Mon Nov 29 04:19pm EST
A major Hockey Canada announcement is incomplete without a salvo in the CHL-NCAA brouhaha.
Surely, a few people noticed what was conspicuously absent from the press conference in Toronto announcing the 39 players who will try out for Team Canada in two weeks — any mention of the four current NCAA players' teams. St. Louis Blues first-round pick Jaden Schwartz was listed as being from the Saskatchewan Hockey Association instead of Colorado College. Fellow 2010 first-rounder Riley Sheahan, a Detroit Red Wings prospect, was announced as being from the Ontario Hockey Federation rather than Notre Dame. Granted, few people in Canada have heard of Notre Dame — it's not like the school's football team has its own national TV contract with NBC or was ever the subject of classic sports movie.
The same was true with defenceman Dylan Olsen (pictured) from Minnesota-Duluth and forward Reilly Smith from Miami of Ohio.
Was that really necessary? It is understandable that Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League are closely aligned and wish to support their own. However, it is totally uncool to omit basic information like a player's current team.
Canada, as a whole, is better than that. Besides, Olsen, Schwartz, Sheahan and Smith's NCAA teams are listed on the Hockey Canada website. The press conference was only available online so anyone watching coulda and woulda hit Google to look up particulars on all four.
The cross-border shin-kicking goes both ways. Guy Flaming had a sweet post Monday detailing how "anti-CHL (or pro NCAA) stories out of the U.S. are usually just as bad as the anti-NCAA (or pro CHL) stories originating from Canada ... 99% of these articles appear to be written by people with an agenda that can't seem to see the story from both sides."
Flaming was responding to a bit of brilliance by the Denver Post's Terry Frei, who in an otherwise well-written feature on two Canadians who play for the Denver Pioneers, strained himself reaching for a 10-dollar pejorative word, saying that playing in the CHL "contaminates NCAA eligibility." (Emphasis mine.) Contaminates? Please. Saying cancels serves the same purpose and it's shorter.
It's time to rise above such nonsense.
Keep a close eye on how USA Hockey handles its preliminary roster announcement on Dec. 7, a week from Tuesday.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Sports Canada. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.