Canada has just unveiled its men’s hockey roster for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Many experts have had their say about who should have been on the team and who should have been left out. But what do Concordia students think of the players Hockey Canada is sending out to represent their country?
One of the biggest questions coming into the selection process was the debate over whether or not Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban should be on the team. There’s no doubt his hockey skills are good enough to make the team. After all, he is the defending Norris trophy champion as best defenceman in the NHL. The controversy hides in his exuberance and colourful personality, which were considered by some to be detrimental to his chances of making the team.
“Definitely, P.K. Subban should have been a lock to make this team,” says Daniele Iannarone. “I think the media made too big a deal over his selection for no reason, but Yzerman recognized his talent and that’s why he’s there.”
With so many good Canadian players to choose from, Steve Yzerman and his staff had to narrow it down to a 25-man roster. This, of course, opens the door to the debate as to who should be on the team and who could have been passed over.
“I think Giroux, St-Louis and maybe Mike Richards should have made the team. I would remove Marleau,” adds Iannarone.
“I’m shocked that Joe Thornton didn’t make the team,” says Matthew Shanahan. “He’s one of the better passers in the game right now.”
Another topic of conversation was the debate over who should be considered the number one goaltender between Mike Smith, Roberto Luongo and Carey Price.
“I think Luongo will start, but if he doesn’t play well from the beginning, you’ll see Price come in and lead the team,” Iannarone says.
“I think Carey Price is our best goalie. With Luongo, you’re not sure what you’re going to get from him,” says Bryce Crawford.
Julian McKenzie adds, “Price should start because he’s the better goalie this year, rather than Luongo starting because he has the Olympic experience.”
This overwhelming support for Price may have something to do with a certain bias towards the two Montreal Canadiens that will be going to Sochi. But bias or not and with all this controversy put aside, not many doubt that Canada has a solid chance of returning home with some hardware.
“They built the team so that it can win, rather than just picking the biggest names around the NHL,” says Evan Gill. “Guys like Rick Nash aren’t having the best year, but they’ve won before, so that’s why they’re on the team. Anyone can win, but I think we have the best chance.”
“I think overall Canada is a good team, but it will be tough to beat the Russians,” says Crawford. “It should make for an interesting tournament.”
What was four years of speculation has finally come to an end, and now the entire nation can focus on cheering the Canadian squad as they try to become repeat gold-medalists, this time on enemy ice.