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
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#51 Me
January 07 2014, 01:02PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

I didnt say they dont have skil, I said they dont have as much skill.

My point was they made the decision on bringing an inferior player to play with crosby even though there were better options. However they did not use that reasoning when selecting the D. Seabrook is a better player than hamhuis and vlasic and has chemistry with keith, but they decided that our great players cant play with there back hand so lets take worse players.

Read the context properly before you criticize someone.

Idiot.

I read it just fine....you said inferior players...according to you Kunitz is inferior to who at left wing? Again by your logic what constitutes an inferior player when building a team?

IDIOT.

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#52 Oilers4ever
January 07 2014, 01:17PM
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Doesnt make sense to have duchene or benn ahead of Hall either. They need to fire the arseholes that puck this team. Hope they finish 4th like the jrs.

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#53 Me
January 07 2014, 01:18PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

take a poll,

Kunitz is inferior to Couture, St. Louis, Neal, Hall, E Staal,

Vlasic and Hamhuis are inferior, to Boyle, Seabrook,

Here is the definition of inferior http://www.thefreedictionary.com/inferior

Being worse than another player does not imply you dont have skill it means you are not as good as them.

MORON.

You still havent said how he's inferior... so explain...you also said they went with "handedness" over "skill", so how are you arguing against Kunitz skill? IDIOT.

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#54 Me
January 07 2014, 01:55PM
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ToppsSmith wrote:

Ya I said it before and I'll say it again. I would loved to see Hall and Eberle play on the big ice and play with a pure playmaker like Thorton. I think Hall didn't come up on TSN because that network hates the west coast teams. (Like most networks) they put them on TV, but they always favor Toronto or Montreal. It's grossly obvious too.

They have a deal to broadcast Maple Laugh games even after the sportsnet takeover, so theres that. Also the population base has something to do with it. Also , go to a Laughs game or a Habs game in a visiting Canadian rink and that should tell you something. Hall didn't come up because skating fast in straight lines and only playing offense doesn't get you in the mix.

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#55 Me
January 07 2014, 02:15PM
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Zarny wrote:

Yeesh are you ever slow.

The shortcomings in Hall's game (ie risk and not a good enough 200 ft game) are a direct correlation to his age and lack of experience.

No different than Crosby in 2006 or Stamkos in 2010...except Hall is younger and less experienced than both at the time.

Was Mike Richards a better player than Stamkos in 2010? No, he had simply been around the block before and when you're playing against the best of the best that matters regardless of how skilled you are.

I get it...you're a troll that doesn't like Hall.

Unfortunately for you that will last for about another year. And then Hall will be a lock for the top LW spot like Crosby has 1C locked up now.

So you have a delorean and can time travel, or predict the future now...how coool is that. It's not a lock that he learns or become the more well rounded guy needed to be that guy. I'm trolling the idiots that seem to think Kunitz isn't the right pick, based on what i have no clue.

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#56 RexHolez
January 07 2014, 03:09PM
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How come all the hockey canada managers come from winning teams accept Kevin Lowe? 1 of these things is not like the others....

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#57 ToppsSmith
January 07 2014, 10:44AM
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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

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#58 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 10:45AM
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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

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#59 Jason
January 07 2014, 10:51AM
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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.

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#60 pkam
January 07 2014, 11:04AM
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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.

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#61 Vernon Huynh
January 07 2014, 11:26AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

... 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...

best player = best leader right?

wrong....as an oiler fan i'd think you would know this more then anyone...who was the last best player while also team captain for us? Doug Weight probably in what 2004? 03? since then...jason smith who was not our best player, then moreau and now ference same deal.

why did hall not get the captaincy of the oil this year? is hall not a great player or not the face of the oil? i wouldn't be surprised if 87 is not named captain of canada and instead it goes to someone like....keith or weber or whatever...you get my point.

(p.s. thanks for agreeing with me on the marleau thing, he's one of the FEW question marks that many ppl have already mentioned)

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#62 Newj
January 07 2014, 11:35AM
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No Joe Thornton?

Until Tavares 5pt night yesterday, he was tied for 3rd in NHL scoring & leading the league in helpers.

I get the issue that he is behind Syd, Getzlaf & Bergeron at centre, but he could not make a valuable winger?

Many say he is too slow? He wasn't invited to the summer camp, but somehow I've got to believe he's capable of helping Team Cda.

What am I missing..he wasnt on many radars of the so called pundits.

Only one I didnt agree with was Nash on the team..should have been Jumbo Joe or MSL.

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#63 corky
January 07 2014, 11:36AM
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Whats laughable is that Kevin Lowe is still part of this Team Canada "brainstrust".

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#64 He Who Knows
January 07 2014, 11:46AM
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I thought Kevin Lowe was comic relief for team Canada executives. Claude Giroux not making the team was probably Lowe's bright idea..Erroneous Erroneous

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#65 Eberle4MVP
January 07 2014, 12:39PM
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@Vernon Huynh

Clearly the best pic for Captain is Jonathan Toews... its not even close

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#66 Oilerz4life
January 07 2014, 01:02PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...you're the second person to have changed his or her name on here after I have called them on demeaning & belittling comments...yes I know about having fun at the expense of our beloved team but I'm allowed to NOT like it! it's why I read some of the silliness... Wanye's the best at silly...but you sir are what you are...irrelevant

Still fail to see how comparing current Oilers hockey to Interpretive Ice Dancing at the Olympics is so offensive. Funny that you should mention demeaning and belittling comments. Perhaps you should change your name to Mister Hypocrisy, or the Ontario Blog Boss (-_-)

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#67 They're $hittie
January 07 2014, 01:07PM
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Me wrote:

I read it just fine....you said inferior players...according to you Kunitz is inferior to who at left wing? Again by your logic what constitutes an inferior player when building a team?

IDIOT.

take a poll,

Kunitz is inferior to Couture, St. Louis, Neal, Hall, E Staal,

Vlasic and Hamhuis are inferior, to Boyle, Seabrook,

Here is the definition of inferior http://www.thefreedictionary.com/inferior

Being worse than another player does not imply you dont have skill it means you are not as good as them.

MORON.

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#68 Me
January 07 2014, 01:37PM
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ToppsSmith wrote:

I think Kunitz was more a pick to stick with Crosby who he has played with for a good part of the year. Instant chemistry for a national team is hard to get. I think a few of these guys made the team on that alone. Someone a Superstar can bounce off of naturally. Other nations will lack this at this level. Also he can play all 4 lines. Kunitz is a smarter pick if you look deep at it.

The only place where this is an issue is in sOiler country, Hall doesn't even make the TSN poll as a suprise not being on the team. He's not the first or second highest scoring LW from Canada either, he's 3rd. I wonder if they are whining in Winnipeg today (and showing how a "fan" struggles to be objective) that Bryan Little never came up since he was as of last night the 4th highest point totalled RW, behind Eberle who also never came up.

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#69 Zarny
January 07 2014, 02:00PM
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Me wrote:

So it's all about age? Nothing to do with any other shortcomings in his game? All you do is post the same thing about the age of him and Duchene, as if that's the sole reason.

Yeesh are you ever slow.

The shortcomings in Hall's game (ie risk and not a good enough 200 ft game) are a direct correlation to his age and lack of experience.

No different than Crosby in 2006 or Stamkos in 2010...except Hall is younger and less experienced than both at the time.

Was Mike Richards a better player than Stamkos in 2010? No, he had simply been around the block before and when you're playing against the best of the best that matters regardless of how skilled you are.

I get it...you're a troll that doesn't like Hall.

Unfortunately for you that will last for about another year. And then Hall will be a lock for the top LW spot like Crosby has 1C locked up now.

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#70 Eberle4MVP
January 07 2014, 03:22PM
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Thank you for the spelling lesson. Ill make sure to use spell check on a friggen blog...

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#71 CaptainLander
January 07 2014, 10:35AM
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Marleau is a surprise to me

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#72 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 10:39AM
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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.

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#73 Johe
January 07 2014, 10:42AM
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Looks like Nurse is a lock for the 2018 Olympics. You know, because he shoots left.

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#74 ToppsSmith
January 07 2014, 10:46AM
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Tikkanese wrote:

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

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

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#75 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 10:47AM
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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..

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#76 Fish
January 07 2014, 11:01AM
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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.

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#77 Vernon Huynh
January 07 2014, 11:05AM
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@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.

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#78 Wintoon
January 07 2014, 11:10AM
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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.

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#79 pelhem grenville
January 07 2014, 11:17AM
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... 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...

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#80 MAC962
January 07 2014, 11:25AM
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Some questions for sure, But if we win it was correct, if we lose then we will further question these picks for 4 more years.

Go Canada ! once you have that jersey on , no matter if i agree or not you are my boys !.

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#81 Zarny
January 07 2014, 11:30AM
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Jason wrote:

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.

MA Fleury has consistently played like garbage in the playoffs the last few years. He had zero chance of making the team.

Hamhuis shoots left; Seabrook shoots right.

I agree with St. Louis and Giroux over Nash for sure. Carter less so. I'm not convinced he'll be as effective on big ice but he scores G and has come up big in the playoffs.

Playing good when it counts and with all of the pressure counts and it counts a lot.

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#82 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
January 07 2014, 11:32AM
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Imagine Canada's "B-Team". They could probably still contend for a medal:

Hall - Thornton - Couture

Neal - Giroux - Eberle

St. Louis - E. Staal - J. Staal

Lucic - Seguin - Ladd

Reserves: Marchand - M. Richards - Doan - J. Williams

Boyle - Seabrook

Giordano - Phaneuf

Letang - M. Staal

Reserves: Girardi - Beauchemin

Bernier

Harding

Ward

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#83 S cottV
January 07 2014, 11:32AM
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@Eric

Yeah - hard to ignore that Nash is much bigger with more reach, is skilled and doesnt give up anything in speed, as compared to Giroux.

As long as you can move, that stuff comes in handy on the big rink.

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#84 bwar
January 07 2014, 11:45AM
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Rick Nash? Thats a typo right? Surely I misread that. Seems to me there are numerous players more deserving of a roster spot than Rick Nash.

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#85 S cottV
January 07 2014, 11:52AM
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I wonder where the Oilers had Jamie Benn in the 2007 draft?

They took a lot of guys ahead of him that never turned into anything close to this guy.

He would sure look good at centre for the Oilers.

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#86 LoweBlow
January 07 2014, 11:53AM
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I know y'all dislike Nash and consider Giroux a 'better hockey player'. I believe this is true in a top 6 role. Nash however played on a checking line with Toews & Richards in the 2010 games. That line was magnificent at shutting down Dats-Ovi-Malkin.

Sadly, Giroux's passion will be Ieft out. I still remember him laying out Crosby 30sec into Game 5 before the Flyers knocked out The Pens 2012. Perhaps the rapport between Crosby & Giroux played a roll!

I believe Babcock will put Toews-Sharp-Nash together for a checking line. No one can score on these guys!

My lines.

Kunitz-Crosby-Stamkos Benn-Getzlaf-Perry Sharp-Toews-Nash Duchesne-Tavares-Carter Bergeron (Marleau-extra)

My alternatives: Mike Richards>Marleau Seabrook>Hamhuis (chemistry is a premium in this tourney, he & Keith) Anyone>Bouwmeester

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#87 andrewmk20
January 07 2014, 12:08PM
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@Eric

Giroux has a much better compete level at both ends of the ice. Nash has basically built his reputation on about 3 really unbelievable highlight reel goals. He's a decent top 6 forward but you can't say that he's better defensively or offensively. Also Giroux can play wing or center, Nash can't.

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#88 Me
January 07 2014, 12:32PM
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St. Louis didn't make it because Yzerman was so embarassed and ticked off that the Bolts lost to the sOilers the other night. Ohhhhhh the shame.

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#89 DrunkGuyTy
January 07 2014, 12:35PM
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Was there more anticipation to find out who was on the team so we could start getting behind the guys or so everyone could start b!tching about who was omitted? I think it took TSN all of 3 seconds to turn the focus away from supporting the team to leading the complaints about who was left out.

Bottom line is we have the best players. Let's focus on getting behind those who are going and forget about those who aren't.

G'Oh Canada!

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#90 Shaner
January 07 2014, 12:43PM
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Jeff carter.........seriously Jeff F'n Carter. Am I missing something? Not good defensively and mediocre year offensively

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#91 OILERSORDEATH
January 07 2014, 12:46PM
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Dan Hamuis!!?? Are you fricken serious? not sure about that one either.

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#92 ToppsSmith
January 07 2014, 12:54PM
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Zarny wrote:

It's simple dumba**...I agree there are better selections than Nash.

Calling Nash "OK" though is flat out idiotic; even with the superstars that comprise Team Canada.

Because the reality is that even though I don't think Nash should have been selected he's on the short list of reserves well ahead of Ladd, Kadri, Moulson, Ribeiro and Parenteau.

It is beyond laughable how dolts like you call a F who probably should 15-16th right now not 12-13th "OK".

LAUGHABLE. Like literally ROFLMAO.

Well said.

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#93 Wabby
January 07 2014, 01:01PM
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I didnt remember Nash playing on Toews line at the last olympics, i was sure he played first line with Crosby and i thought Iginla and from what i can remember he was the most consistant threat offensively out of the three of them. That being said that was 4 years ago and does that give him the right to be on this team, i dont think so, but obviously hockey canada does.

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#94 outdoorzguy
January 07 2014, 01:04PM
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Rob... wrote:

FTFY: "Hey Gregor, I heard Lowe is going to be on your show today. This is your chance to grill his ass and let him know the fanbase despise his actions since the summer of 2006."

I doubt it. He'll talk about the Olympic team. But it would be interesting for Gregor to ask Lowe what qualifications he has for being on that selection committee. That answer could be real interesting. But Gregor will take the easy road. He won't bother with any Oiler issues because that is what the fans want to know.

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#95 A-Mc
January 07 2014, 01:08PM
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Zarny wrote:

It's simple dumba**...I agree there are better selections than Nash.

Calling Nash "OK" though is flat out idiotic; even with the superstars that comprise Team Canada.

Because the reality is that even though I don't think Nash should have been selected he's on the short list of reserves well ahead of Ladd, Kadri, Moulson, Ribeiro and Parenteau.

It is beyond laughable how dolts like you call a F who probably should 15-16th right now not 12-13th "OK".

LAUGHABLE. Like literally ROFLMAO.

When people are discussing the roster for team canada, things are said like "he wouldnt be good for this team", "he isn't a good option", "That's an OK choice, but for my money there are players who are better", etc.

Rick Nash hasn't been described as a "good" option. "Good", "Great fit", "Excellent choice", "Super player", etc. None of these terms are used to describe Nash's place on this team.

He's an OK choice, but (as you agree) there are better options. He's an OK player for Team Canada. That's all i'm saying. I wouldnt have taken him and obviously you agree.

I'm really not sure why you've created this Hill over the "OK" Nash label, and are now willing to die on it.

Nash is a great player in the NHL. He's an OK player for Team Canada. Using terms like Dumba$$, dolt, idiotic, and then finishing with the condescending term of "laughable", is a little much dont you think?

It is my observation that you try fairly hard to be pedantic at best, and flat out Troll-like at worst. Why all the negativity man!?

CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG!?!

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#96 bestmyfeeling
January 07 2014, 01:15PM
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Eberle4MVP wrote:

Clearly the best pic for Captain is Jonathan Toews... its not even close

i would like to hear your explanation how it's "not even close"

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#97 Me
January 07 2014, 01:43PM
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Zarny wrote:

Hall has the highest pt/gm for all Canadian LW over the last year.

And no Hall doesn't make the TSN poll because he turned 22 less than 2 months ago and has only played 209 NHL games.

Compared to say Duchene who is 10 months older and has played close to 100 more NHL games.

If the Olympics were next year Hall would be a lock.

Deal with it.

So it's all about age? Nothing to do with any other shortcomings in his game? All you do is post the same thing about the age of him and Duchene, as if that's the sole reason.

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#98 He Who Knows
January 07 2014, 02:01PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

A TIME AND A PLACE

Listen buddy, this is the place to talk about the Olympic team, not the Oilers! Everybody knows that Lowe is a CONCEITED, EGOTISTICAL NINCOMPOOP, but this is not the appropriate place to point that out!

Listen buddy, we will talk about Lowe anywhere and everywhere, even on Ellen if we have to because that POS does not belong in any executive capacity period. So there's always a time and place.

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#99 Zarny
January 07 2014, 02:26PM
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Me wrote:

So you have a delorean and can time travel, or predict the future now...how coool is that. It's not a lock that he learns or become the more well rounded guy needed to be that guy. I'm trolling the idiots that seem to think Kunitz isn't the right pick, based on what i have no clue.

Yep, my Delorean is red and it is super cool.

Stamkos and Tavares aren't the most well-rounded players either. Their offense though makes up for it as will Hall's.

Hall has 88 pts in his last 82 games as a 21 y/o. 5-10 players a year put up more than a pt/gm over a whole season.

Kunitz is a questionable pick because the debate is top line with Crosby or not good enough for the Olympics.

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#100 Serious Gord
January 07 2014, 02:45PM
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Zarny wrote:

Bang on that Hockey Canada favors seniority and experience. When you see Canada's World Jr's freeze under the pressure it's easy to see why.

Marleau will be fine on big ice. Super fast, kills penalties and extremely versatile. He doesn't have to be the man.

Carter is very good defensively contrary to some comments here. He killed penalties with Richards in Phi. Speed is the question mark with Carter on the big ice.

Nash is a big ?. Not playing well after the concussion, but again kills penalties and can play on a checking line.

Seguin and Hall are too young and inexperienced. They still try to force too risky plays instead of being patient.

Not to mention Bos had to put a bodyguard in front of Seguin's hotel room during the playoffs so he wouldn't skip out and party. Talented but nowhere near mature enough to play against the best of the best.

Skinner simply isn't good enough. He's not the same caliber as Hall or Seguin.

Note that I used the term "quibble". I really don't have any big issues with the players picked.

And I think my point stands: if they fail it will be blamed on a process that was too conservative.

Seguin seems to grown up lots in the past few months

And skinner is right behind Tyler and Taylor - and couture is out with an injury.

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