| No Canada: Thornton & Boyle
Sharks send Marleau and Vlasic to
Joe Thornton should be a man on a mission. The
Sharks team captain was officially kicked to the curb by team Canada on Tuesday
morning, receiving word that he had been left off the 2014 Team Canada Olympic
roster. The centerman was a vital component to Team Canada's gold medal winning
team in 2010, but was slighted by Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman in lieu of a
slew of younger forwards.
The Sharks weren't completely left out in
the cold by Yzerman. Patrick Marleau will return to the Olympics along with
first time Olympian Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Marleau skated on a line with Thornton
and former Shark Dany Heatley in Vancouver in 2010.
Vlasic has emerged
as one of the NHL's best young defenseman, and could be a mainstay for several
years on Canada's international roster.
Thornton's snub was
surprising, given that he is ranked 5th in the league in scoring. His 43
assists lead the NHL and his skills as a setup man is something that was
overlooked. Thornton also doesn't receive much attention for his stellar
defensive skills, which could bite Canada when the games begin in February.
Dan Boyle, another Shark that represented Canada in 2010, was also
left off the roster. The veteran defenseman lost his spot to a slew of young
defensemen, including Alex Pietrangelo, Dan Hamhuis, P.K. Subban and Vlasic.
To nobody's surprise, center Logan Couture was also omitted from the
Canadian Olympic Team. News leaked on Monday that Couture would undergo surgery
on Wednesday to repair an injury sustained to his hand. Why that info was
leaked would determine who forced the issue.
If the Sharks informed
Team Canada that Couture was injured, it may have made it easier for Yzerman to
make his decision. The decision to conduct the surgery could have also been
influenced by Yzerman's decision. If the Team Canada GM decided Couture didn't
make the cut, that could have influenced Couture's decision to have surgery
now. The Olympic break allows for him to heal from the surgery without missing
as many games as he would have if he were to have surgery while regular league
games were being played.
The biggest benefits of Thornton, Boyle, and
Couture being left off the Olympic roster is rest. With the Olympic tournament
being injected into a compacted NHL regular season, teams are forced to play
games in a tighter window. Giving the three players an additional two weeks to
recharge their batteries allows the Sharks to be better poised for a run in
March, April and into the playoffs in May. Thornton and Boyle aren't spring
The other obvious benefit is that the snubs serve as
motivation for the three. What better incentive for the three than a slight by
their own country.
Here is the complete Team Canada roster:
Goaltenders: Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks; Carey Price, Montreal
Canadiens; Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes
Defensemen: Jay Bouwmeester, St.
Louis Blues; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Dan Hamhuis, Vancouver Canucks;
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks; Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues; P.K.
Subban, Montreal Canadiens; Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks; Shea Weber,
Forwards: Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars; Patrice
Bergeron, Boston Bruins; Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings; Sidney Crosby,
Pittsburgh Penguins; Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche; Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim
Ducks; Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins; Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks;
Rick Nash, New York Rangers; Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks; Patrick Sharp, Chicago
Blackhawks; Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning; John Tavares, New York
Islanders; Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
|What did you think of
this article? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums