Canada's Olympic women's hockey team, it can be stated fairly, has been roiled by turmoil over the past few months. It's either that or coaches in Olympic team sports quit two months ahead of the Winter Games all the time.
The resignation of head coach Dan Church was considered a surprise only insofar as most competitive types will stick it out through an imperfect situation. It also came after what was perceived as a surprise release of Tessa Bonhomme, although in that case the 27-year-old defender's slower than hoped recovery from a shoulder injury also made a factor.
It's enough to make one wonder if trouble has been brewing for a while. Now that Kevin Dineen has been handed the coaching reins, starting goalie Shannon Szabados is apparently trying to make light of the trying situation. On Tuesday, the 'tender directed a tweet at Dineen — photos of the players and their helmets with their nicknames written on tape across their helmets, like in minor hockey when the coach is trying to learn everyone's name.
On one level, it comes off as a kind of 'we're all in this together' type of gallows humour as the women's team tries to regroup. A coaching change so close 2014 Sochi Games is a lot to surmount, especially after the faster and younger and generally more confident Team USA won the worlds on Canadian ice in April.
It's best, for now, not to draw any conclusions if Szabados and the other players meant this in any biting or sarcastic way. In any event, their work at keeping Olympic gold is cut out for them.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sports & Recreation
- Shannon Szabados
- Tessa Bonhomme
- Kevin Dineen