What the Puck? – Olympic dreams
Notable players get snubbed from Team Canada
Article: Autumn McDowell – Sports Editor
The golden roster has been set, but a few invites were noticeably lost in the mail.
With just 15 days until the Sochi Olympics are officially underway, many Canadians are busy preparing their Captain Crosby signs and practicing their offensive yet hilarious chants to mentally break down opponents, but a few other fans are loudly stewing that their favourite players won’t be making the trip.
While narrowing down the list of top Canadian hockey players is like asking John Tortorella to control himself – impossible to say the least – it’s safe to say that no one will ever be completely happy, including myself.
While the eventual official roster was quite close to my projected one, a few names were missing, most importantly NHL 14 cover boy Claude Giroux and assist-specialist Martin St. Louis.
Hailing from my arch nemesis’ team, the Philadelphia Flyers, Giroux currently leads his team with 44 points in 49 games, including 23 points in the last 18 games. But, despite these impressive stats, hot point streak and swift skating he was not invited to wear the maple leaf on his sweater.
Possibly my favourite player in the NHL, Tampa Bay Lightning’s St. Louis, who currently has 50 points in 50 games was also left off of the roster, but his teammate who recently suffered a broken tibia was left on. This comes as a general snub from Lightning’s General Manager Steve Yzerman, who just happens to be the Executive Director for Team Canada.
If anyone knows the playing style of St. Louis, it’s Yzerman, but the decision was made to keep the 38-year-old from playing in the Olympics. Perhaps his age played a factor, but that didn’t keep Scott Neidermayer from captaining the team in 2010 at the age of 36.
But mere days after being told he wasn’t invited to the party, St. Louis showed just what type of player he is and notched four goals in a single game, causing more than just Yzerman to question his presence, or lack thereof on Team Canada.
There is perhaps only one player that has been in the discussion of every hockey fans conversation this week, Regina born player Chris Kunitz. The odd thing about Kunitz is that he actually made the team, and people are not happy about it.
Forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins, it is widely a consensus that Kunitz merely made the team as Crosby’s puppet. Sure the chemistry between the two is what caused him to eventually be named a member, but would he be there without Crosby? I doubt it.
It’s not to say that Kunitz isn’t a good hockey player. His 49 points in 48 games are quick to hush up the critics, but out of the 24 goals that he has scored this year, how many of them were easy tap-ins to Crosby’s magical set up?
Other players that fans are whining about that will be absent from Team Canada are Mr. 5.4 Jordan Eberle and one of Edmonton’s only good players Taylor Hall.
However, while fans are bitching, they need to realize that Crosby, John Tavares and Steven Stamkos also didn’t make the Olympic team on their first attempt.
At this point, these two Edmonton boys will be lucky enough to see a regular season win in the month of February, let alone an Olympic gold medal.Image: proicehockey.about.com