On Monday, Team Canada announced their 2014 Olympic Orientation roster and while Rick Nash being invited was no surprise there was some interesting decisions regarding Rangers players.
With of the uncertainty of his eye injury, Marc Staal was a bit of a surprise invitee, while Dan Girardi not getting the call was a big snub.
...if it wasn't for the eye injury, Staal would have been a slam dunk invitee, but his invitation is more about potential as there is no guarantee that he'll be back to his old self once the season starts. In fact, there's been absolutely zero news on Staal's status, so who knows if he'll even be ready for the start of the season.
...i'm not going to run down the Canadian roster and declare who Girardi should have gotten the invite over, but when Team Canada is in a grinding game against Team USA or are trying to shut down the high flying Russians, who usually back off the physical game, they'll be wishing they had the foresight to at the very least bring him in for a look.
Andrew Capitelli at Yahoo! feels one of the biggest reasons Girardi was left off the roster is he doesn't fit the marketable mold of the outrageously overrated Kris Letangs of the world and should have easily been invited over Karl Alzer, Marc-Edouard Vlassic, Marc Methot and Travis Hamonic ...
"No, Girardi cannot quarterback a power play, and he isn't going to put up sexy numbers, but he gets the job done. Every night. The four above are all very nice players. All solid in their own end, and they're even pretty young. But none of them have a body of work as impressive as Girardi's."
I'm a Ranger fan before I'm a hockey fan. Stopping the NHL and whoring out their players so the league can make $$$mil is outrageous. Hank was a wreck after the last games and it's only a matter of time until a NYR is seriously injured wearing the wrong sweater. I prefer amateurs in this tournament as it always was until the rich guys figured out a way to exploit it for their own gain.
If they must play then why not make it part of the Summer games??? They changed everything about olympic hockey when they opened it to pros so what's the difference if they change this? You would have the exact same tournament with the same style and level of hockey being played and it wouldn't f*ck with the NHL season!!!
"We're not putting together a team for an NHL all-star game," explained Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman Monday when quizzed about the stay-at-home blueliners.
"We're putting together the best possible team that we can to compete against the best players in the world and try and win a gold medal. Part of that comes with having players that can do specific things for us."
The Canucks just resigned Dale Weise...one year 750M. Funny, but this is a guy that Torts couldn't wait to return to the Whale on a couple of occasions. It'll be interesting to see what happens this time around.
I absolutely love Olympic hockey. USA v. Canada last time had me on the edge of my seat as if the NYR were playing in the Cup. Sydney effing Crosby!!!!
I just wish the NHL would make the rinks larger. The speed of the game is tremendous, the skill is showcased and concussions would likely plummet as not only are the players able to elude more hits, but the very act of hitting becomes a HUGE skill in itself. If you try to hit and miss just a bit there is just so much more hell to pay for having given up that much more empty space. Fringe players who now play just b/c of their aggression will never claim a roster spot b/c in short you have to be a damned smart player and excellent skater to hit.
The NHL is being extremely shortsighted in this respect as they only consider the seats they would lose and not the added revenue of greater interest and health of their own players.
I'm glad he won't be there. Give him a chance to rest up and be fresh for the second half. Wish more of our guys were left out.
I know a lot of people don't like the Olympics, but I get just as worked up for the Olympics as I do for the cup playoffs. If I had to choose between the Rangers winning the cup and the USA winning the gold, I would take the cup, but it's a close call.
Who Cares? USA! USA! USA!
Good observations, everybody. If Girardi feels bad, then I feel bad for him, because he's a great player and a great guy (not that I know him, but from what I understand). Most players love the recognition and who wouldn't like to be asked to the Olympics!? It's an honor. That said, personally I don't mind Girardi taking the time to heal-up so many bumps and bruises he carries around. Girardi's been around for a while now and he knows better than anybody he didn't exactly come up with the star treatment. It's no surprise, really. While anybody enjoys the invite, I imagine Girardi is fine with this.
it's absolutely no surprise Girardi wasn't invited. If there's anything Canada is STACKED with it's two way RHD. Weber, Doughty, Pietrangelo as the three in the top 6 is brutal.....glad G wasn't invited anyway. He needs the rest for the game he plays.
Who cares... It's better. Sorry to all the Canadians on here, but I will be rooting so hard against them. Their team is stacked and its time they be taken down a peg. They lose to USA in the semis, and win the bronze. While hank leads Sweden to the finals, and Oscar scores the "golden goal" to win 3-2.
I love Girardi's heart, but people are finally seeing what I said last year. The NYR can't resign him. He plays a game bigger than his body, which while it is rightfully heralded is NOT a good investment. Those are the toughest guys to cut b/c everyone loves that trait so much. Smart teams know what to do with guys like this and it is not holding them long term, or with big money. These are the the MLB pitchers who throw 95+ with bad mechanics. Remember the expression "plays too big for his body" and decide which NYR they should keep.
"...i'm not going to run down the Canadian roster and declare who Girardi should have gotten the invite over"
No need, Capitelli did it for you! "Karl Alzer, Marc-Edouard Vlassic, Marc Methot and Travis Hamonic." For real? These guys over Danny G? What a joke. Is Methot going to check an opposing player in to his own goalie and take him out for a season? Cause that's all I know that guy for.
The people picking Canada's team must have seen the same player I did last year.
Sorry to rain on anyone's Girardi love in parade,but I watched a bunch of games last year where he played like crap.What bugs me about him is when he is on the powerplay, if you don't know what I am talking about then you didn't watch any games last year.I think he only had one or two nice goals out of all the shots he took last year.If he ever shows the kind of crap he pulled last season again,he is eminently tradeable and far from a mainstay on this team.Right now all he is is just a roster regular who can be traded for a good return, no problem.
Girardi's style is not conducive to the larger ice surface. He doesn't have the step or the reach to make up for the the added room forwards would have against him. If he were a bit more fleet of foot, I think he would have certainly gotten an invite. And as said below, the 2 weeks of rest is a helluva lot more beneficial to him than playing 12 minutes per game for Canada.
@Murdoch ice hockey in the summer olympics just doesnt seem right, but i do agree with you, i say let the AHL players at it, would be some great experience for those younger guys
@cb1 at least some weekend games
@_Jack This reminds me of the Rob Zamuner controversy in 1998.
@jmacwilli Make the rinks bigger.
@jmacwilli quite the opposite: the larger rinks would allow these incredible athletes to pick up more speed resulting in more violent collisions. The players speed and size is quickly surpassing the effectiveness of the equipment not to mention human evolution. (we didn't evolve as a species crashing into one another at a closing speed of 50mph)
The only way to avoid the inevitable death of an NHL player is to keep the rink size as is and to allow more of the clutching and grabbing of the pre-lockout game. I know thats not a popular sentiment, but somebody is going to get killed eventually if things continue as is.
@cb1 Not CLOSE AT ALL.... ARE YOU KIDDING ME... Usa winning the gold is like a microwaved mac and cheese. Rangers winning the cup is like a steak from a 5 star restaurant...
@cb1 Olympic hockey is awesome. I still have priority to the Cup, but you can't go wrong with multiple all-star teams that actually play defense and hit, going at each other for a couple of days with crazy nationalistic fans to boot.
The hard thing is rooting against Hank.
@shoot_the_goalie Don't even get me started on that flake. He is just a hot mess.
@jmacwilli Interesting take...thank you! Girardi is not a top six defenseman of all Canadian Players. When You pick All-Star like selections for Team Canada Girardi does not have the offensive skills to earn the pick.
For me, I don't care who wins. I'll just pray that all of our guys are healthy after it is all over.....GO RANGERS!
@AnnoyingJoe @jmacwilli I agree with jmac. Speed ultimately has an upper threshold and one can only skate so fast, but the more room you allow, the harder it is to get "caught" in a situation where you have nowhere to go and get clobbered. Many NHL players have stated that they have to hit "smarter" on the bigger rinks, cause it's much easier for the opposition to elude the checker. So I'm all for opening up the ice.
Concussions are always going to be a part of the game. Helmets, if I'm correct, only protect from head injuries when under 15 miles and under impacts. Helmets just lessen the severity of the injury at higher speeds. Clutching/grabbing/interference does not help reduce injuries. There were plenty of hits that could have been avoided that resulted in injuries because of what I call "tag teaming" in the clutch and grab era. (one player would hold another in a vulnerable position, and then the other player would clobber him - Scott Stevens was a maestro at this)
The only way to reduce concussions, IMHO, is to enforce illegal hits to the head and open up the ice so it's harder to get someone in a vulnerable spot. Even with that concussions are still gonna happen, but the benefits of larger ice (more speed, skill, less traps and defensive collapsing) would be beneficial.
@AnnoyingJoe thats assuming that they are headed into each other head on and the target doesnt have any movement options.
Oh, there will b less hits, but the hits that do occur will b more severe, even more so bc both targets are moving
mouth guards prevent concussions. they arent there to protect teeth. theyre to protect the jaws slamming into each other and therefore reduce or stop the the sloshing of the brain.
But while the "game" is faster, the players speed is not. NHL rinks have plenty enough room to get to a players top speed. What changes in the larger rink that makes hitting so much more difficult is the increased vectors the result of the open space. Plus with the additional room for the "hitee" to move the angles make for more oblique hits, which are far less injurious.
Hitting will become a skill as difficult to hone as shooting, or stick-handling. The when and where and how and IF you can hit will be a great part of the game played by skilled players, instead of those shitty, aggressive types like that guy on Pittsburgh last year whose name eludes me.
@jmacwilli @AnnoyingJoe @shoot_the_goalie its that very nature of a concussion that concerns me, especially at an increased closing speed. and yes, helmets are great for protecting against pucks and sticks, but not player to player velocity.
Anywho I think that increased rink-size is an inevitability, and maybe I'm just being a nancy worry wart.
@AnnoyingJoe @shoot_the_goalie @jmacwilli Enforcing illegal hits to the head does reduce concussions...but only from the types of hits that are being reduced. It is only one aspect. The rink size would help by both the added room and reducing those players who live on aggression alone as they would be obsolete.
The paradox here is that helmets may actually increase concussions by contributing to reckless behavior. Helmets are fantastic at reducing skull injury, but really almost ineffectual against concussions - in any sport. Concussion is basically a massive deceleration injury with the brain figuratively "sloshing" up against the skull - like a passenger crashing against the windshield in a car wreck.
but I can understand your point on rink size. Selfishly I would love to see the ice get bigger but i think that its just a matter of time that, with that much speed and size in more open ice, someone is going to be killed.
@shoot_the_goalie @greggray24 @cb1 Understand that perspective - that is the case for other sports so why not hockey? I wish it wasn't during the NHL season. I mostly am still remembering the beating Jagr took and how tired Hank was after the last Olympics. I'd rather have the NHL keep going and would be very entertained by the kids.
the world juniors was tough to watch with the time change. it takes our all the spontaneity. the games over by the time you wake up.