Thursday, July 2, 2009

Missing the Marc?

So earlier today Hockey Canada released the names of the guys who will be attending the olympic orientation camp this August. As great as the names are that are on that list, we, as a blog, have to focus on the negative, so let the second guessing begin:

Marc Savard - In a word: Really? Savard was left off the list and was the biggest shock to me. I was listening to Prime Time Sports tonight and heard Johnny Misley, Executive Vice President of Operations for Hockey Canada, talking about how the biggest problem they had in the room was that there were so many good centers to choose from (listen to the full interview here). However, he also mentioned that they had looked at the players last three years, as well as their resume playing internationally. Savard's last three years are 96, 78 (in 74 games), and 88 just last season, his international resume may not look like much, but that of course is because his team has been playing in the playoffs, making it a bit hard to make it to the worlds. There's not much more he could have done, if that doesn't merit a trip to camp, he won't be on the team. They (the brass) must not have believed that he could move to a wing, as some other players will have to do, or maybe they just didn't have enough S' to put on the jerseys, thanks to inviting so many Staal brothers, which might help explain the next two omissions as well.

Jason Spezza - In a word: Statement. One of the first things from Matty upon learning of Spezza not being on the team was that despite being a superstar, also being a "sometimer just don't jive". No doubt this omission probably came as a bit of a shock to him as well, having answered the call for Canada in the past and playing in the worlds the last few years. Spezza certainly has fallen far from the accolades (the next Gretzky) he recieved at 16. We'll see how this plays out for Spezza, whether it will inspire him to come out and play like he's capable of, or whether he'll just bury his head in the sand... or whatever it is they have like sand in Ottawa.

Steven Stamkos - In a word: Disappointing. Stamkos had a rough start to his NHL career. After being selected first overall, his rookie season started with normal rookie struggles, along with a coach who didn't believe he was ready for the show. He struggled in the first half and some started to wonder if Tocchet had a point. However, he really seemed to figure it out in the second half, finishing the season with 23 goals and 46 points. He followed that up by going to the worlds and being an offensive force for the Canadian team. You almost hope that performance would have got him to Calgary for camp, but apparently his spot had to be given to Andy MacDonald.

Brian Campbell - In a word: Who the soup guy? Brian Campbell signed a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks last offseason after having been dealt to the Sharks at the NHL trade deadline from the Sabres. He then proceeded to take the money he got from signing that contract and entered the witness protection program. I'd imagine that Stevie and the rest of the gang probably just forgot his name. Of course I'm joking, but it's not surprising that Campbell was left off the roster, as two of his teammates outplayed and over shadowed him this season past.

Braydan Coburn - In a word: Puzzling. They took 16 defenseman and he wasn't one of them. A young kid like him fits the mold like Seabrook, Keith and Hamhuis, but didn't make it. The only reason I guess that he would have overlooked would be that I guess you can have too many good, young, strong defenseman. (But don't tell that to Pierre McGuire, WHAMMO!)

Carey Price - In a word: Expected. How far has Price fallen in the last year? A year ago, if you had asked who would be in nets for team TwentyTen, everyone's answer would have been the same, "Brodeur, Luongo, Price". After his amazing playoff run with the Habs in '08, that version of Price seems like a distant memory. He posted a winning record this past season, at 23-16-10, but had a save percentage of only .905, and had a goals against of nearly 3. Between guys like Ward, Fleury and Mason really stepping up this year, and Price's regression, his being left off this list was surely an easy choice. (Matty's quick summation: "The Price is wrong, bitch!")

Chris Osgood - In a word: Talbot. In the same interview I mentioned earlier, Misley did say something that made the Savard omission a little easier to swallow. He said there was no agenda for anyone in the room making the choices. This makes the Cleary choice a bit puzzling to me, but it keeps Osgood out of nets for Canada in twentyten, and that makes me happy.

Potent Notables (that we're also leaving off our list) - Daniel Briere (who we actually had going to camp in our original list), Brad Richards, Mike Cammalleri, Patrice Bergeron

The list will be trimmed from 46 to 23 before we go to Vancouver next year, and while we are disappointed in these omissions, we can't help but think that it will make predicting who's on the team just that much easier... I'm looking at you Robidas!

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