Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
When Team Canada takes the ice for International play, anything less than a gold medal is looked upon as losing. While many teams or nations are happy to leave with a medal the Canadians only want to sink their teeth into gold. Is this a realistic goal for the 2006 Winter Olympics? Letís examine the roster.
The names selected to backstop the Canadian team are: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo and Marty Turco. Any of these players would be a treat for any team, but Brodeur, with his experience, is number one and it is difficult to argue that.
On defence, Canada has named: Rob Blake, Adam Foote, Ed Jovanovski, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Wade Redden, Robyn Regehr. There is a good chance you will see Bryan McCabe inserted into Jovanovskiís spot, with Jovanovski ailing. Looking at these names the adjectives that immediately come to mind are big, strong and talented. This is an intimidating group that will prove difficult for the competition to penetrate.
The forwards are: Todd Bertuzzi, Shane Doan, Kris Draper, Simon Gagne, Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla, Vincent Lacavalier, Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Joe Sakic, Ryan Smyth, Martin St. Louis and Joe Thornton. With experience and talent combined with a mixture of size and quickness, it is hard to question any of these choices.
What should be expected of this Olympicís team? Well, on paper, anything less than a gold medal does look like a disappointment. The organizers of Team Canada must almost think it isnít fair to have to choose amongst so many top caliber names. It wouldnít be unreasonable to surmise that a second team could be picked and they would have as great a chance of winning gold with the depth of talent Canada offers. This is what aids in evening out the playing field with the rest of the world. While most countries are deciding on 25 players talented enough to go to the Olympic games, Canada has to do the opposite Ė eliminate talent to bring the roster size to the correct amount.
Such is the excitement of International tournaments, the Olympic games being the crowning jewel: virtually any team can get hot enough to overtake another. Look for more such excitement later this month.