THE TEAM….

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 

  • Serious Gord

    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.

  • Zarny

    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

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    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!

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    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.

  • 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”…

  • geoilersgist

    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.

    • ToppsSmith

      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

    • oilerjed

      I wouldnt be surprised if he is ready. I had this same injury last spring. Went undiagnosed for a month since I could walk okay on it I thought it was just bruised. After finally getting xrayed the Doc mentioned that using it actually helps heal it faster. Was back at Taekwondo after 4-5 weeks, kicking as hard as I wanted. Long story short Stamkos should be able to light it uo in Sochi

      Edit: should have mentioned that it is a none weight bearing bone which is why I could walk on it ok.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    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.

  • **

    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.

  • 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.

    • Zarny

      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.

  • pkam

    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?

  • Zarny

    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?

  • Carlos Danger

    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.

      • **

        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

  • 24% body fat

    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.

      • 24% body fat

        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.

        • ToppsSmith

          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.

          • ToppsSmith

            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.

          • ToppsSmith

            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.

          • Zarny

            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.

          • Zarny

            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.

          • Zarny

            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.

          • Zarny

            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.

          • A-Mc

            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.

          • Zarny

            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.

          • Tikkanese

            Red is not cool at all.

            you are speaking in the future about Hall again, so that is meaningless right now. I’m not arguing that he’ll most likely be way more in the mix in the future if he actually improves in other aspects besides offense.

            Again…points….Kunitz top LW for points…Hall third..and he plays on a good team where you are accountable and dont get to take a lot of chances and not come back full speed…Hall.

            Points…is only a part of the equation.

          • ToppsSmith

            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.

          • Spydyr

            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.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    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.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      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.

  • pkam

    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.

  • **

    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.

  • **

    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.

    • pkam

      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.

  • Rick Stroppel

    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!

  • **

    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.

  • A-Mc

    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.

    • Zarny

      Nash had 42 pts in 44 games last year and played great. He has looked less than himself after the concussion this year and I agree there are better picks.

      But to say Nash is an “OK” player is ridiculous.

      OK players don’t even get mentioned in the group of players cut before making final cuts for invitations to the orientation camp.

      • A-Mc

        So what?

        St. Louis had 60, Eric Stall 53 and Taylor hall 50.

        Mike Ribeiro had more points than Nash last year, with 49

        Giroux had 48, Ladd had 46 and Kadri had 44, Moulson had 44 and Parenteau had 43pts.

        Who gives a flying F#ck that Nash had 42 points last season.

        With the super stars that comprise Team Canada, Nash is simply “OK”. There are definitely better options.

        • ToppsSmith

          Why are you obsessing with points. We have a ton of scoring on the team, guys like Nash will play a physical role that others can’t. He plays a complete game, which will at times not score, but will tighten up a complete D-Game. Why does everyone want a team of cherry pickers. Teams built that way in the past has failed. I think Nash was a smart pick.

          • A-Mc

            The guy i quoted used points, so i responded in his language.

            I’m far from obsessing. Please go back and read what was said in the discussion from the begining.

        • Zarny

          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.

          • A-Mc

            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!?!

          • Zarny

            You’re right it is a bit much and troll-like. My bad.

            I think it’s simply ridiculous to label a player that is at worst 15-16th on the depth chart as OK.

            Perhaps it’s semantics, but Nash is a good choice for Team Canada. IMO not the best choice but he’s far better than OK.

            Rob Zaumner in Nagano. Now that was an OK pick.

  • Tikkanese

    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.

  • paul wodehouse

    … 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…

    • Spydyr

      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)

  • Zarny

    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.