I originally wanted to take another angle and focus more on the Olympic hopefuls but figured their will be plenty of debate after Steve Yzerman announces the team this week. We all know the locks but it’s those bubble players that could make or break this team… am I right Rob Zamuner?
Clearly the former Red Wing Captain and current Tampa Bay GM is losing sleep lately. His quote the other day sums it up, “I can’t wait until Tuesday to find out how stupid I am” highlighting the difficulties of choosing the best of the best in a country where the talent pool runs so deep. Responsible for the daunting task of selecting 25 players to represent the Canadians in the upcoming Sochi Olympics, Stevie Y’s team will be under the microscope over the next month until the players actually take the ice.
For every Bobby Ryan diss, Yzerman will have to deal with about 5x the criticism considering who will be left off this team. As long as he keeps his mouth shut and doesn’t pull a Brian Burke, he should be fine standing behind his team.
Keep in mind I put them into lines, but don’t focus too much on the lines themselves but the players and how they’ll fit on this team, on the big ice and in whatever role Mike Babcock gives them.
@tycam ‘s Team Canada Sochi 2014
Stamkos – Crosby - Tavares
Sharp – Toews – Giroux
Couture – Getzlaf – Perry
Nash – Bergeron – E. Staal
Keith – Doughty
Bouwmeester - Pietrangelo
Vlasic – Weber
Ex: Benn, Duchene, P.K. Subban, Seabrook, M. Smith
Top 5 things you are probably thinking:
1) Will Stamkos be ready? No idea, but as of now, the Olympics are in his sights. He’ll be named to the team regardless and then replaced later if need be. Next up would be Marleau, Thorton, M. Richards, J. Carter.
2) There’s no way public enemy #1, P.K. Subban is on this team. Well if that’s what you’re thinking, I can only assume you’re a Leafs fan. It will be a remarkable decision (in a bad way) if Subban is not on this team. The reigning Norris Trophy winner may not play a regular shift but definitely deserves to be there.
3) Shea Weber is a top 4 defencemen, why is he in your bottom pairing? Relax, like I said, don’t focus on the lines themselves. I agree he’s top 4 and he will play top 4 minutes in all situations. But, Keith and Doughty were unreal together in 2010 and the Blues shutdown pair will be together which leaves Weber as the 5th wheel in this scenario. He’ll be Babcock’s #1 guy over the board in many occasions though.
4) You’re living in 2010 Cameron, there’s no way Rick Nash, Eric Staal and Brent Seabrook make it. Well maybe not. I wouldn’t be surprised if neither of those players are there but I think it would be a shame. Yzerman & Co. are not sitting around and highlighting only those top Canadian scorers this year. Some guys have started off slow but they know what they’re going to get from there as they’ve been there before. The real challenges is putting a true team together. These players can play in all situations and are extremely versatile. Get ready to hear that word a lot over the next month. Plus, outside of winning Gold in 2010, all 3 have played and performed well for their country outside of the Olympics.
5) Price will be the starter hands down. It would be hard to fight you on that, but for the time being it’s Luongo’s job to lose. I have a feeling he may hold on to those reigns longer than many think.
Ok, there you have it. Let me see your teams.
However way you shape this team, the pressure is on to repeat as Gold Medalists so they best be up for the task.
Filed Under: Olympics
About the Author: I am a rare Chicago Blackhawks fan from Canada, one might describe me as a hockey connoisseur and a solid checking line centre to your local rec hockey team. I once lived in a town of 500 people and now work in the hockey mecca that is Toronto. I work in the wonderful world of Advertising and these opinions are one of my own and not of my company - don't get it twisted.