Hockey, Sports

Canada’s 2014 Olympic Hockey Roster – Preliminary Edition!

So Hockey Canada has released what we might call “The Long List” for the men’s hockey team for 2014. Let the debates begin.

General Manager:

I must say I think this should be someone’s major commitment. I am unhappy that Yzerman had two jobs, but hopefully this doesn’t prove as disastrous as it did with Gretzky and his two jobs for the 2006 Olympics. At least this time around there are overlapping responsibilities.


The idea that anyone other than Mike Babcock should coach this team is hysterical. Mike Babcock remains the best coach in the league. There are coaches with better performing teams but these teams have more to work with in terms of youth. The Red Wings, when on, always put on hockey clinics. I don’t know why there’s controversy. [Note: Link 404d so I removed it.]

With the players, I am taking a “What have you done for me lately?” approach, which is the way it should be. All stats are from last season.


  • Corey Crawford:
    • 19W, 5L, 5O, 3 shut-outs in 30 games;
    • .913 (6th), 1.94 (3rd);
    • co-winner of the Jennings.
    • Playoffs: .932, 1.84 in 23 games
  • Braden Holtby:
    • 23W (4th), 12L, 1O, 4 shut-outs (6th) in 36 games;
    • .926 (6th), 2.58;
    • 8th in shots, saves and PS.
    • Playoffs: .922, 2.22 in 7 games.
  • Roberto Luongo:
    • 9W, 6L, 3O, 2 shut-outs in 20 games;
    • .907, 2.56.
    • Playoffs: .915, 2.57 in 3 games.
  • Carey Price:
    • 21W (7th), 13L, 4O, 3 shut-outs;
    • .905, 2.59;
    • 10th in minutes.
    • Playoffs: .894, 2.59 in 4 games.
  • Mike Smith:
    • 15W, 12L, 5O, 5 shut-outs (1st) in 34 games;
    • .910, 2.58.
    • Playoffs: N/A.

This Crawford’s job to lose, far as I’m concerned.

I am find with Holtby fighting for the backup spot with Price and Smith – or better yet, whoever distinguishes themselves in the first three months of the season – but Luongo’s inclusion is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps they are honouring his previous service. Unless Luongo plays out of his mind this autumn, I think he shouldn’t even be considered for the 3rd goalie; he just hasn’t played enough recently to justify it.


  • Karl Alzner:
    • 20:57 ATOI, 1G, 4A for 5P, -6 in 48 games, 1.3 DPS (.0271DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 22:18 ATOI, 1G, 1A for 2P, +3 in 7 games.
  • Jay Bouwmeester:
    • 24:38 ATOI, 7G, 15A for 22P, -6 in 47 games, 2.2 DPS (.0468DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 25:08 ATOI, 1A for 1P, 0 in 6 games.
  • Dan Boyle:
    • 22:48 ATOI, 7G, 13A for 20P, +3 in 46 games, 3.1 DPS (.0674DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 22:18 ATOI, 3G, 5A for 8P, -3 in 11 games.
  • Drew Doughty:
    • 26:24 ATOI, 6G, 16A for 22P, +4 in 48 games, 3.3 DPS (.0688DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 27:57 ATOI, 2G, 3A for 5P, -7 in 18 games.
  • Mike Green:
    • 24:51 ATOI, 12G, 14A for 26P, -3 in 35 games, 1.3 DPS (.0371DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 2G, 2A for 4P, 0 in 7 games.
  • Dan Hamhuis:
    • 23:23 ATOI, 4G, 20A for 24P, +9 in 47 games, 3.2 DPS (.0681DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 24:14 ATOI, 1G, 1A for 2P, 0 in 4 games.
  • Travis Hamonic:
    • 22:48 ATOI, 3G, 7A for 10P, -8 in 48 games, 1.5 DPS (.0313DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 24:59 ATOI, 1A for 1P, -4 in 6 games.
  • Duncan Keith:
    • 24:07 ATOI, 3G, 24A for 27P, +16 in 47 games, 3.4 DPS (.0723DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 27:37 ATOI, 2G, 11A for 13P, +10 in 22 games.
  • Kris Letang:
    • 25:38 ATOI, 5G, 33A for 38P, +16 in 35 games, 2.6 DPS (.0742DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 27:38 ATOI, 3G, 13A for 16P, +2 in 15 games.
  • Marc Methot:
    • 22:14 ATOI, 2G, 9A for 11P, +2 in 47 games, 3 DPS (.0638DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 22:44 ATOI, 1G, 4A for 5P, +1 in 10 games.
  • Dion Phaneuf:
    • 25:11 ATOI, 9G, 19A for 28P, -4 in 48 games, 1.9 DPS (.0396DPSPG).
    • PlayoffS: 25:22 ATOI, 1G, 2A for 3P, -6 in 7 games.
  • Alex Pietrangelo:
    • 25:07 ATOI, 5G, 19A for 24P, 0 in 48 games, 3.1 DPS (.0660DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 26:34 ATOI, 1G, 1A for 2P, +2 in 6 games.
  • Brent Seabrook:
    • 21:60 ATOI, 8G, 12A for 20P, +12 in 47 games, 2.9 DPS (.0617DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 23:05 ATOI, 3G, 1A for 4P, -1 in 23 games.
  • Marc Staal:
    • 24:27 ATOI, 2G, 9A for 11P, +4 in 21 games, 1.4 DPS (.0667DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 17:17 ATOI, 0P, -1 in 1 game.
  • P.K. Subban:
    • 23:15 ATOI, 11G, 27A for 38P, +12 in 42 games, 2.9 DPS (.069DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 23:56 ATOI, 2G, 2A for 4P, -1 in 5 games.
  • Marc-Edouard Vlasic:
    • 20:49 ATOI, 3G, 4A for 7P, +5 in 48 games, 3.1 DPS (.0646DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: 20:40 ATOI, 1G, 1A for 2P, +2 in 11 games.
  • Shea Weber:
    • 25:55 ATOI, 9G, 19A for 28P, -2 in 48 games, 2.7 DPS (.0563DPSPG).
    • Playoffs: N/A.

So this is a decent group and I think, provided the right decisions are made, we should be solid on D.

As I have stated before, I think the emphasis should be more on solid D for the Olympics than on play-making ability so that right there casts doubt for me on including Green, Letang, Phaneuf and Subban.

I also think we should look for players who are essential to their teams, which means Alzner, Seabrook and Vlasic should be out as well as maybe Boyle, Hamonic and Methot.

That leaves us with Bouwmeester, Doughty, Hamhuis, Keith, Pietrangelo, Staal and Weber and it’s a really easy decision for which one of those guys would be cut: Bouwmeester.


  • Patrice Bergeron:
    • 10G, 22A (50th) for 32P (66th), +24 in 42 games.
    • Playoffs: 9G, 6A for 15P, +2 in 22 games.
  • Jeff Carter:
    • 26G (4th), 7A for 33P (56th), 0 in 48 games.
    • Playoffs: 6G, 7A for 14P, +6 in 18 games.
  • Logan Couture:
    • 21G (10th), 16A for 37P (40th), +7 in 48 games.
    • Playoffs: 5G, 6A for 11P, -6 in 11 games.
  • Sidney Crosby:
    • 15G (43rd), 41A (2nd) for 56P (3rd), +26 in 36 games.
    • Playoffs: 7G, 8A for 15P, -3 in 14 games.
  • Matt Duchene:
    • 17G (28th), 26A (25th) for 43P (25th), -12 in 47 games.
    • Playoffs: N/A.
  • Jordan Eberle:
    • 16G (35th), 21A (57th) for 37P (40th), -4 in 48 games.
    • Playoffs: N/A
  • Ryan Getzlaf:
    • 15G (43rd), 34A (7th) for 49P (10th), +14 in 44 games.
    • Playoffs: 3G, 3A for 6P, +2 in 7 games.
  • Claude Giroux:
    • 13G (64th), 34A (7th) for 47P (16th), -7 in 48 games.
    • Playoffs: N/A.
  • Taylor Hall:
    • 16G (35th), 34A (7th) for 50P (9th), +5 in 45 games.
    • Playoffs: N/A.
  • Chris Kunitz:
    • 22G (8th), 30A (18th) for 52P (7th), +30.
    • Playoffs: 5G, 5A for 10P, -1 in 15 games.
  • Andrew Ladd:
    • 18G (19th), 28A (20th) for 46P (18th), +10 in 48 games.
    • Playoffs: N/A.
  • Milan Lucic:
    • 7G, 20A (67th) for 27P, +8 in 46 games.
    • Playoffs: 7G, 12A for 19P, + 12 in 22 games.
  • Bard Marchand:
    • 18G (19th), 18A (97th) for 36P (43rd), +23 in 45 games.
    • Playoffs: 4G, 9A for 13P, +4 in 22 games.
  • Rick Nash:
    • 21G (10th), 21A (57th) for 42P (27th), +16 in 44 games.
    • Playoffs: 1G, 4A for 5P, +3 in 12 games.
  • James Neal:
    • 21G (10th), 15A for 36P (43rd), +5 in 40 games.
    • Playoffs: 6G, 4A for 10P, -3 in 13 games.
  • Corey Perry:
    • 15G (43rd), 21A (57th) for 36P (43rd), +10 in 44 games.
    • Playoffs: 2A for 2P, 0 in 7 games.
  • Mike Richards:
    • 12G (77th), 20A (67th) for 32P (65th), -8 in 48 games.
    • Playoffs: 3G, 9A for 12P, +5 in 15 games.
  • Patrick Sharp:
    • 6G, 14A for 20P, +8 in 28 games.
    • Playoffs: 10G, 6A for 16P, +1 in 23 games.
  • Eric Staal:
    • 18G (19th), 35A (6th) for 53P (6th), +5 in 48 games.
    • Playoffs: N/A.
  • Jordan Staal:
    • 10G, 21A (57th) for 31P (75th), -18 in 48 games.
    • Playoffs: N/A.
  • Martin St. Louis:
    • 17G (28th), 43A (1st) for 60P (1st), 0 in 48 games.
    • Playoffs: N/A.
  • Steven Stamkos:
    • 29G (2nd), 28A (20th) for 57P (2nd), -4 in 48 games.
    • Playoffs: N/A.
  • John Tavares:
    • 28G (3rd), 19A (79th) for 47P (16th), -2 in 48 games.
    • Playoffs: 3G, 2A for 5P, -4 in 6 games.
  • Joe Thornton:
    • 7G, 33A (12th) for 40P (31st), +6 in 48 games.
    • Playoffs: 2G, 8A for 10P, +5 in 11 games.
  • Jonathan Toews:
    • 23G (6th), 25A (29th) for 48P (13th), +28 in 47 games.
    • Playoffs: 3G, 11A for 14P, +9 in 23 games.

Taking a “What have you done for me lately?” approach, we can make a list of some fairly glaring omissions among the forwards:

  • Mike Ribeiro (9th among Canadians in PPG last season)
  • Matt Moulson (15th)
  • Nazem Kadri (16th)
  • Ray Whitney (18th)
  • P.A. Parentau (20th)
  • Jamie Benn (25th)

I am not arguing that all – or any – of those guys should be on the team, but I find it slightly disconcerting that, as usual, the invitees aren’t automatically the best performing players. Rather they are players with reps and I think that approach is dangerous. (It was very much so in 2006, let’s remember.)

Now obviously a healthy Crosby is the forward the Top 6 is built around. The questions are, who plays with him and who makes up the second line?

The most obvious answer to the first is to turn the top line into a Crosby + Tampa line, but I think there is one glaring problem with this: Marty St. Louis’ age. I am fine with putting Stamkos and Crosby together but St. Louis is 38 and just came off the best season of his career (by PPG, albeit barely). St. Louis’ inclusion on this team must be gauged by how his first three months of next season proceed because we all know what happened in ’06: he and others were included based on play during the ’04 World Cup – and St. Louis had the Hart and Art Ross from that year as well – and yet he scored 3 points in 6 games during the midst of his worst NHL season since ’00. We don’t want that to happen again. (It is more likely now, given that he is 38.)

So my vote is for Hall. So the top line would look like: Stamkos – Crosby – Hall.

Getzlaf rebounded strong this past season and so, unless he regresses early next season, he should centre the second line. And we know Staal – Eric – can play the wing. But I don’t think Kunitz belongs here. Kunitz has never remotely scored this many points before and he will likely regress. And if he’s on this team he likely shouldn’t be playing with Crosby which destroys any chemistry argument. So I think the best person to join this line is Giroux, who regularly plays the wing, giving us:

Staal – Getzlaf – Giroux.

The one issue is a lack of finish, which would suggest putting Tavares or Carter or Nash on the line.

Toews is the obvious third line centre; I say obvious because he can score more than some of Canada’s other 2-way players (Bergeron, Richards, etc). I am fine with surrounding him with players such as Nash and Perry, as theses guys have shown in the previous Olympic tournament that they could handle lesser roles with aplomb (excusing Perry’s legendary gaffe in the round-robin game against the US).

I didn’t think Bergeron belonged last time but I have changed my mind. I would like to see a fourth line with Bergeron, Richards – I don’t think Jordan Staal is good enough – and somebody playing Morrow’s role from 2010. (Lucic or Marchand maybe, though I have my doubts.) I think it pays to have extra centres in your bottom 6 who can move around, take draws and be reliable.

And we need someone to play Morrow this year, since Morrow can’t himself any more. Of those selected to the camp, Lucic impressed most in the playoffs but had a shitty regular season, whereas Marchand – whom I personally hate – had the better regular season and a shitty playoff. There’s nobody else really on this list whom I would trust to be annoying like that. And we shouldn’t worry about whether or not they can score; that’s not the point. The point is energy; skill is an after-thought.

To recap:


  • Stamkos Crosby Hall (unless St. Louis is ageless)
  • E. Staal Getzlaf – Giroux
  • Nash Toews Perry
  • Richards Bergeron Lucic
  • Reserve: Carter if we want goals, Neal maybe if we want checking, Marchand if we want a pest, Duchene if we want someone who can jump in the Top 6 okay.


  • Doughty Weber
  • Keith Hamhuis
  • Pietrangelo Staal


Crawford and TBDs

Of course, all of this should really be determined once the next season stars.

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