Thursday, January 6, 2011

Canada blows it on the rink

Who can believe it?   Even about 24 hours after the finals, I still can't believe how Canada blew an easy 3-0 lead and gave up FIVE unanswered goals in the third to lose to Russia 5-3.

I checked the roster and I noted that only one player actually has a fall back -- i.e. he's on a university scholarship in the NCAA.   Every other one plays in the juniors.   Not to knock the system; but no university players from our system?   No NHL players who are still under 20 and eligible under international rules? It's worth pointing out that the American team which ended up winning bronze has 17 out of 22 in the collegiate system.

My open question to Hockey Canada is why there is such an aversion to collegiate players who might actually be better for the national team -- and be rounded out more balanced, both athletically and mentally?   (Remember, you actually have to keep up a fairly good GPA to keep your hockey scholarship -- how many players on Team Canada have dropped out of high school chasing the elusive NHL dream?)   True we would like to keep our players here, but we need to beef up our university games here too, including TV coverage which basically is non-existent.   If it means allowing athletic scholarships at Canadian universities so be it, and screw the CIS and whatever they think about that!

Yes, we beat the US in the semi-final this year, but they beat us in the final last year.

Unfortunately there are too many politicians in the system that would ever allow it -- but I think there should be a quota as to how many juniors are allowed to be selected; the rest should be university players, not just a token one.   Maybe they know something about beating the Europeans that Don Cherry doesn't want even Les Boys to know.   The fact is we still play hockey like it's hockey.   When was the last time you saw a Canadian player cross-train doing other sports -- baseball, basketball, hockey; and yes, even figure skating?!   No wonder the Europeans manage to run circles around us when it comes to the games that really matter.  Dang it.

That being said, kudos to Buffalo for hosting a great and fun tournament.

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Anonymous said...

I think when Haper told them they did well..he could hav at least said something to the winners.

Anonymous said...

Players playing in the OHL, the Q and the WHL ALL get University paid for. Most get a year for every year played, but, more and more are demanding 4 years paid before signing. The players on this years Junior team are all elite, and, would all have car, room and board, university fees and travel fees for parents all paid for. Canada lost to a better team on that night, who would bother watching if the same team won all the time?