Ovechkin is a good example, Malkin is better given he's not even currently playing in the NHL right now.
As for Canada, yeah, I'm along the same lines. There was a yahoo story a while back where a guy was berating the US team for their lacklustre performance and suggesting NHL players have no place there. I disagree but can see his point to a degree.
But lots of folks up here have commented on the Canadian roster selection even prior to the start of the Olympics and I'm inclined to agree. There are more than a few guys I'd have left off the roster and quite a few seriously stupid snubs.
Crosby comes to mind. He's good, no doubt and he's part of the future. He'll be playing in 2010 no doubt, so why not give the kid some experience now? I just don't get it.
Eric Staal? What the **** were they thinking? Really, explain this to me. Same boat as Crosby here, young guy, almost a lock to play in 2010 (might have to take his two brothers then too
). Certainly should have been a lock this year as well - number three in the league in scoring, essentially as a rookie? Little help here?
Jason Spezza? Not an NHL rookie, played fantastic thus far this year, top 25 in scoring (in spite of a Senators slump for the past three weeks). A fine player in the NHL two years ago as well. So why not take the kid? Too good?
Some old **** named Kariya? Having a pretty fine year I'd say. Want leadership? How about taking a guy like that? Oh yeah, he's putting the puck in the net and having a revival as well. Nah, **** 'em.
Who'd they take? Why the 2002 team of course, because there's no reason 4 years down the road they can't get it done again, right?
Bertuzzi? Gimme a ******' break. He's not designed for olympic style hockey and he's not even playing NHL hockey very well at the moment. Yeah, he's got a lot of **** on his plate, did Gretzky some how miss that media report? An Olympic tournament is not the time or place to show confidence in your buddy. Should have been left at home.
Kris Draper? Over Kariya? Why? Why, why, why?
Lecavalier/Richards/St. Louis - hey, I'm right there with you, awesome hockey players and contributors in a big, big way - 2 years ago for the cup and 4 years ago for the Olympics. No way should any one of those guys gone ahead of Staal this year. Take the best NOW, not then. I've no doubt these guys are still going to be amazing players for years to come, but again, show up to win, not have your buds there.
And speaking of buds, Ryan Smyth? What's that, the token Oiler to help maintain fan support in Edmonton?
Foote and Blake. Yep, I agree, you need some experience and I also agree that they got nailed on the D by injuries in losing out with Jovanoski and Niedermayer. But just so you know, Foote and Blake are 35 and 37 respectively. Any chance these guys don't get up and down the ice as quickly?
Goaltending? They took who I would have. But is there a reason they can't play Luongo or Turco? I love Brodeur as a goaltender and he didn't play poorly, but why not take a shot early in the round robin with one of those two other guys? They're not exactly dogs. Crazy stuff.
That said, it's easy second guessing after the fact. Still, I would have taken Staal, Spezza, Crosby and Kariya in favor of Bertuzzi, Smyth, Draper and maybe Richards(?). See, you could have taken three young stars to the tournament and given them valuable experience. They were playing better than the guys I suggested dropping during the months leading up to the tournament. I suppose the selection process took place well in advance, but I'd hope they wouldn't base the selection process on what took place over a full NHL season ago. Spezza, Staal and Crosby were all playing while those other guys were golfing for heaven's sake, how is that hard to miss