December 21, 2005

Canada's 2006 Olympic team is set, but Sidney's staying home: Hockey Canada names the team for Turin, and rookie phenom Sidney Crosby isn't on the roster. Young turks Eric Staal and Jason Spezza did make the cut, although on the taxi squad, and Todd Bertuzzi also is headed overseas. What's the biggest surprise for you?

posted by wfrazerjr to hockey at 04:42 PM - 34 comments

Here is a link to the actual roster. My $0.02... there is no way that Bertuzzi should be on this squad. He hasn't played well at all this year, and isn't well suited to the large ice surface. Big Bert over Spezza or Staal? Are you freakin' kidding me?

posted by camcanuck at 04:55 PM on December 21, 2005

I'm surprised McCabe made it, even to the taxi squad. On the big ice, the important part of a defenseman's game might get exposed. If he plays, and gets caught flat-footed and costs the team a win, I'm gonna be mighty pissed. And no Shanahan? I'm not sure if I agree with that. I'd drop Draper to take The Irish Jig instead. Then again, I'm partial to lacrosse players. And Sid will get his chance. Wayne definitely got the goalies right.

posted by garfield at 04:57 PM on December 21, 2005

Much better roster than US. I would drop Draper for Shannie and Bertuzzi for Crosby. Just loking at the depth in net made me shit my pants.

posted by HATER 187 at 05:04 PM on December 21, 2005

It wasn't a surprise, but I'm glad that Smyth made it. There are a lot of guys that can score better than him, that can skate better than him, but still, he deserves to be there. I mean, he played in what? Five world championships in a row? He's not the big name, but he's definitely been the face of Team Canada for almost a decade. I wouldn't of included Bertuzzi.

posted by mkn at 05:04 PM on December 21, 2005

I don't understand the McCabe pick either. He's great for the Leafs this year, but did someone on the selection committee really say, "Hey, we don't have enough scoring punch up front, so let's bring in an offensive defenseman"? It's not even like his offensive strengths are outlet passing and playmaking—it's all about his shot. You'd think Team Canada would have enough shooters already.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 05:05 PM on December 21, 2005

I also would probably have picked Joseph over Turco. He spent the entire lockout year in training (not playing, but actual training and working out at a goalie school), and he's in very good form this year. I'd argue that he's a better goalie now than he was then.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 05:11 PM on December 21, 2005

Nash's point rate on the international stage is astounding. Iggy and Heatley's aren't too bad either. Have you seen Turco play lately? I've only seen him in the past couple weeks, but the way he challenges shooters is really impressive. I'd say he is the most agressive goalie I've seen this year. But agree, Cujo is better than ever. And I think Bert will prove why he was picked.

posted by garfield at 05:17 PM on December 21, 2005

I'm also glad we took Bertuzzi, as I just found out the third tiebreaker for medals is "number of opposition broken necks."

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:28 PM on December 21, 2005

see, Wayne knows what he is doing.

posted by garfield at 05:34 PM on December 21, 2005

I think if you had CuJo replacing anybody in that depth chart, it would have to be Brodeur. Marty isn't looking like the Marty of old this season. At least not in the couple of games that I have seen him play.

posted by NoMich at 05:39 PM on December 21, 2005

Being a Stars fan, I'm glad Turco made the team. But the fact is that there are just too many freaking good Canadian goalies. Joseph, Legace, Fernandez. They would probably all make the U.S. team if they were born south of the border. Maybe Canada needs a Team A and a Team B.

posted by graymatters at 06:08 PM on December 21, 2005

I guess I can see leaving Sid off this time, but am I missing something? Why no Kariya? Damn, it's still a great lineup. Puts USA's to shame.

posted by willthrill72 at 08:14 PM on December 21, 2005

I'm not a fan of the Bertuzzi pick. However, if there ever is a player who is going to want to prove Gretzky right, it's gonna be Todd. A (properly) motivated Bertuzzi is a scary thing. Spezza and Staal have probably a 50/50 chance of playing in the Olympics. All it would take is an injury to one of the forwards and they'll step in. Half of me says that Gretzky let loyalty affect his picks too much (Doan on the roster), and the other half says I'm crazy (Joseph off the roster). Would I have liked to have seen Crosby on the roster? Sure, he'd be fun to watch playing with/against the best in the world. But he can wait four more years, when he'll be the ripe old age of 22.

posted by grum@work at 09:33 PM on December 21, 2005

Checking my guesses, it looks like I wasn't too far off:

  • 2 of 3 goalies - Cam Ward? Big miss there!
  • 6 of 7 defencemen, plus one reserve - I have no idea why I left Pronger off my list. I must have simply forgotten about him.
  • 10 of 13 forwards, plus one reserve - I didn't guess on Lemieux's injury, or Nash's recovery, or the redemption of Bertuzzi.
Now here is the Canada "B" team you could make: Goalies: C. Joseph M. Fernandez J. Theodore Defencemen: D. Phaneuf J. Bouwmeester D. Boyle M. Bergeron M. Rathje C. Phillips E. Brewer Forwards: A. Tanguay (LW) C. Stillman (LW) S. Sullivan (LW) P. Kariya (LW) M. Savard (C) P. Marleau (C) S. Crosby (C) J. Madden (C) Ja. Williams (RW) J. Cheechoo (RW) M. Ryder (RW) N. Horton (RW) B. Shanahan (LW/RW) Taxi Squad: Ju. Williams (F) B. Morrow (F) M. Van Ryn (D) That's one hell of a "B" team!

posted by grum@work at 10:08 PM on December 21, 2005

I think the McCabe pick was to appease the stupid Leafs fans in Toronto who otherwise have no one on the CDN team. Hopefully we won't have any defensive injuries and we won't have to use him. I'd have taken Eric Staal over Shane Doan personally. I understand having "role players", but we've already got Ryan Smyth and Kris Draper filling that need.

posted by westcoastexpress at 03:12 AM on December 22, 2005

I don't know why you would take Shane Doan and Draper when you could have Staaaaaal and Marleau/Spezza/Tanguay/Crosby. And Pronger? Gimme a break. The dude is a pylon on bigger ice. Did anyone watch him in the last Olympics? He should have got maybe a bronze medal. Phaneuf, Bouwmeester, Boyle, or Brewer would have been better. I'm a little surprised Theodore didn't make it, just out of inertia, but Turco deserved it more, so good. But seriously, if this is the worst griping to be done about this team, I can't complain. And regarding the 'B' team -- they should let Canada enter two teams. That would be cool. Especially if it came down to a Canada/Canada final. Maybe it will happen when Quebec and Alberta separate.

posted by fabulon7 at 08:03 AM on December 22, 2005

Can you really make a bad selection? Does anyone really think that Staal or Crosby is going to be the difference between 1st or 2nd? I sure as hell don't. But I am a little surprised that youth wasn't served a little more. However, I think Crosby will be invited to play in the Worlds while everyone else is playing in the playoffs, so his international experience will go up. I actually think the Bertuzzi pick was a smart hockey pick. He's been playing exceptionally well for about a month now after a terrible start. Still when you can say Spezza, Staal, Crosby, Phaneuf, Tanguay, Boyle, etc. can't make the team, well that's a pretty nice problem to have.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:24 AM on December 22, 2005

Simon Gagne....sweeeeet!

posted by GoBirds at 08:31 AM on December 22, 2005

I think the McCabe pick was to appease the stupid Leafs fans in Toronto who otherwise have no one on the CDN team. Hopefully we won't have any defensive injuries and we won't have to use him. Or you could notice that he's the highest scoring defenceman in the NHL, and leads the league in power play points. Since they are going to be calling the game in pretty much the same way they are doing it in the NHL this year (albeit with some European refs, so who knows how that is going to turn out), I think having a strong power play is important. Besides, the Leafs will have lots of representation at the Olympics this year even if McCabe doesn't make the squad: N. Antropov (Kaz) M. Tellqvist (Swe) M. Sundin (Swe) T. Kaberle (Cze) A. Berg (Fin)

posted by grum@work at 08:46 AM on December 22, 2005

Yeah grum - I was just going to let that one slide, Toronto bashing is just so 1990. But if adding the highest point-getting defenceman to the taxi squad is meant to appease certain fans - than as a fan of Team Canada, consider me appeased. McCabe is also leading the league in icetime, and for a guy who is alledgedly a 'bad defenceman' y'all should actually watch him play. He's sound. Certainly as sound as Blake this year - gawd. No, on second thought I'm not going to let that slide. Westcoastexpress, you're a grade A asshat.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:04 AM on December 22, 2005


posted by garfield at 09:10 AM on December 22, 2005

Not only should McCabe make the team, it's a virtual no-brainer.

posted by 86 at 09:44 AM on December 22, 2005

Hey grum, Can USA trade our A team for Canada's B team? Pleeeease!

posted by willthrill72 at 09:56 AM on December 22, 2005

I like your team, grum, but I'd go with Horcoff over Madden and maybe Biron over Theodore (gasp). The fact that we can actually debate the B team goes to show how much depth we have.

posted by mkn at 11:16 AM on December 22, 2005

I like your team, grum, but I'd go with Horcoff over Madden and maybe Biron over Theodore (gasp). I had Horcoff on my list originally, but dropped him for Horton or Shanahan (I can't remember which one). If push came to shove, I'd drop Shanahan for Horcoff, but I like the veteran presence that Shanahan could provide for this VERY young "B" team. And I'd completely forgotten about Biron! I'd definitely have him over Fernandez or Theodore at this time.

posted by grum@work at 11:37 AM on December 22, 2005

Hell, I'd take Garon over Theodore if the tourney started tomorrow. Habs fans; that's gotta hurt.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:42 AM on December 22, 2005

Unlike a lot of the posts in this thread, I sense that the actual A team's selection was relatively spite-free. I do like the choices, and while I think McCabe is underrated, I also think someone's going to go down between now and Turin, and he'll go and do just fine.

posted by chicobangs at 11:53 AM on December 22, 2005

Not that I'm hoping for an injury, but I'd like to see McCabe get some ice time, especially on power plays.

posted by rocket88 at 02:10 PM on December 22, 2005

And I'd completely forgotten about Biron! I'd definitely have him over Fernandez or Theodore at this time. Over Theodore, sure I could give you that but over Manny, Jesus man he's playing some increible hockey this year. He hit bad skid a little while ago but I still believe he is one of the top goaltenders in this league. Biron is averaging a goal a game more than Manny at this point.

posted by HATER 187 at 03:29 PM on December 22, 2005

MP Denis Coderre (not the sharpest tool in the shed, mind you) wants Shane Doan off the team, for political reasons.

posted by qbert72 at 09:31 PM on December 22, 2005

The NHL looked into the matter and didn't feel there was any problem and there was no discipline. Me thinks that Msr. Coderre is fishing for some attention and some votes. ''Mr. Doan has not only insulted our country's francophones, but the vast majority of Canadians.'' I'm pretty sure he only insulted the referee. "I have made contact today with legal counsel in Montreal on behalf of Shane to obtain the appropriate advice on what our next steps should be to address the ongoing defamation of his character." Nothing will happen, of course, but it's a good way to defend yourself.

posted by grum@work at 11:14 PM on December 22, 2005

I'm a little surprised they didn't choose McCabe, but they're not exactly hurting for scoring power either. Also surprised Regehr and Foote were considered guaranteed choices while McCabe wasn't. All this talk of Crosby on the team is ridiculous. The only reason he'd be on this team is for marketing purposes. They have enough established playmakers and he doesn't really bring anything that isn't already available in spades. Great player, but he's not there yet. Spezza, too, though it's a little harder to overlook one of the league's leading scorers than it is an 18-year-old rookie. Staal, I'm not sure about. Either way, there are bound to be injuries, so we'll see McCabe, Spezza, or Staal play at some point. Where's the love for CuJo? Maybe Wayne didn't want to be accused of Coyote nepotism. And Toronto bashing is never passé, Weedy!

posted by Succa at 09:12 AM on December 23, 2005

Where's the love for CuJo? Not anywhere close to Toronto or Detroit, I'm guessing.

posted by fabulon7 at 10:03 AM on December 23, 2005

A (properly) motivated Bertuzzi is a scary thing. Fixed that for you. I'm just not sure how much TC needed an offensive defenseman with the firepower they have, but leaving McCabe off would have been a colossal mistake. There would have been a huge backlash in the Toronto area, and he's just been too good to leave off.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:08 PM on December 23, 2005

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