December 01, 2005

Martin dismisses Bloc's plan for a 'Team Quebec'. : Canadian prime minister Paul Martin dismissed a Bloc Quebecois plan that would see superstar hockey players like Mario Lemieux and Vincent Lecavalier play for Team Quebec instead of Team Canada in international tournaments. Released on Wednesday, the Bloc platform includes a plank calling for Quebec national teams to play in international hockey and soccer tournaments.

posted by the red terror to hockey at 04:51 PM - 18 comments

It sure would be interesting to see how the Quebeckers would raise their game to face the rest of Canada, but I got a feeling that unless Brodeur is super-hot, they'd get their arses reamed, the talent in Quebecois hockey isn't nearly as deep as it was decades ago. They might even find it difficult to make the Olympic semis, let alone medal. Overall, it's probably not a good idea, Canada is not like the United Kingdom and never has been. It seems to me a calculated and divisive issue that Duceppe hopes to revive nationalism and cynically split the electorate at election time.

posted by the red terror at 04:59 PM on December 01

It's easy to pooh-pooh this, and it seems everyone in hockey who's bothered to even comment on this is doing exactly that, but a couple of things: One, out of the 81 players on the Team Canada short list, only 13 are from Quebec. I would have expected that number to be higher. And two, how do you think a B.C. team would fare? Or an Ontario team? Hey, let's take this to a logical extreme and have a national championship, like they do for curling! Two weeks in the summertime, a four-game round robin followed by a two-game medal round, it'd be great! And it will never, ever happen.

posted by chicobangs at 05:34 PM on December 01

One, out of the 81 players on the Team Canada short list, only 13 are from Quebec. I would have expected that number to be higher. A few decades ago you would have been right. But the Quebec junior teams have not been a huge force in Memorial Cup competition for a while, and when you see the lists of players represented by province on the Junior Canadian team that come from Quebec the past 20 years, it has not been overly impressive.

posted by the red terror at 05:39 PM on December 01

This couldn't happen in the Olympics without either (1) Quebec independence from Canada, or (2) a major political battle at the International Olympic Committee. The IOC recognizes national Olympic committees and would have to recognize one from Quebec before they could field teams at the Olympics. The Great Britain analogy doesn't apply to the Olympics, either, as Scotland, Wales, and NI also do not have their own NOCs. Also, as chicobangs suggests, Canada is free to select its Olympic team through some kind of national tournament. They used to do essentially that BITGOD when they won every international tournament easily. But it isn't likely to ever happen again.

posted by Amateur at 08:44 PM on December 01

and NI also do not have their own NOCs. I thought NI and the Republic competed together in the Olympics, as they do in Rugby. Anyone know for sure (I'm looking at you, JJ)

posted by owlhouse at 08:53 PM on December 01

This is a stupid election gimmick and that's it. Period. Meant to get people to talk about Quebec nationalism and yadda yadda. would see superstar hockey players like Mario Lemieux and Vincent Lecavalier play for Team Quebec instead of Team Canada in international tournament The one problem with this is, also, assuming that the likes of Lemieux and Lecavalier would rather play on the Quebec team than the Canadian team. I think many Quebec players, given the choice, would prefer to make the Canadian team.

posted by mkn at 10:40 PM on December 01

Impossible pre-election spewing crap. No one truly believes this.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:55 PM on December 01

Isn't there an Olympic rule where, once you play for one team in a sport, you cannot play for another, unless the first country no longer exists?

posted by MeatSaber at 07:28 AM on December 02

Yeah, Quebec may not churn out the players like they used to, but they still seem to have a lock on goalies. Quebec could probably field a decent Olympic team (assuming everyone agreed to play for Quebec, etc.). Good enough to trounce Italy, for example.

posted by fabulon7 at 08:00 AM on December 02

I like this idea, divide and conquer the international hockey. Give us yanks a better fucking chance. Did anything like this happen when the USSR split? Does Khasitsan have its own team? How about Uzbekistan, or Georgia? MeatSaber Didn't Brett Hull switch sides? He was born Candian but has US citizernship if I'm not mistaken, but I don't know if he played for Canada internationally.

posted by HATER 187 at 08:32 AM on December 02

Didn't Brett Hull switch sides? He was born Candian but has US citizernship if I'm not mistaken, but I don't know if he played for Canada internationally. He never played for Canada internationally. If he did, he wouldn't be allowed to compete for the USA in other international tournaments. Part of the reason Hull played for the American international teams is because he never got selected to play for the Canadian ones when he was a junior/rookie.

posted by grum@work at 09:32 AM on December 02

Yeah, but the old Soviet Republics actuall became real countries. They tried that "Unified Team" thing for a few years, but that was only going to last for so long. And yeah, Brett Hull has added blue to his red & white. Who'd win a tournament between the "national teams" of Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts and Maine (and maybe any more that I'm missing)? (I know they do something like this in college, but I mean using the current Olympic format, where the pros get to come back.)

posted by chicobangs at 09:37 AM on December 02

Isn't there an Olympic rule where, once you play for one team in a sport, you cannot play for another, unless the first country no longer exists? According to the IOC, you can switch countries (NOCs actually) but you have to wait three years from the date of your last world or regional championship appearance for your old country. The waiting period doesn't apply if your country ceases to exist. As for other international competitions, that is up to the relevant international federation. I don't know what the IIHF's rules are. self-promotion warning: me blogging on the issue of switching countries at the Olympics (not hockey-specific).

posted by Amateur at 09:54 AM on December 02

I thought NI and the Republic competed together in the Olympics, as they do in Rugby. Actually, as I investigated this further, it is more interesting than I thought. Press release here: "the [Irish and British] National Olympic Committees have agreed to retain the status quo that the longstanding practice relating to athletes in Northern Ireland who qualify for participation at the Olympic Games will be maintained. That is to say that an athlete born in Northern Ireland who qualifies for participation at the Olympic Games and who holds a UK passport, may opt for selection by either Team GB or Ireland."

posted by Amateur at 10:03 AM on December 02

It seems to me a calculated and divisive issue that Duceppe hopes to revive nationalism and cynically split the electorate at election time. Of course it is, Red Terror. Look at what Boisclair did at the provincial level with sovereigntist rhetoric. If speculation that the conservatives can't carry Ontario ends up holding true, and if Duceppe can tap into the same voter sentiment at the federal level that Boisclair did at the provincial level, then he and the PQ hold a big stick similar to what Layton and the NDP held with the Liberals at the beginning of that minority government. And what is the easiest way to inflame that passion in Canada? Hockey. Brilliant move, really...

posted by smithers at 11:09 AM on December 02

Yeah it's a brilliant move, if Quebecers are stupid enough to buy it. Naw, the pea-soup eaters are too savvy for that (Every hockey-loving Frenchman alive knows the height weight and overall potential of any Quebec hockey player aged 14 and up). But the PQ will dominate Quebec regardless; the battlegroud is again, Ontario - can Harper and his gang steal enough seats to make a Conservative minority? Either that or we're in the same boat - just two months difference.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:14 AM on December 02

Yeah, Quebec may not churn out the players like they used to, but they still seem to have a lock on goalies. The inevitable result of decades of shitty defence. That thing Don Cherry says about certain goalies that see more rubber than the Trans-Canada Highway...that's an average Quebec goalie for you. It stands to reason when you face 50 shots a game that you get more experience learning how to stop them.

posted by the red terror at 11:41 AM on December 02

The inevitable result of decades of shitty defence. It's still not looking good on the "Quebec" defence. Only one defenceman from the 81 players on Team Canada's "selection list" is a Quebec-born defenceman (Eric Desjardins). They have great goalies, good snipers, strong centreman, average grinders and awful (in comparison to "Canada" and the other nations) defenceman.

posted by grum@work at 12:33 PM on December 02

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