April 04, 2017
There Will Be New Heroes at Olympics
That is Paul Szczechura of Team Canada playing against Germany at the 2016 Deutschland Cup. Slovakia won that tournament. Szczechura's Team Canada, which featured Danny Taylor and Barry Brust in net, Jonathon Sigalet and Patrick McNeill on defense and - oh hey, you'll recognize these names - Derek Roy and Maxime Talbot up front, finished 2nd.
The Deutschland Cup roster was made up of largely KHLers. The 2018 Canadian Olympic team will be looking to KHL rosters for certain, but can add players throughout all of Europe. And I suspect NHL teams will lend AHL talent and maybe the odd young NHL goalie who is looking for some ice time.
Hardly worth getting up at 3am to watch the game live here in North America, I would think.
Such an underwhelming roster would be the norm for most teams. which has a lot of fans hoping that there will still be some sort of late way to save the Olympics.
Don't count on it.
Gary Bettman is not going to let someone else ride in and be hero. He's that cut-throat. Do you really think he will let Donald Fehr of the NHLPA look like a hero? No chance. And the IOC couldn't care less - they have television contracts locked and secured for years - Canada through 2024 and USA through 2032. The only entity that could put any pressure on the IOC might be the American television bidders.
But don't write off the Olympics just yet. We used to have Olympic heroes in the 1970s and 1980s like Roger Bourbonnais and Wally Schreiber, Terry O'Malley and Fabian Joseph, Mario Gosselin and Sean Burke. We discovered great stories, found new heroes and, when the game was on, cheered them on every bit as much as the NHLers.
Maybe, just maybe, Paul Szczechura will score the Golden Goal.