regular season wins, he’s also 37 and a half years old and missed the majority of last years season with an elbow injury. And while he’s bounced back this year, I honestly think Team Canada needs to go in another direction and give the next generation of masked men their shot at bringing home the gold.
Guys like Fleury, Luongo, and Price all have the pedigree to be named to the team and should be given a shot.
Mike Green (Washington Capitals)—He’s exciting, talented, and a top-notch blueliner, but he’s also in the crosshairs of players who I think Team Canada Executive Director Steve Yzerman should pass over.
While Green would certainly bring a high-degree of offense to the team, guys like Bouwmeester, Boyle and Weber bring a similar skill set and in my opinion aren’t as much of liability on the back-end. What’s more, I’m not a fan of Green’s nonchalant attitude and casual approach to the game. To play for Team Canada, you have to have passion and bleed Red and White, something I have yet to see from Green in his brief NHL career.
People might not like Crosby (I’m not one of them by the way), but even his detractors have to admit the guy is driven and oozes passion. Players with this type of drive are the ones who are going to be the difference makers for Canada when the score is tied and the game is on the line. For these reasons, I think selecting Green would be a mistake.
Often heralded as the textbook “team guy," the two-way winger should be a walk on given his past Team Canada achievements and consistent performance with the NHL’s desert dogs, right? Not so fast. Remember, Doan was a member of the country’s 2006 Winter Olympic team that finished a distant seventh in Turin. If he’s such a regarded leader, why wasn’t he able to help pull that team together and make them a more successful unit?
Also, this year’s squad should be full of leaders (Crosby, Iginla, Niedermayer, Pronger, etc.), so I don’t see this as a quality that really sets him apart.
Lastly, is Doan really as good as some people say he his? He may stand out on the lowly Coyotes, where he has spent his entire NHL career, but how would he perform on a contender like the Sharks or Penguins. Would he blend into the background? Who knows. But for me, this guy lacks the star power and numbers to be named to the 2010 Canadian squad.
So, love ‘em or hate ‘em, these are my picks of the players who I think should be watching the 2010 Games at home just like the rest of us.
You may or may not agree, but let the debate begin!