Team Canada’s 2010 Hockey Hopefuls


Hockey CanadaWith only a few weeks remaining until Team Canada orientation camp in Calgary (August 24-27), I wanted to take a quick peek at the roster hopefuls who have been invited to skate. Weeks back, Steve Yzerman, executive director, announced a 46-player invitee roster. While there were some surprising names found on the list, there was also a great deal of surprises found off of the list. I’ll break this down position by position so we can have a closer look. Included is a list of players named, notable players not named, a short analysis, and a prediction as to who will make the final roster. We’ll start up front on the left hand side, and work our way back.

Left WingMilan Lucic

Invitees:

  • Simon Gagne (PHI)
  • Dany Heatley (OTT)
  • Milan Lucic (BOS)
  • Brendan Morrow (DAL)
  • Rick Nash (CLB)
  • Ryan Smyth (LAK)

Non-invites:

  • Mike Cammalleri (MTL)
  • Sean Horcoff (EDM)
  • Chris Kunitz (PIT)
  • Ethan Moreau (EDM)
  • David Perron (STL)
  • Ray Whitney (CAR)

Analysis: As of right now, I would say that left wing is the position that is most definitely up for grabs in relation to other roster spots.  Looking at the players who have been invited, both Simon Gagne and Brendan Morrow have suffered through serious injuries recently in their career. This brings into question whether or not they will be healthy on time for the games in January. Dany Heatley has done nothing to improve his chances with the true showing of character that he has displayed over the past few months in Ottawa.  While he is definitely a talent, will Yzerman want a cancerous character infecting the dressing room? Really, the only two locks here are Milan Lucic and Rick Nash. Lucic is a big, bruising forward with a scoring touch. His physical play and willingness to get his nose dirty will earn him a spot on the team. Rick Nash is a pure goal scorer, and his offensive talent will land him a spot. If Ryan Smyth is to falter in Los Angeles this year, I feel like he will be a player who misses the cut. Sean Horcoff’s solid two-way play will earn him consideration. If Mike Cammalleri can continue to display the flash in Montreal that he did in Calgary, he just might earn himself a spot as well. After all, he did have great chemistry with Olympic shoe-in Jarome Iginla.

Prediction: Gagne, Lucic, Morrow, Nash

Centre

Invitees:Jonathan Toews

  • Jeff Carter (PHI)
  • Sidney Crosby (PIT)
  • Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)
  • Vincent Lecavalier (TBL)
  • Patrick Marleau (SJS)
  • Andy McDonald (STL)
  • Mike Richards (PHI)
  • Derek Roy (BUF)
  • Joe Sakic (retired)
  • Eric Staal (CAR)
  • Jordan Staal (PIT)
  • Joe Thornton (SJS)
  • Jonathan Toews (CHI)

Non-invitees:

  • Jason Arnott (NSH)Steven Stamkos
  • Patrice Bergeron (BOS)
  • Brad Boyes (STL)
  • Daniel Briere (PHI)
  • Alex Burrows (VAN)
  • Mike Fisher (OTT)
  • Sam Gagner (EDM)
  • Brooks Laich (WAS)
  • Brad Richards (DAL)
  • Marc Savard (BOS)
  • Jason Spezza (OTT)
  • Steven Stamkos (TBL)
  • John Tavares (NYI)
  • Stephen Weiss (FLA)
  • Travis Zajac (NJD)

Analysis: There were plenty of surprises at this position. From small, two-way players Andy McDonald and Derek Roy being named; to Marc Savard, Jason Spezza, and Steven Stamkos not being named, this group of centerman will prove to be a competitive bunch as each fights for a spot.  Right away, Joe Sakic can be scratched off that list. It’s truly disappointing that Burnaby Joe won’t be suiting up for one final Olympic run in his hometown. I honestly feel as though Andy McDonald and Derek Roy will be odd men out in this battle royale for center ice supremecy. Both players are quite small, and just don’t quite meet the same skill level of some of their other competition. As for Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton, while both have had the knack for putting up great numbers in the NHL regular season, they also both have the reputation for not showing up come playoff time. This will for sure leave Marleau off of the roster, and may also do the same to Thornton.

Prediction: Carter, Crosby, Getzlaf, Lecavalier, Richards, E. Staal, Toews

Right Wing

Invitees:51546705

  • Dan Cleary (DET)
  • Shane Doan (PHX)
  • Jarome Iginla (CGY)
  • Corey Perry (ANA)
  • Patrick Sharp (CHI)
  • Martin St. Louis (TBL)

Non-invitees:

  • Ryane Clowe (SJS)
  • Kris Draper (DET)
  • Devin Setoguchi (SJS)

Analysis: the competition along the right side is much thinner in comparison to the other forward slots. While Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan are already locked in, players like Dan Cleary will be fighting for a roster spot. Patrick Sharp will get a long, hard look due to his penalty killing expertise. Corey Perry will also get a long look, however his lack of international experience in comparison to Martin St. Louis will hurt his chances. The knock on St. Louis is his size of course. Someone with a serious outside shot is Ryane Clowe. The Sharks big forward has shown constant improvement in his game over the past couple seasons, and is a big body presense who also has a knack for the net.

Prediction: Doan, Iginla, Sharp, St. Louis

Defense

Invitees:D052575020.jpg

  • Francois Beauchemin (TOR)
  • Jay Bouwmeester (CGY)
  • Dan Boyle (SJS)
  • Brent Burns (MIN)
  • Drew Doughty (LAK)
  • Mike Green (WAS)
  • Dan Hamhuis (NSH)
  • Duncan Keith (CHI)
  • Scott Niedermayer (ANA)
  • Dion Phaneuf (CGY)
  • Chris Pronger (PHI)
  • Robyn Regehr (CGY)
  • Stephane Robidas (DAL)
  • Brent Seabrook (CHI)
  • Marc Staal (NYR)
  • Shea Weber (NSH)

Non-invitees:

  • Cam Barker (CHI)
  • Kevin Bieksa (VAN)Rob Blake
  • Rob Blake (SJS)
  • Brian Campbell (CHI)
  • Braydon Coburn (PHI)
  • Ed Jovanovski (PHX)
  • Wade Redden (NYR)
  • Sheldon Souray (EDM)
  • Dennis Wideman (BOS)

Analysis: What could be the make or break of Team Canada in 2010. There is bound to be a lot of competition for spots here, and I can guarantee that there will be many surprised faces once the final roster drops later this year. Bouwmeester, Niedermayer and Pronger all seem to be sure bets, but past that it is anyone’s place to claim a roster slot. In the last games, Canada’s defense seemed quite slow and was easily outgunned by quicker, flashy opponents. Expect the defensive corps to be much younger and faster this time around. With that in mind, I expect Drew Doughty and Dion Phaneuf to have strong chances of making the squad. Count in Mike Green for his powerplay quarterbacking and offensive ability. Robyn Regehr, Brent Seabrook, and Shea Weber will also all get strong consideration due to their bruising physical play. Brent Burns, Dan Hamhuis, and Stephane Robidas are the names that first jump out as being the initial odd men out. Burns and Hamhuis lack experience, and Robidas is an aging, two-way defenseman who is in competition with similar players who are younger, and packing more talent.

Prediction: Bouwmeester, Green, Niedermayer, Phaneuf, Pronger, Regehr, Seabrook, Weber

Goaltenders

Invitees:Martin Brodeur

  • Martin Brodeur (NJD)
  • Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT)
  • Roberto Luongo (VAN)
  • Steve Mason (CLB)
  • Cam Ward (CAR)

Non-invitees:

  • Martin Biron (NYI)
  • Jean-Sebastien Giguere (ANA)
  • Chris Osgood (DET)
  • Carey Price (MTL)
  • Dwayne Roloson (NYI)
  • Marty Turco (DAL)

Analysis: While Steve Mason may have been a slight surprise here, there really are no other surprises in this group. Chris Osgood has shown to be a goalie who performs in the clutch, but he has not shown the consistency to warrant an invite to Olympic camp. The fact that he will also be 37 by the time January 2010 rolls around also does not help him out. Turco’s play has seemingly gone consistently down hill since his Olympic nod in 2006, while Roloson is just old, BironSteve Mason doesn’t win in the clutch, and Carey Price is young, inexperienced, and at a downturn in his early career. While Brodeur and Luongo are locks, the biggest battle will be for the third spot. Cam Ward and M-A Fleury both increased their level of play during the 2009 NHL post season, with Fleury backstopping the Pittsburgh Penguins to a Stanley Cup Championship.

Prediction: Brodeur, Luongo, Ward

While orientation camp likely won’t be make or break for most players, the first half of the NHL season will help to be a large indicator as to who will make the roster. If Stamkos and Tavares light it up, will Yzerman be willing to take a chance on such young, inexperienced, but flashy and fiery talent? If Martin Brodeur falls off the map early on, will he get replaced all together by Fleury, Mason, or someone else? As always, the time leading up to the announcement of Canada’s Olympic hockey roster is always a soap opera…and this one will be no different.

Agree or disagree with anything I’ve written here? Well, I wanna hear it! Post a comment with your Team Canada roster predictions to let everyone know what you think!

-m.o.b.

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~ by manovrboard on August 3, 2009.

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