Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Canadian Olympic Team Announced

Today, the 2006 Canadian Olympic hockey team was announced. Here it is:

Goaltenders:

Martin Brodeur
Roberto Luongo
Marty Turco

Defencemen:

Rob Blake
Adam Foote
Ed Jovanovski
Scott Niedermayer
Chris Pronger
Wade Redden
Robyn Regehr

Forwards:

Todd Bertuzzi
Shane Doan
Kris Draper
Simon Gagne
Dany Heatley
Jarome Iginla
Vincent LeCavalier
Rick Nash
Brad Richards
Joe Sakic
Ryan Smyth
Martin St Louis
Joe Thornton

Eighteen of these players were among my picks for the team and there are five discrepancies. Tomorrow, I will discuss the logic behind my picks and why I did not pick the players who were selected. My selections who were omitted were Bryan McCabe, Rob Brind'Amour, Patrick Marleau, Jason Spezza and Eric Staal. In their places Adam Foote, Shane Doan, Kris Draper, Rick Nash and Ryan Smyth made the team. I knew Brind'Amour would not be selected since he was not on Canada's long list of eligible players. They announced Bryan McCabe, Jason Spezza and Eric Staal would be on the taxi squad. I thought all should make the team. My taxi squad picks of Adam Foote, Rick Nash and Ryan Smyth were all selected to the team.

I think that the philosophy of the Canadian Olympic team selection was to pick the same players who won for them in the past even if there are better players who are outplaying them in the NHL right now. I think this partly comes from tghe misplaced idea that Canada's loss in the 1998 Olympics was largely because Mark Messier was not on the team. Messier had been a great player for Team Canada in the past, but he was clearly past his prime in 1998 and was not nearly as good a player as anyone who was selected to the team (except for Rob Zamuner - who was another selection mistake). It is a mistake to pick some of the veteran Team Canada players in place of players who are clearly outplaying them in the NHL.

I think it is a quite interesting piece of trivia that I agreed with 18 players on the US Olympic team as well as on the Canadian Olympic team.

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