The threat of Team Canada's lineup being denuded by a NHL labour settlement seems to have been reduced.
The lockout itself is the big variable, although expecting anything earlier than a January start to a compressed season seems too optimistic by a factor of 10. But the first day passed with word that Mark Scheifele, whose seven-game stint in 2011 with the Winnipeg Jets gives him the second-longest pro tenure on Team Canada, isn't going to be airlifted out of Ufa, Russia in the middle of the IIHF World U20 championship. Hockey Canada's Scott Salmond, according to Eric Francis, has "received similar assurances from NHL GMs representing more than half of the 11 players eligible for recall."
Jets have given Mark Scheifele green light to stay with Canada thru world jr, no matter if new CBA is done #SunWorldJuniors
— Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun) December 12, 2012
There really is no playbook for this scenario. It was known going in Team Canada's roster could be moving target right up until the IIHF deadline on Christmas Day (and defencemen and forwards cannot be replaced after the tournament begins). That had a prominent junior hockey expert speculating about how Canada could lose players after the event starts. It's not out of the realm, but Team Canada supporters ought to take Scheifele and Toronto Maple Leafs first-rounder Morgan Rielly's guaranteed participation as encouraging signs.Read More »from Team Canada WJC2013: Winnipeg Jets give Mark Scheifele the all-clear