For the majority of our readers, the last few weeks have been spent wondering whether Dan Hamhuis would make Team Canada or whether Roberto Luongo would start; Scott Yzerman‘s delivered on one and time will reveal with the second.
But looking beyond these two goal-preventing studs, the Vancouver Canucks have no shortage of players that have worked their ways on their respective nation’s Olympic clubs.
The Swedes, a people this city has grown to love and vice versa, will be the recipient of the largest contingent of Canucks talent, as both Henrik and Daniel Sedin and Alexander Edler will make the trip to Sochi and don the yellow and blue.
If you’re looking for a team to cheer for other than the Canadians, they just might be the one.
Our bitter rivals down South in the U.S. of A. will be taking just one Canuck to Sochi, but they made their selection count by taking Ryan Kesler. Considering the chemistry Kesler had playing alongside Phil Kessel and Zack Parise (now pronounced, Pareeeeezeeeeeeee) I would be shocked if he wasn’t centering their first line this tournament. Then again, no more Ron Wilson…
Members of the All-Irrelevance squad within the Canucks organization, Yannick Weber and Ronalds Kenins will get to wear a jersey of similar styling in the Olympics representing their respective birthplaces. For Weber, he will be suiting up for the Swiss; Kenins, Latvia.
If you just so happen to base your favourite hockey team’s worth on the number of Olympians it sends every four years, you can take great pride in the even shorter list of former Canucks who will also be going to Sochi – I also suggest you rethink how you evaluate the sport.
The two best former-Canuck Olympians also happen to be the most recently departed of the entire group: Michael Grabner and Sami Salo. Suiting up for what is turning out to be an – relatively – offensively adept Austrian will be Grabner, who left the Canucks as part of trade that acquired Keith Ballard in the 2010 off-season. Shame that Gillis never got a mulligan on that one. As for Salo, he will be part of the leadership group on patrolling the Finns blueline; unlike Grabner, Salo left in free agency and did so two-years later.
The Czechs will feature the most former-Canucks, as Lukas Krajicek and Peter Nedved (yeah, he apparently still plays hockey) made the final roster. It’s probably worth noting that neither of them should have, as solid NHL contributors like Jan Hejda, Radim Vrbata and Jiri Hudler were somehow left off the final-roster, but that’s just splitting hairs.
As far former and current Vancouver skaters go, I can’t say that anyone was really “snubbed”. I mean, there certainly was a case to be made for Eddie Lack as one of the three Swedish goalies, but apparently the brain-trust of Team Sweden never even had him on their radar.
Worth noting is the fact that Eddie Lack currently has the highest SV% of any Swedish goaltender, posting a respectable .920 in his 13 starts.
Aside from Lack, I have a hard time finding fault with any of the Canucks who weren’t selected. If I were to throw all objectivity and logic to the wind, I suppose that Chris Higgins deserved consideration for the American squad; but by that same token they somehow justified leaving Bobby Ryan home, so yeah… not sure what they’re looking for.
Alas, it would appear as though there won’t be any Mikael Samuelsson style outbursts coming from the Canucks changing room.