December 30, 2009
Team Canada was announced today for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, with the usual fanfare and reverence and drawn-out drama and complaining about snubs. Take a gander:
Patrice Bergeron(notes), Boston Bruins; Sidney Crosby(notes), Pittsburgh Penguins (alt. capt.); Ryan Getzlaf(notes), Anaheim Ducks; Dany Heatley(notes), San Jose Sharks; Jarome Iginla(notes), Calgary Flames (alt. capt.); Patrick Marleau(notes), San Jose Sharks; Brenden Morrow(notes), Dallas Stars; Rick Nash(notes), Columbus Blue Jackets; Corey Perry(notes), Anaheim Ducks; Mike Richards(notes), Philadelphia Flyers; Eric Staal(notes), Carolina Hurricanes; Joe Thornton(notes), San Jose Sharks; Jonathan Toews(notes), Chicago Blackhawks.
Dan Boyle(notes), San Jose Sharks; Drew Doughty(notes), Los Angeles Kings; Duncan Keith(notes), Chicago Blackhawks; Scott Niedermayer(notes), Anaheim Ducks (capt.); Chris Pronger(notes), Philadelphia Flyers; Brent Seabrook(notes), Chicago Blackhawks; Shea Weber(notes), Nashville Predators.
Bergeron was pegged for the roster by some, but not by the majority of pundits. He's a solid, versatile two-way player worthy of this honor. But Marty St. Louis, Shane Doan(notes), Ryan Smyth(notes), Mike Fisher(notes) and Jordan Staal(notes) had their champions. Brad Richards(notes), the brilliant pivot for the Dallas Stars, was a victim of there being so many quality centers in the mix. His skills are already represented here, and by slightly better players.
(UPDATE: Two thoughts on Bergeron, based on the fallout from the announcement. First is that he clearly played his way onto the team in the last three months, as he wasn't an Olympic camp invite. Second, Dan Rosen of NHL.com points out that Bergeron has played with Crosby before. Are we still going to see Nash-Crosby-Iginla as we saw in the summer?)
On defense, the huge story was Doughty getting the call over Jay Bouwmeester(notes) of the Calgary Flames and Mike Green(notes) of the Washington Capitals. We explained why Green should, and did, miss the cut in our bubble piece yesterday. But we didn't think the seventh defenseman would be a 20 year old with very little international or championship experience. (UPDATE: Leo, in the comments, defends Doughty's experience. Fair point, but Bouwmeester was an Olympian.) Doughty can do the job; but it's more than a little stunning to think Bouwmeester is on the outs while Doughnuts and Brent Seabrook are Olympians. (Seabrook, one assumes, gets the gig as Duncan Keith's other half.)
The goalies are the best in the world. Brodeur should start.
In the end, our picks were only slightly off: Didn't see Bergeron over St. Louis or Doughty over Bouwmeester. Anything shock you about this roster? Does the balance between star offensive players and grittier forwards seem right? Will it win gold?