May 28, 2009

Team Canada 2010 Power Rankings

While we wait for the Stanley Cup Finals to start, I thought I would take the time to update my 2010 Team Canada power rankings. With three rounds of the pressure packed playoffs behind us, I think we have some interesting possible changes.


  1. Martin Brodeur - He had mixed results in the playoffs, but this is still his job to lose. His puckhandling ability gives him a unique edge over everyone else. Barring struggles early next season, he remains the standard bearer.
  2. Roberto Luongo - He played very well most of the playoffs, though his teams' failure in in big games is concerning. He is extremely familiar with Vancouver's ice, but his stick side was exposed on penalty shots this season.
  3. Cam Ward - He out-duelled Brodeur in the playoffs, and was the strongest goalie since New Year's Day. He has firmly placed himself in the top three.
  4. Marc-Andre Fleury - He's had three strong playoffs proving he is worthy of big game consideration.
  5. Steve Mason - If he can pick up next season where he left off this season, he will make a strong bid for the third spot.
  6. Marty Turco - The previous usual third suspect remains in the mix, but he will need a strong first half of next season to return.
  7. Chris Osgood - Here's a real long shot that has gotten next to no consideration. But after leading his team to back to back Stanley Cup finals, has there been a more successful Canadian goalie of late? He is proven in big games, and a favorite of GM Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock, assuming he is named as coach.
  1. Scott Niedermayer - Assuming he does return to the NHL next season, he just has to be there. He is just that good and he wins everywhere he goes.
  2. Dan Boyle - He's a big game player who is perfect for the international game.
  3. Jay Bouwmeester - He has arrived as an elite defenseman at both ends of the ice. His skating makes him too enticing to ignore.
  4. Shea Weber (pictured) - He hits hard, has a booming shot to anchor the power play, and has embraced the international game.
  5. Robyn Regehr - When healthy he is a great shutdown defenseman. Olympic teams all have at least seven defensemen. He would be a perfect guy to fill a role, and if that meant spending stretches on the bench he'd be happy to do that.
  6. Chris Pronger - He showed in the playoffs that he is still a great big game defenseman. That was not the case in the 2006 Olympics, but with 2010 games being played on small ice he will not be ruled out. Still, strong starts by younger guys may force him out of the lineup.
  7. Duncan Keith - He has emerged as an elite defenseman, even though he continues to fly under many people's radar. His inclusion may surprise some people. It shouldn't.
  8. Mike Green - His game notably plateaued in the playoffs, though injuries may be revealed as playing a role in that. Still, he made suspect decisions, especially in the defensive zone, while under pressure. Canada does have other defenseman with an offensive presence but with better defensive experience. If his goal scoring ways continue early next season it will be tough to leave him off the team.
  9. Dion Phaneuf - The hard hitting defenseman has hit an early crossroads in his career. He needs to refocus his game next season or he will be left off.
  10. Brent Seabrook - Phaneuf's once-cemented spot could be given to Seabrook, who enjoyed a great coming out party this playoff. He's young, but hasn't been as prone to risky decision making like Phaneuf. He offers much the same package, without the inflated ego.
  11. Brent Burns - He has all the tools, but he did not find the tool box this season. That is partly because he played at forward for long stretches. If he can dominate on defense early in the next season, he may be an enticing pick as a swingman capable of playing forward and defense.
  12. Ed Jovanovski - His game has declined and he is always an adventure, but he's a big game player with good international experience. He's a leader, but he'll only make this team if there are serious injury problems.
  13. Dan Hamhuis - He has really embraced Team Canada at every level, and that keeps him on the radar. He's a strong international player and underrated NHL player. He'll only enter the equation if injuries do, too.
  14. Marc Staal - He's a young stud who only needs more experience to enter the conversation. He's a future Robyn Regehr.
  15. Drew Doughty - If the NHL returns to the Olympics in 2014, he very well might anchor that team's blue line. In the meantime he just doesn't have enough experience to knock off some of the veterans listed above. Even as a teenager he does not look out of place on a NHL top four d-pairing.
  16. Braydon Coburn - Coburn is yet another very good young Canadian defenseman who just does not have enough experience to crack the lineup this go-around.
  1. Jarome Iginla - There is no doubt.
  2. Sidney Crosby - Ditto.
  3. Vincent Lecavalier - Ditto, part two.
  4. Martin St. Louis - The veteran is a great specialty teams player, is a great leader and still has the wheels. His performance at the World Championships was exemplary.
  5. Dany Heatley - He is still a great goal scorer, but his game has slipped a touch. Has it slipped enough to keep this one-time lock off the team? Probably not.
  6. Mike Richards - There is no doubt here, either. He will provide sandpaper and penalty killing. He likely will be a significant player in 2010.
  7. Ryan Getzlaf - Amazing skill and size. Can he buy into a lesser, more physical role on this team?
  8. Rick Nash - He's got amazing skills and Ken Hitchcock has turned him into a two way player. Can he play a lesser role, though? I'd put my money on Getzlaf first.
  9. Shane Doan - Captain Canada needs to make sure all the uncertainty in Phoenix does not interfere with his own play next season, and he will be back.
  10. Eric Staal - He's really re-emerged this post-season. Given his skill and power game down the middle, it will be hard to leave him off this time.
  11. Simon Gagne - Philly sniper has battled serious concussion problems, but he appears to be back. He's a Team Canada regular, and would look great on a top line with Crosby and Iginla.
  12. Brendan Morrow - He missed most of this season with injuries, so he'll have to show he's made a full recovery. If he does, his grit and physicality would be a perfect fit for a third or fourth line role with Team Canada.
  13. Marc Savard - Despite some great seasons of late, it was not until this season that Savard's name has been seriously considered for the Olympic team. He's proven he's for real and a two way player. He very well take Joe Thornton's spot on this team.
  14. Jeff Carter - He may get caught in the numbers game. He's a hungry goal scorer and a good penalty killer, and has good chemistry with both Getzlaf and Richards.
  15. Corey Perry - Big bodied center who can play on the wing, which may help him in the number crunch game many centers will find themselves in. Good chemistry with Getzlaf.
  16. Joe Sakic - He's a Canadian hockey legend, and this is his hometown. But after two lost seasons due to injury, he'll have to come out of the gates very strong next season. That's assuming he even plays next season.
  17. Joe Thornton - Thornton has failed time and again to shake his reputation for disappearing in the big game. After another invisible Stanley Cup playoff in 2009 and lingering memories of a poor 2006 Olympics, Thornton is a good candidate to slip out of the mix.
  18. Paul Kariya - He's a long shot. But like Sakic, Kariya is an Olympic legend and a Vancouver boy. If he can have a strong start to the season, something not unthinkable with a good young St. Louis team, maybe he can get into the conversation.
  19. Patrick Marleau - He's an underrated big game player who can play all three forward positions.
  20. Jason Spezza - Tantalizing skill but like Thornton he has been unable to take it to another level. His game may not be complete enough for this level of hockey, but he has great chemistry with sniper Dany Heatley.
  21. Jonathan Toews - Youngster will be a regular for Team Canada at events after 2010. But he's probably just a little too green to crack the Olympic line up next year.
  22. David Bolland - Everyone talks about Toews, but his Chicago teammate David Bolland is also the real deal, and perhaps even a little futher ahead, especially defensively, than Toews.
  23. Derek Roy - Buffalo's Derek Roy had an average world championships tournament. Had he played stronger his name could be at least 5 spots higher on this list.
  24. Alex Burrows - Yzerman likes him. He's good on the PK and a real energy guy. But he's a real long shot.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

No love for Dennis Wideman?