Skip to main content

Pucks On The 'Net: Old Canada

With less than 100 days to go until the Pyeongchang Olympics, lots of people are trying to forecast the various Olympic hockey team rosters.

Of course that has become a much more difficult - and less fun - task ever since the NHL and IOC parted ways.

Canada's roster is particularly tough for us fans to get in on, as most of the players to be selected play in Europe. Many are players we may never have heard of, with a sprinkling of "he's still playing?!" types.

I thought CBC's Tim Wharnsby came up with a pretty good prediction roster here. Barring injuries, I think Wharnsby's predictions will largely come to fruition.

One thing that really jumped out at me is the age of the Canadians. It seems the average age of the players Wharnsby mentions is quite high, most pushing 30 years or higher.

At first glance this surprised me. Hockey seems to be more than ever a young man's game now. The NHL may see the average age of it's players this season dip below 27 for the first time ever. Moreover, Canada's brain trust - Sean Burke and Dave King in particular - should remember the pre-NHL Olympic teams were built largely on youth.

Canada largely has no choice, barring a late minute deal to land a couple junior stars. The Canadians playing in Europe tend to be older, as they trade their youth for minor league bus rides and a shot at the Canadian dream of playing in the big leagues. Not too many young Canadians hockey players head to Europe without first trying the North American pro scene.

Besides, European-league veterans are a little better acquainted with the bigger international ice surface and coaching tactics.

Beyond that, the fact that so few of those players are known to us fans actually excites me. There will be many great stories about our new cast of heroes. No, it won't be the same as Sidney Crosby and Carey Price going for gold, and the stories may prove more interesting than the games themselves.

But Olympic hockey is always interesting. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M