The 23-man roster for Canada's Men's Ice Hockey team has been unveiled for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. While most of the team was locked up six months ago (i.e goaltending and the Crosby, Nash, Iginla line) some spots were still up for grabs. Here is a list of a few eye openers from Wednesday's announcement.
1. Calgary's defensive duo was left off the roster along with offensive machine Mike Green. For most people this was a shock. Many expected either Bouwmeester or Phaneuf to make the roster along with Mike Green. However, if you analyze this move closely you can see Steve Yzerman and his crew made the right choice.
The decision to cut Bouwmeester was an easy one, he signed a large contract and he has been underachieving (particularly these last couple of weeks). For Phaneuf it was just an unfortunate matter of not being good enough. With the likes of Boyle, Weber, and Pronger there was no room for the Calgary defenceman. As for Green he was denied a spot on this roster simply for his defensive ability—or lack of it.
The Canadian defense already had enough fire power, adding Green would have just made him a dangle target for the Russians.
2. Patrice Bergeron made the Olympic roster over Mike Fisher, Derek Roy, and Shane Doan (to name a few). Many thought this was a bad call because if you think about it, how much ice time is Bergeron going to get? Six...seven...eight minutes max?
Consider the fact that he will also most likely play a fourth line checking/grinder role. So keeping all this in mind my final consensus is "What are they thinking?"
If Begeron's body takes another big hit (which it will if they do ask him to perform a fourth line/grinder type role) he will end up in permanent a coma.
Look, all I'm saying is don't expect Bergeron to go out their perform like a Jordan Staal or Mike Grier.
3. Jordan Staal and Shane Doan were left off the team's fourth line. This is really a head-scratcher considering that Canada's projected fourth line is Morrow, Bergeron and Eric Staal/Toews.
Is that really an effective fourth line?
Morrow is a great pick, but Eric Staal, Toews, and Mike Richards (who is expected to be the odd forward out) are players who are accustomed to heavy ice time.
Jordan Staal and Shane Doan are players who can play this role "effectively" because they can adjust to the minimal ice time and both players have the ability to be good checking/grinding forwards.
Overall this Canadian Olympic hockey team is much better than the 2006 Turin team. Only time will tell whether Yzerman and the rest of the committee have made the right choices. Because when it is all said and done, Canadian fans won't care who makes this team as long as they win gold on their home soil.