Skip to main content

The Curious Case of Cale Makar

One nice thing about a non-NHL Olympics is we don't have to wade through endless stories and debates about who did not make the team.

Granted, that's largely because we don't even know most of the players who did make the team. How would we possibly know who to argue would be better? In fact, I have not seen a single argument for a roster adjustment on Team Canada.

The only such possibility is the curious story of Cale Makar. Now it is a different story in that it was Makar that apparently turned down the roster spot.

Many of us were introduced to Makar in the past few months. Perhaps it was at the draft in June 2017 where the defenseman was selected 4th overall by the Colorado Avalanche. Or, more likely, it was this past Christmas where Makar impressed as a key member of Canada's gold medal winning World Juniors team.

The 19 year old from Calgary has raised some eyebrows by turning down an Olympic spot. After all, how often do you get a chance to represent your country, let alone at the Olympics? Old fogies like me would grab the kid by the shoulders, shake him and say "you can't turn down an opportunity like this. One day you'll regret it."

It's an interesting decision by the power play specialist. He has only played one semester at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He has missed a month of school in December committing to the World Juniors, and chose to pass on the Olympics to not miss any more school.

It is a tough for us to understand the decision. After all, he was the 4th overall pick and the Colorado Avalanche are thin on the blue line. It's not likely Makar will delay his NHL career and million dollar contract until graduation. While we all applaud the kid for pursuing education, he will likely have to complete his degree after a promising career as a professional hockey player.

But maybe that's why Makar passed on the Olympics. True, the Olympic opportunity may never come again. But Makar is just a kid, and this is his last opportunity to be a kid. Old fogies like me tell kids all the time that college life will be the best years of your life.

Makar's college experience will be truncated and different than most people's. He knows that and maybe he just wants to enjoy it while he can.

And that is good advice.


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