A roster of Canadians but no Canucks
Lists are great. Nothing sparks more debate than someone publishing a list. But when you create of list of hockey talent, well that’s just an invite for the most heated argument on Canadian soil.
One year away from the 2014 Sochi Olympics and TSN pundit Ray Ferraro has unveiled his list, his dream team, of hopeful Canadians that should wear the maple leaf during the men’s hockey tournament.
Among them, not one Canuck.
So how is it that the best club north of the 49th does not have a representative in the highest profile event in the Games?
Does our beloved franchise need a name change? No, but it just doesn’t seem right that none of our lads may wear the prized national sweater. Remember how we all cheered for Trevor Linden in Nagano?
So which Canucks do have a shot to make it?For starters, Roberto Luongo has to be on that roster.
The wily veteran, already adorned in gold, will be required to provide leadership and stability to a crop of young up and comers with little or no Olympic experience.
If he’s not the starter in Vancouver, doesn’t mean he can’t start in Russia. Although one year from now and Luongo may not even be a Canuck.
Bobby Lou was held off of Ray’s line-up in favour of Cam Ward, Marc-Andre Fluery, and Carey Price?
Price I can see making the trip to Russia, but the others are in no way capable of displacing Luongo from the crease.
Does anyone remember the Pens-Flyers series last spring where Fluery was roasted time and time again? And Ward hasn’t been seen since the 2007 playoffs.
Memo to Ferraro: you live in Vancouver, and for what it’s worth, your broadcast station already has an East Coast bias. Now would be a great time to show some northwest love.
After Lou though, some ‘Nucks may have outside chances of gaining a spot on the team, if they light the world on fire in the next calendar year.
Alex Burrows should garner an invite to evaluation camp.
The tenacious forward has proven worthy to provide top line scoring over the course of 4 NHL regular seasons, but on a team like this, his defending ability will be greatly appreciated.
Burrows could be one of the typical “glue guys” that could fill a hole on any line and is probably of the best penalty killers available.
Taking a look at the early roster, most guys there are there for their scoring ability, but on the big international ice, defending will be rated as a higher premium.
Burrows definitely has the skill set that would round out such an explosive group of forwards.
The eternal optimist in me feels that at least one Canucks Defenseman could don the red and white: Dan Hamhuis.
Is he one of the top eight Canadian D-men around? Probably not, but a year is a long way away and Hammer’s game is perfectly suited for the big ice.
Not a huge physical presence, though his skating ability gets him in place to tie up opponents in a larger area.
Plus he is a brilliant passer and very adept at making an open ice hit, a skill lacking in the North American game.
On this type of team, Hamhuis won’t be relied to provide much offensive support, but like Burrows, he may be a catalyst in defending and killing penalties.
While I know this isn’t an All-Star Game and not every NHL club will be represented, Vancouver has players that could fill out vital roles on Team Canada’s squad.
In a quick, highly emotional tournament like the Olympic Games, medals are generally awarded to the best team, not just a compilation of superstars, so Canucks on the Canadian roster, that’s just my wish list.
Cheers, The Bartender