Friday, July 3, 2009

I can see Cleary now the rain has gone...

In what was clearly an exciting day for hockey fans from coast to coast (especially a certain two in Halifax), yesterday Stevie Y and the Hockey Canada brass made their preliminary intentions known by selecting the 46 players who will battle for a spot on the twentyten team at this summer's evaluation camp. Dewey's sophisticated post from last night, mentions several of the odd, as well as, blatantly apparent omissions from the list. It's worth nothing, that all-in-all we are on the same page when it comes to our view of the omissions. The same can be said of some of the odd, as well as blatantly apparent additions to the camp roster, of which I will highlight a few.

First thing's first:

Danny Cleary - Not only is Cleary now "Havin a time", but the rugged sniper from Harbour Grace, N.L. is goin to camp. Now don't get me wrong, I love what a guy like Cleary brings to an NHL team (54 goals over the last three seasons with a talent heavy Wings team). He's tough, he's talented, he can play big in big situations, he has a cup...but really??? invited to camp ahead of guys like Savard, Spezza, Stamkos? While he does bring more sandpaper than those three; guys like Lucic, M. Richards, Morrow and Doan should, and will in my summation, be the guys to fight for those checking line roles. Being the political junkie that I am, I can only assume that the Cleary pick has much more to do with an ethic of regional representation and balance, similar to how our Prime Minister chooses his cabinet based on regional considerations. Cleary goes to camp as the Honorable Member from Newfoundland, Minister of Really good playoff beards. But he won't be making the cut to 23, and you can take that to the bank. Just the same...Congrats Cleary, this should somewhat vindicate your being left off three consecutive World Junior teams, at a time when you were a prolific junior scorer.

Andy McDonald: In a, in a phrase: Out of left field? Just guess I didn't see this one coming. Especially considering the three "S"'s left of the camp roster, not to mention Andy's teammate Brad Boyes. Of course he has answered the bell for Canada before at the World's and has been a solid point producer, despite missing half of last year.

Stephane Robidas: In a word (two)...mais quoi? Robidas is a stone cold shocker to me. Yes, he's a former Q league All-Star and best defenseman, but how is he there over guys like Coburn and Campbell? He may be a fiesty little sh*t with a ton of heart, but like the two above, will not be a member of the twentyten team.

Alright, now to mention the pleseant surprises of this year's camp roster:

Milan Lucic: WE LOVE THIS GUY!! Funny dynamic though, that he makes the camp roster while his more accomplished teammates, Savard and Patrice Bergeron are left out. As I saw someone post on twitter yesterday...maybe he'll knock some sense into Heatley at the camp.

Francois Beaucheman: Another guy who I would go to war with...and I bet if you asked them, Pronger and Neidermayer would say the same. Does this guy just go about his business and get the job done or what? He'll really garner some serious consideration from the twentyten braintrust with a great camp and solid start to the season.

Yes there are others to talk about, but hey...we've got seven months still to cover until we head to Vancouver.

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