Wolski Making a Strong Bid For Team Canada

James CriderCorrespondent IDecember 20, 2009

DENVER - NOVEMBER 08:  Wojtek Wolski #8 of the Colorado Avalanche awaits a faceoff against the Edmonton Oilers during NHL action at the Pepsi Center on November 8, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Oilers defeated the Avalanche 5-3.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

A month ago when color analyst Peter McNabb started lobbying for Wojtek Wolski to be chosen for team Canada at this Winter's Olympics in Vancouver, people laughed.

They aren't laughing anymore.

37 games into the 2010 NHL season, Wolski has not only established himself as a top line forward for the Avalanche, but also as one of the most versatile wingers in the NHL.

Once known as a lazy, one-dimensional forward who didn't score enough, Joe Sacco's "work or you sit" system has changed Wolski into the Avalanche's hardest forechecker and backchecker, due in large part to Sacco sitting him early in the season for lack of effort.

Does a hot season warrant making the Olympics?

Eric Staal, Vincent Lecavalier, and Steven Stamkos are some of the best players in the world, and they're only considered bubble players for Canada.

In the past Winter Olympics, the Canadian team featured players who were having bad seasons but were considered to have the most talent or experience. As a result, players like Todd Bertuzzi and Kris Draper made the team instead of players like Sidney Crosby and Marc Savard.

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The plan backfired, as the heavily favored Canadian squad failed to medal.

This time around, Canada is considering everyone from Patrice Bergeron to Dustin Penner in an attempt to build the best, but not necessarily most experienced, team they can.

I believe Wolski fits to motto of that team.

By the numbers

36 -Wolsi's point total, more than any Canadian left wing not named Danny Heatley

15 -Wolski's goal total, one more goal than he had all of last year in 78 games played

2 - Wolski's power play goal total, showing that he can score goals at even strength while playing solid defensive hockey

11 -Wolski's +/- rating, higher than any Canadian left wing

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