Thursday, July 2, 2009

olympic team invitations announced

while it was surely a painstaking task for steve yzerman and his cronies to choose the top 5 canadian goaltenders, top 16 canadian defensemen, & top 25 canadian fowards, i certainly do not envy him the task of whittling that roster down to 3, 7, and 13 (give or take).

Martin Brodeur, New Jersey
Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver
Steve Mason, Columbus
Cam Ward, Carolina

i think these are all good choices, and well-deserved. the absence of marty turco demonstrates that the powers-that-be all think his terrible 08/09 season was a career downturn and not sean avery-related. i can tell you this, though: i know i'd be pretty effin' pissed off today if i was chris osgood.... here i think brodeur will make the cut, luongo should (by all accounts) be the starter and i'll put my bucks on cam ward as the third.

Dan Boyle, San Jose
Brent Burns, Minnesota
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles
Mike Green, Washington
Dan Hamhuis, Nashville
Duncan Keith, Chicago
Dion Phaneuf, Calgary
Chris Pronger, Philadelphia
Robyn Regehr, Calgary
Shea Weber, Nashville

uh, whoah. a lot of serious talent on this list, and i really don't know how you eliminate 50% of these guys. i think it will be important to identify "types" of defensemen (offensive/stay-at-home/good two-way guys) and fill those roles for a major international competition like the olympics. i also think it will be important to identify who is hot and who is not, come xmastime.... i've also been a longtime proponent of the "keep lines together" theory, which means that, by quickly eyeballing the list above keith & seabrook, hamhuis & weber and any two of bouwmeester/regehr/phaneuf (most likely the former two) should make the final roster. after that, i suppose i'd like to see dan boyle or brent burns round out the lot, but i'm sure niedermayer and pronger will make the cut... le boo on elbows.

Jeff Carter, Philadelphia
Dan Cleary, Detroit
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
Shane Doan, Phoenix
Simon Gagne, Philadelphia
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim
Dany Heatley, Ottawa
Jarome Iginla, Calgary
Milan Lucic, Boston
Patrick Marleau, San Jose
Andy McDonald, St. Louis
Rick Nash, Columbus
Corey Perry, Anaheim
Mike Richards, Philadelphia
Derek Roy, Buffalo
Joe Sakic, Colorado
Patrick Sharp, Chicago
Ryan Smyth, Colorado
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay
Eric Staal, Carolina
Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh
Joe Thornton, San Jose

this, my friends, is a fairly interesting cast of characters... it proves that yzerman is juuust about ready to take the team into the future, but that he's still got a lot of respect for the past. the inclusion of joe sakic really stands out to me because, even though there are already a hell of a lot of team captains and "good leaders," one of canada's former greats has not formerly retired and deserves acknowledgement.... will burnaby joe acutally make the squad ? i'd call that a longshot at best. at least, i hope he doesn't take a spot away from a player who's actually currently relevant.... (sorry, joe).

the other interesting thing i see here is naming milan lucic over his boston teammate marc savard. again, i think yzerman is identifying roles and role players, and it makes me a little excited for february's tournament.... the guys i think will make the cut without a doubt are: crosby, doan, heatley, iggy, nash, roy, st.louis, eric staal, toews. that's 9 of 13 right there. add to that a couple of successful role players in jordan staal and danny cleary and you're really only left with room to round out your left v. right wingers....

will it be a good team ? most definitely.
will it be good enough to beat the russians ? it'll be a hell of a good game....



Kent W. said...

It's a travesty that Savard wasn't invited.

Subversive said...

It's stupid that Cleary is on the list. You don't need the Rob Zamuners of the world on your Olympic team. Put the best players on the team, period!

robert cleave said...

Subversive, I'd suggest that Dan Cleary didn't even have as good a year as Andrew Ladd. That looks like an Yzerman nod to a former teammate, nothing more. It sure as hell isn't based on any merit, unless the merit is "He's a Red Wing".

Savard must have pissed off someone in the Hockey Canada hierarchy. I really doubt he would have made the team, but an invite to this camp would have been a fair acknowledgement of the sort of player he's become.

Brent G. said...

My favorite part is that the Oilers will be entirely unrepresented at the olympics this year. Thats great news (the only player they might have taken to the came was Souray) The rest obviously suck shit

walkinvisible said...

i think danny cleary is the current king of the garbage goal; if bertuzzi was once on the olympic team then why not cleary ? he plays the same screen/rebound game and is probably one of the best on the list in that capacity.

i listened to stevie y on the fan960 today talking about why he chose these players, and roles had a lot to do with it. why not savard ? well, because that "type" of player already appeared on the list a few times over. "i don't want a good checker, i want a good player who can check." it makes some sense, to be sure....

he also left the door open to add people to an olympic roster who aren't invited to the camp. the camp numbers, he repeated over and over, were kept "manageable," presumeably in a 23-on-23 scrimmage type situation.