With every roster, I wont be surprised to have some wrong. But with Canada, I actually wont be shocked if I have a 1/3 of it wrong. There was just too many to choose from for too few open spots.
Team Canada, the host country. Canada will come in with enormous pressure on them to perform, not just by media who often act like a hockey championship should just be anointed to us, but moreso the fans, especially the unknowing fans who dont realize how lethal the other top tier countries really are. You would think 1 gold medal in 57 years would simmer our fans egos, but it doesnt. We expect gold from these guys & anything less will be considered failure. Despite them coming in ranked #2 in the world & only a couple years ago, were as low as 3rd. All that is irrelevant to the minds of Canadian hockey fans. In their minds Canada is here to pick up their Gold medals & the rest are just competing to see who shares the podium with them as silver & bronze medalists.
Reality is, the Canadian team actually looks strong on paper & thus will warrant such Gold medal predictions by the pundits & armchair analysts alike. I have complete confidence in GM Steve Yzerman to pick a strong team. I like the choice of him as a GM. I think he actually has an eye for the game & will be able to do something that his pre-decessors couldnt, put loyalties aside & pick solely on talent for the position.
Even though I know better than to toss aside the Russians, Swedes, Finns, Americans or Czech Republic as after thoughts, I too feel Canada SHOULD be the Gold favorites for 2010.
With only a few days till they announce their roster, here is what I think the team might look like.
Martin Brodeur- NEW JERSEY DEVILS (NHL) All time leader in wins & Shutouts, the backstop of the last Canada Gold Olympic medal, Marty has nothing to prove to anyone to make this team. Only question legitimately is, will be the starter?
Roberto Luongo- VANCOUVER CANUCKS (NHL) The winningest goalie in G.M Place...err Canada Hockey Place history will possibly be the starter in that very building. Great record at home this year helps his chances as well.
Marc Andre Fleury- PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (NHL) With the collapse of Steve Mason, MAF has leaped into the limelight for the 2010 consideration. He will still need a horrible miracle to get into a game, but he will at the very least be on the team.
Dan Boyle- SAN JOSE SHARKS (NHL) The most minutes of any Canadian defenseman means Dan has had all sorts of situations this season in SJ. He can QB a PP, play ES & kill penalties. He is a lock.
Chris Pronger- PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (NHL) He probably has helped Matt carle get a spot on the U.S. roster. Having a strong year in Philly....even if the team itself isnt.
Drew Doughty- LOS ANGELES KINGS (NHL) A month ago I must confess, I foolishly told someone I dont think Doughty will be on Team Canada. I was standing ona street & didnt have the wealth of info I have here infront of me & just foolishly thought there must be more top tier Canadian dmen than him. I was wrong.
Brent Seabrook- CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (NHL) I revised this spot & took out Mike Green. Seabrook has lots of chemistry with Keith & was a strong consideration & I think in the end his defensive game will bring more than Greens offensive only game. So I have switched out Green for Seabrook in the end.
Duncan Keith- CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (NHL) An often used dman for Chicago in all situations, Duncan will likely come here with the task of being a shutdown dman & Penalty killer. He has some offensive punch too if its needed.
Shea Weber- NASHVILLE PREDATORS (NHL) The hard hitting Weber will be expected to anchor the 3rd pairing.
Scott Niedermayer- ANAHEIM DUCKS (NHL) Even with the non-Niedermayeresque year he has had, Scott is still a solid lock for this team, if for no other reason than experience. The fact that statistically hes done well enough to warrant consideration helps the cause too.
Dany Heatley- SAN JOSE SHARKS (NHL) Hidden behind the strong start his teammate Joe Thornton is having is Dany. He'll be the top line left winger, regardless if his teammate centres him or not.
Sidney Crosby- PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (NHL) You cant make a Canada roster without Sid. Doing so is clearly a sign of 1 of two things. Either a severe hate for him, or mental instability. In either case the young Stanley Cup winning captain will be the centrepiece of the teams top line.
Jarome Iginla- CALGARY FLAMES (NHL) Probably the most well rounded player for Canada, Jarome will most certainly be on the top line, or 2nd line. Depending what type of forward pairings the coaches have in mind. In any case, he will certainly be a huge piece of any offensive attack Canada has.
Joe Thornton- SAN JOSE SHARKS (NHL) The leagues top scorer will likely take a back seat her e& play 2nd fiddle to Sid the Kid. Expect Joe Thornton to still be the set up man on the PP though. Might be no better passer right now.
Corey Perry- ANAHEIM DUCKS (NHL) A big body who eats up big minutes & is offensively skilled, Corey Perry will be a loc for the team along with his linemate & countryman Ryan Getzlaf.
Brad Richards- DALLAS STARS (NHL) Having another terrific offensive campaign, Brad Richards in my opinion has done all he can to make a case for being on the team. He could be the victim of "too many Centresitis" if they decide to thin the roster out from Centre based players. But he should be here still.
Mike Richards- PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (NHL) A penalty killing specialist by description, Mike also has offensive capabilities as well. He will be out on almost every PK situation Canada may get.
Rick Nash- COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (NHL) 40 goals last year, on pace for more than that this year. A lock for their top 2 lines & PP units.
Patrick Marleau- SAN JOSE SHARKS (NHL) Great in all sections of the game, Patrick can be used on the PP, ES & PK. He'll likely be logging a lot of minutes. What line, that is still a question.
Mike Fisher- OTTAWA SENATORS (NHL) Yes, Canada needs checkers. So whats even better than a checking forward? One that has offensive flair as well. Mike Fisher will likely get 4th line minutes by the bunchloads, expect him to do a a lot of PK time too.
Dustin Penner- EDMONTON OILERS (NHL) I surprised a lot of people by saying this in conversation. Most of them dont think hes as legit as the point totals suggest. I have been big on him for awhile, and I think hs size is the final straw in adding him to the line up. Great 3rd line pressence & possible big body for the PP.
Ryan Getzlaf- ANAHEIM DUCKS (NHL) You cant pick Perry & leave Getlaf off. They are going to be paired together to see if they can mesh on the world stage as well as they do in the NHL.
Martin St Louis- TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (NHL) All offense, Martin might get into the line up if some more offensive spark is somehow required. For the mostpart, he is probably watching from the press box though.
maybe- Marty Turco, Chris Mason, Brent Seabrook, Jay Bouwmeester, Stephane Robidas, Mike Cammalleri, Ryan Smyth, Brenden Morrow, Jonathan Toews.
I did something different for the Blue Jackets. I didnt even try to get 1 single thing done of my own inventory. I decided to rent my services out to another local hound since I just didnt have any CBJ stuff that I felt I imminently needed. In my opinion, the arrangement was ok. Would have liked a b
So, with that I had a limited supply of players to go for.
I learned a quick lesson for the rest of the season....I need a hockey only binder.
I have been using my celebrity binder for my hockey stuff in the preseason, which was a bit clunky, but manageable. With the real season here now & more stuff I will have, its not an option. Lesson 1 noted.
off to the hounding.
Lets start in goal shall we?
STEVE MASON- I got 2 on the trip. In general he seemed good about signing 1 per everytime he was seen. The potential to get multiples was minimal. I think he might do it in smaller settings, but if theres several or more people around he seems intent on sticking to 1 per person. Overall, still a decent signer after his Calder Trophy win last season.
MATHIEU GARON- 2 autographs. Also a trophy winner last season (the Stanley Cup) Mathieu was still his easy going self. Still signing multiples & seeming to have no problem with it. I think he was limiting to 3 or 4, but thats still a decent amount that anyone should be happy with.
FEDOR TYUTIN- 0. Had nothing for him. But I observed him signing multiples for people. He wasnt signing everything, but 3 seemed to be a reasonable number to expect from him.
ROSTISLAV KLESLA- o. Had nothing. In the past, he was elusive & not overly interested in signing. In the last year or so he seems to have eased up. He still seems to be a strict 1 per, but now he doesnt try to avoid people as much as I recall in the apst.
KRIS RUSSELL- 2 autographs. Kris was willing to do multiples, I dont recall what the max was anyone asked for. But he seemed to do everything I saw asked of him. I think he might do several at once.
MARK METHOT, JAN HEJDA, ANTON STRALMAN & MATHIEU ROY- I didnt observe enough to be too sure. But in general, they all signed when asked.
RICK NASH- 4 autographs. Rick has been a pretty consistent 1 per the last few yrs. Yesterday he did 2 at once without even batting an eye. In larger crowds hes still a 1 per it seems, but hes still a near guarantee to get. For a superstar he is still a good signer.
NIKITA FILATOV- 15 autographs. As you can guess by the stats, he does everything. Crap auto, but what do you expect from someone that signed 20+ for 1 person?
JAKUB VORACEK- 0. Had nothing. But Jakub is still a great signer. He has no problems with several items at once.
ANTOINE VERMETTE- 1 autograph. I dont really recall people asking him for several, but the few who had 2 or so out seemed able to get them.Unsure what limits he may have, but 2 seems reasonable.
JARED BOLL- 0. Had nothing. Great signer. If you have several items, its probable he will do them all in 1 shot.
RJ UMBERGER- 0. Had nothing. In the past, he seemed unwilling to be a willing signer. Now he seems to have changed some. Still seemed to be just a 1 per, but the disdain I recalled him having in the past for it seems to have washed away.
DEREK BRASSARD- 0. Had items, but my timing was just bad. Would sign multiples, but he does seem to limit to baybe 3 or 4.
SAMUEL PAHLSSON, RAFFI TORRES, JASON CHIMERA, KRISTIAN HUSELIUS & others- Were generally fine. All signed, maybe not multiples in all cases, but you will get atleast 1 each from them.
Total autographs from Columbus- 26
In addition- 8 Canucks autographs. Including 1 Luongo. 1 Raycroft. 4 Ehrhoff, 1 O'Brien, 1 Raymond
Next up- Montreal Canadiens
Canadagraphs Hockey Blogs
From time to time I have something to say on hockey. Whether its the Vancouver Canucks, NHL in general, Womens Hockey or International Hockey...if I have something to post, it will be in here.