THE TEAM....

Jason Gregor
January 07 2014 10:30AM

Canada finally announced their 2014 roster for the Sochi Olympics, and without a doubt the biggest surprise is Claude Giroux not making the team.

There are eleven returning players on the 25-man roster, but in my eyes Rick Nash continues to be the most overrated player in the NHL. Nash has had one 70-point season, and since the 2010 Olympics he has scored 185 points in 228 games, 25th most amongst Canadian-born players. In that same time span Marty St.Louis has scored the most points, 271, while Giroux is third with 255.

Giroux is flat out more competitive game in, game out than Nash. Nash has only two goals in 16 NHL playoff games, but Hockey Canada seems to put more onus on the fact he has played well at the water-downed World Championships.

Nash did play okay at the last Olympics, but how much of that was because he was on Toews line, and Toews was the best player in the tournament.

Nash has 18 points in 27 games this year. No one can say he is playing well, or close to the level of Claude Giroux, but Hockey Canada choose him because he's played for them before. I guess Giroux should not play crappier in the NHL so his team could miss the playoffs and he can pad his stats at the World Championships.

Here is the roster, returning players have **.

Goalies:

  • Roberto Luongo**
  • Carey Price
  • Mike Smith

Defence:

  • Jay Bouwmeester
  • Drew Doughty**
  • Dan Hamuis
  • Duncan Keith**
  • Alex Pietrangelo
  • PK Subban
  • Marc-Edouard Vlasic
  • Shea Weber**

Forwards:

  • Jamie Benn
  • Patrice Bergeron**
  • Jeff Carter
  • Sidney Crosby**
  • Matt Duchene
  • Ryan Getzlaf**
  • Chris Kunitz
  • Patrick Marleau**
  • Rick Nash**
  • Corey Perry**
  • Patrick Sharp
  • Steven Stamkos
  • John Tavares
  • Jonathan Toews**

I still believe Canada is the favourite, because of the blueline and their top-six forwards; Crosby, Tavares, Stamkos, Getzlaf, Perry and Toews.

It will be an awesome tournament and I can't wait to watch, but picking Nash over Giroux makes little sense. Essentially they are basing it on seven good games that happened four years ago. Horrible decision.

Which decision surpised you?

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
Avatar
#1 Tikkanese
January 07 2014, 10:32AM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Cheers
42
cheers

What's this bunk? Where's Will Acton?

Avatar
#2 CaptainLander
January 07 2014, 10:35AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers

Marleau is a surprise to me

Avatar
#3 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 07 2014, 10:35AM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers

Kunitz, Marleau, Nash, are mind boggling.

Duchene, Carter are bubble boggling.

D looks good.

Avatar
#4 Fish
January 07 2014, 10:36AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

I can't stand Nash. People are in love with the guy because of his size, hands and he skates well. He scores the occasional highlight goal, but his production is nothing to write home about. Definitely the most overrated player in the league. James Neal should be pissed. Duchene Carter is ???? for me. Giroux and St. Louis should bether.

Seabrook off is a tough one as well.

Avatar
#5 Vernon Huynh
January 07 2014, 10:36AM
Trash it!
11
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

i would argue the biggest surprise is no MSL...we had lemieux in 2002 as our veteran, 2006 was sakic, and 2010 was iggy....i don't see our veteran leader on this team

Avatar
#6 Ballsy Hallsy
January 07 2014, 10:38AM
Trash it!
20
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

They made some mistakes (cough, Bergeron, Hamhuis, Carter, Bouwmeester, Nash), but they got some right (Duchene, Subban, Vlasic, Benn, Pietrangelo). Overall, I think they got more correct than not and I'm stoked for Canada's 2014 Gold Medal Run!

Avatar
#7 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 10:39AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

I'm excited to watch Team Canada in Sochi.....but I'm a little surprised that we always talk about Canada's depth and being able to send two teams etc...and then you get a team with a Kunitz, an under performing Nash, an injured Stamkos, guys like Tavares and Duchene having to play out of position, and goaltending that may not match up to the best goaltending in the tournament.

Still, it's a great team who we can all get behind and enjoy the 2 weeks in February.

Avatar
#8 Josh Gladu
January 07 2014, 10:39AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
20
cheers

This team needs more Luke Gazdic's on it. CLEARLY

Avatar
#9 DrDave
January 07 2014, 10:40AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers

Yzerman didn't read your post about Hall v Duchene I guess.... I feel Hall wasn't even really given that much consideration in the grand scheme of things. I mean TSN didn't even have him listed as a "notable"...

Avatar
#10 geoilersgist
January 07 2014, 10:40AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
19
cheers

I am shocked that Nash made the team also. I don't think Stamkos will be ready in time either. The guy had his leg broken and just began skating on his own yesterday. Little surprised they left Seabrook off the team too.

Avatar
#11 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 10:40AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers

Also interesting to note...only three players that play from Canadian teams. No Oilers, Flames, Leafs, or Senators.

Edit: OOPS! Left out the Jets! No Jets either.

Avatar
#12 Johe
January 07 2014, 10:42AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
22
cheers

Looks like Nurse is a lock for the 2018 Olympics. You know, because he shoots left.

Avatar
#13 ToppsSmith
January 07 2014, 10:44AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
geoilersgist wrote:

I am shocked that Nash made the team also. I don't think Stamkos will be ready in time either. The guy had his leg broken and just began skating on his own yesterday. Little surprised they left Seabrook off the team too.

Nash I think they will toss on the third line. Get him grinding, he is great at that when he isn't expected to score, Seabrook defiantly should be there too. I was shocked at a few names, but Nash wadn't one of them

Avatar
#14 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 10:45AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers
Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Kunitz, Marleau, Nash, are mind boggling.

Duchene, Carter are bubble boggling.

D looks good.

Looks like Hockey Canada puts a premium on 1) Talent 2) Experience 3) Size

Avatar
#15 Sisyphus
January 07 2014, 10:45AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
23
cheers

Something of note—for Team Canada’s roster—of the 25 players, 22 come from teams in the top half of the standings. The only outliers are Tavares, Weber, and Nash. Hate to say it, but if you play for a team in the bottom half of the league, your chances of making Team Canada plummet. There are a few exceptions, but by and large if you aren’t playing for a good team, and playing well for them, you lack a lot of opportunity to make the Olympic roster.

What this says to me about Hallsy’s chances for 2018, barring a truly miraculous turnaround by the Oilers, is not good. I hope for his sake he could be one of the exceptions, but it’s definitely not a sure thing. And for a guy with his talent level and passion, you’d hate to see him get skipped again because he plays for a joke of an organization.

Avatar
#16 pkam
January 07 2014, 10:46AM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Also interesting to note...only three players that play from Canadian teams. No Oilers, Flames, Leafs, or Senators.

Edit: OOPS! Left out the Jets! No Jets either.

There is a Jets in the roster?

Avatar
#17 ToppsSmith
January 07 2014, 10:46AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
38
cheers
Tikkanese wrote:

What's this bunk? Where's Will Acton?

He would be on the 4th line if his dad was the assistant coach.

Avatar
#18 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 10:47AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers
Josh Gladu wrote:

This team needs more Luke Gazdic's on it. CLEARLY

Seeing Kunitz there for Crosby makes me wonder if they'd have sent Semenko there for Gretzky..

Avatar
#19 The 'Real' Ron Burgundy
January 07 2014, 10:48AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

Could Giroux have declined a few world championship invites and a grudge of sorts has formed?

Avatar
#20 Rondo
January 07 2014, 10:48AM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

Logan Couture and Giroux surprised me the most.

Nash has been one of the best international player for Canada consistently.

Avatar
#21 pelhem grenville
January 07 2014, 10:49AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Vernon Huynh wrote:

i would argue the biggest surprise is no MSL...we had lemieux in 2002 as our veteran, 2006 was sakic, and 2010 was iggy....i don't see our veteran leader on this team

...87

Avatar
#22 Jason
January 07 2014, 10:51AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
28
cheers

Didn't like Mike Smith over MA Fleury.
Didn't like Dan Hamhuis over Brent Seabrook
Didn't like Jeff Carter and Rick Nash over Martin St. Louis and Claude Giroux.

Can live with the rest.

Avatar
#23 Rama Lama
January 07 2014, 10:51AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

No matter who make these decisions, it's always going to be political and there will always be unhappy people.

What I don't understand is WHY Rick Nash or how Rick Nash made this team? Did I miss something or is there some awkward pictures he has of Stevie Y?

We could have two teams in there. The big ice surface will demand the best skaters and I'm not convinced this team was chosen on that basis?

Avatar
#24 Me
January 07 2014, 10:51AM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers

I find the arguments against Kunitz hilarious...have you seen his totals? "Well his numbers are inflated playing with Crosby" Who the f--k do you think he'll be playing with?

Avatar
#25 Rondo
January 07 2014, 10:52AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

Duchene is one of the fastest skaters in the NHL . When he played last year with Hall for Canada he was clearly the better player. Hall's lack of a 200ft game and no playoff experience hurt him.

Avatar
#26 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 07 2014, 10:52AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
23
cheers
Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Looks like Hockey Canada puts a premium on 1) Talent 2) Experience 3) Size

Looks more like

1) legacy 2) tradition 3) chemistry 4) BS

Avatar
#27 They're $hittie
January 07 2014, 10:53AM
Trash it!
11
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

If Gagner gets traded to Pittsburg and plays RW with Crosby does that mean he qualifies for the olympics?

Also if Kunitz is there to play with crosby and we know he is not one of the best four LWs than why would Seabrook not make the team to play with Keith when he is a better option than Hamhuis or Vlassic.

They made this choice based on handedness and not skill. So instead of the better player with more skill and playing with his partner for chemistry they decided to take an inferior player because they dont think elite players can take a pass on their back hand.

Avatar
#28 pkam
January 07 2014, 10:54AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers
Vernon Huynh wrote:

i would argue the biggest surprise is no MSL...we had lemieux in 2002 as our veteran, 2006 was sakic, and 2010 was iggy....i don't see our veteran leader on this team

Patrick Marleau does not count?

Avatar
#29 They're $hittie
January 07 2014, 10:56AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
Rondo wrote:

Duchene is one of the fastest skaters in the NHL . When he played last year with Hall for Canada he was clearly the better player. Hall's lack of a 200ft game and no playoff experience hurt him.

Halls team is why he lacks defense. With team Canada defense he will not be exposed.

Avatar
#30 Lawndemon
January 07 2014, 10:57AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers

Clearly this matches up with Babcock's preference for forward pairs:

Crosby - Kunitz Getzlaf - Perry Toews - Sharp

In a tournament where quick chemistry is critical, these selections are outstanding. This means only one guy has to adapt and Babcock can make changes on the fly.

Based on this logic, the biggest surprise to me is Hamhuis instead of Seabrook.

Avatar
#31 Vernon Huynh
January 07 2014, 10:58AM
Trash it!
18
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

@pelhem grenville

87 is a great player and the face of team canada, but he's no veteran...

Avatar
#32 Tim in Kelowna
January 07 2014, 10:59AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

Gregor,

I agree Nash was a questionable pick. But I would have put St. Louis on the team. His speed, experience, and chemistry with Stamkos make him a perfect fit for this team.

My guess is there will be two injuries up front in the next month and Giroux and St. Louis will be on the team.

Avatar
#33 Me
January 07 2014, 11:01AM
Trash it!
21
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
They're $hittie wrote:

If Gagner gets traded to Pittsburg and plays RW with Crosby does that mean he qualifies for the olympics?

Also if Kunitz is there to play with crosby and we know he is not one of the best four LWs than why would Seabrook not make the team to play with Keith when he is a better option than Hamhuis or Vlassic.

They made this choice based on handedness and not skill. So instead of the better player with more skill and playing with his partner for chemistry they decided to take an inferior player because they dont think elite players can take a pass on their back hand.

So....these guys don't have skill?

And how is having all this "skill" working for the oilers?

IDIOT.

Avatar
#34 Fish
January 07 2014, 11:01AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

Anyone picking Marleau over St. Louis is nuts. And don't say size is the difference. THE last person Marleau hit was... I don't see any fire in that guy, and it's not like he ramps it up for the playoffs. St. Louis is wicked fast, and if you watch him make decisions with puck (especially on the PP), he's lightening in his decision making and distributes the puck so well it's tough to defend. He should be there for sure.

Avatar
#35 Rondo
January 07 2014, 11:01AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers
They're $hittie wrote:

Halls team is why he lacks defense. With team Canada defense he will not be exposed.

Why is it that no one mention's Hall on TSN poll biggest omissions?

He really hurt himself playing for Canada last year. He continued to do his drag move and lose the puck and put his center and winger in bad position . Duchene was clearly the better player. Hall does not play a 200ft game.

I think Hall's competition for a place on the team was Duchene Giroux and Martin St louis. He comes in 3rd

Avatar
#36 pkam
January 07 2014, 11:04AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Lawndemon wrote:

Clearly this matches up with Babcock's preference for forward pairs:

Crosby - Kunitz Getzlaf - Perry Toews - Sharp

In a tournament where quick chemistry is critical, these selections are outstanding. This means only one guy has to adapt and Babcock can make changes on the fly.

Based on this logic, the biggest surprise to me is Hamhuis instead of Seabrook.

Seabrook is right hand shot and Hambuis is left hand shot so it is not Hambuis over Seabrook, it is PK Subban (who is a right hand shot) over Seabrook.

Avatar
#37 Vernon Huynh
January 07 2014, 11:05AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

@pkam

no he really doesn't....marleau is not a leader like MSL is. MSL puts up just as many if not more points (art ross winner last year) and wears the C of a young over achieving Tampa Team as they sit in the top tier of the east.

Marleau was removed as captain on the Sharks team.

Avatar
#38 Wintoon
January 07 2014, 11:10AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

Sisyphus your comments are on the money. It doesn't matter how well a player plays, it matters how well a player's team plays.

That does not bode well for Hall, Eberle or RNH in the future.

Avatar
#39 Rick Stroppel
January 07 2014, 11:10AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

HUH?

Like is says on the back of a losing lottery ticket, "please try again".

Interesting pattern relating to Crosby. Kunitz is Crosby's linemate, he is IN. Giroux and Crosby hate each other, Giroux is OUT. Matt Duchene trains with Crosby in the summer, Duchene is IN. Is is possible the nabobs are afraid to stand up to Mr. Wonderful?

I hope they win gold, I think they will. But if they do not, I will be very dis-a-POINTED!

Avatar
#40 **
January 07 2014, 11:11AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

I can see putting Marleau in there because fo need for speed on the bigger ice and since they brought CArter they needed that. I can see CArter being there becuase they need at least one net crasher with size and good hands. I can see MAtt Douchene in replacing Couture because of the injury, but Nash??? it's not as bad a s the Bobby Ryan snub, but Nash over Girou, St. Louis or even Thronton, well that's just crazy.

I would have prefered Seabrook over either Vlasic or Hamhius, but since Babcok wants 4 and 4, oh well.

Stamkos is going to play, even if he has to duck tape his whole leg.

Avatar
#41 A-Mc
January 07 2014, 11:11AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

I had 1 hope going in: i really wanted either Duchene or Hall to make the team. Both these players have something to their game that is hard to pin down. I think, if given the opportunity, they could really shine.

I am really happy for Matt Duchene! The announcement leaves me with a smile on my face.

My only gripe revolves around Nash. He's an OK player but he is no where near the player of some of these other guys being left off.

Many of the players being left off the team contribute greatly to their clubs. WHen they step on the ice, it's apparent that they are in play and they are difference makers. The only way i know Rick Nash is on the ice is to look for his number.. He doesnt stand out and doesnt really contribute in a way that you would expect to see from a player that was named to the best Olympic hockey team of 2014.

Avatar
#42 Chris A
January 07 2014, 11:12AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

I threw up in my mouth a little when I heard Nash's name called.

I'm on the fence with Kunitz. Yes, he has relied somewhat on Crosby but the fact remains that he is producing at a very impressive rate right now.

James Neal is a big snub IMO. Everyone talks about Couture being such a snub, but Neal has produced a lot more goals and points than Couture from 2011-12 until now.

I would much rather see Giroux or Neal over Nash.

Avatar
#43 pelhem grenville
January 07 2014, 11:17AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

... anyone who says that 87 is a great player AND the face of Team Canada but is not the veteran presence needs to rethink his statement...someone said Marleau, kidding right? look further up and down this rooster and find the missing vet you speak about...•Jay Bouwmeester?

if it's not Sid you tell us all here Vern...who do you see who's better than Sid...

Avatar
#44 Zarny
January 07 2014, 11:18AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Haha...I love the over-reaction.

Nash over Giroux and St. Louis surprised me but come on...shocking? No. Shawn Horcoff would have been "shocking".

Statistically Nash probably is over-rated but he's always been a player who dazzles in person. Big guy that is fast and can stick-handle in a phone booth. Not playing well after his concussion tho.

Nash has also been there, done that. When you watch the World Jr's lay an egg and play to not lose due to the pressure, being able to perform in the moment is key and was probably a factor in selecting Carter, Nash and Marleau.

Kunitz was a conundrum. Can't deny his stats and Sid is notoriously hard to play with. Individually I certainly think there are better players but established chemistry in a short tourney is very valuable so it's not surprising selection.

Seabrook missing out is a shame; simply a numbers game on the right side. Hamhuis and Vlasic though are good all-around D that cheat a bit on the defensive side. Good options to pair with Weber.

Avatar
#45 Spydyr
January 07 2014, 11:19AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Defence looks great can the Oilers get one of them please.

Nash and Marleau would not be on my team. Replace them with Giroux and St.Louis. Although one of them should replace Stamkos eventually.

Goaltending may be an issue.

Avatar
#46 vetinari
January 07 2014, 11:19AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

I hope that the list, especially for defencemen and goalies, was "MacT's 2014 Trade Target List"...

Avatar
#47 pkam
January 07 2014, 11:19AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Wintoon wrote:

Sisyphus your comments are on the money. It doesn't matter how well a player plays, it matters how well a player's team plays.

That does not bode well for Hall, Eberle or RNH in the future.

Pens was 2nd last and drafted Jordan Staal after drafting 4 top 2 picks 4 years in a row.

Now Crosby and Kunitz are selected, and Neal and MAF are probably on the bubble list.

Who knows what will happen 4 years later.

Avatar
#48 Oilerz4life
January 07 2014, 11:21AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

Your article failed to mention that the Edmonton Oilers are being considered to represent the best that Canada has to offer in Interpretive Ice Dancing at the Sochi Games.

Avatar
#49 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 11:22AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Lawndemon wrote:

Clearly this matches up with Babcock's preference for forward pairs:

Crosby - Kunitz Getzlaf - Perry Toews - Sharp

In a tournament where quick chemistry is critical, these selections are outstanding. This means only one guy has to adapt and Babcock can make changes on the fly.

Based on this logic, the biggest surprise to me is Hamhuis instead of Seabrook.

I heard on one f the radio shows that the pairs thing didn't work out in the last Olympics....the pairs were dismantled / separated early in the tournament.

Avatar
#50 Bad Choice
January 07 2014, 11:23AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

What happens if Crosby gets hurt? Kunitz is useless without him.

Comments are closed for this article.