Olympic camp: Where dreams are crushed
What the puck? 47 players get a glimmer of hope
Article: Autumn McDowell – Sports Editor
It was Christmas in July for Canada’s top hockey players.
No, Gary Bettman’s firing was not announced. But on July 22nd, 47 athletes received an invite to the Olympic orientation camp from Aug. 25-28 in Calgary, AB, and the first step towards becoming a member of the defending champion Olympic team.
While most fans were happy with the names on the roster, the list wasn’t without its share of controversies.
Obviously the biggest shock was that permanent Phoenix Coyotes bench warmer, Paul Bissonette, was kept off of the roster. Unfortunately for him, his hilarious tweets were just not enough to earn him an invite; thank God he has his clothing company to fall back on.
But besides that, while a total of 15 members from 2010’s golden-goal team were invited to the camp, there were a few notable gold medalists who were snubbed from the party.
These apparent has-beens include Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the 2010 third stringer’s invite reportedly got lost in the mail sometime between the first and second round of the playoffs. He’s still anxiously awaiting the mailman’s arrival.
Future hall of fame goal tender Martin Brodeur also did not receive an invite, losing out to the inexperienced Washington Capitals net minder Braden Holtby. The youngster was still shitting his pants uncontrollably in Lloydminster when Brodeur was drafted to the NHL.
Jarome “Desperate for a Stanley Cup” Iginla will not be wearing the maple leaf on his chest for the first time since the 2002 Olympics. His notable absence will give him more time to carefully select which NHL team he will decide he wants to be traded to at the last minute of the season to try and claw his way onto Lord Stanley. These are the thanks he gets for making the golden-goal possible at the last Olympics.
Two-time Stanley Cup finalist and one-time champion, Tyler Seguin, also did not receive an invite, even though he was on TSN’s projected 2014 Team Canada roster. However, Edmonton Oilers forwards Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall received an Olympic invite despite having yet to see NHL post-season action. Can you believe it?
Menace to society, Brad Marchand, has also regrettably received an invite. It appears as though the team had an opening for a position dedicated solely to being an annoying asshole, since Chris Pronger, who formerly held the position, will not be on the team this year.
To many people, Marchand is the type of player that you like to play alongside, and hate to play against, because you can sit back and watch him annoy the opposition. Personally, I can’t stand him and I pray for the teammate who has to sit beside him on the bench. Thankfully, I highly doubt he will be on the final roster.
Although, roughly half of the 47 players will not make the trip to Sochi come February, and will be drooling in front of their television sets while eating microwave dinners like the rest of Canada. For those players who do make the final roster, the only way they’re crossing the border, is with a gold medal around their neck.