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Babcock: ‘the most important thing is trust’

Dec 2, 2013, 2:19 PM EDT

Mike Babcock Getty Images

OK, we’re going to pass along a quote from Team Canada coach Mike Babcock as he prepares to make his Sochi roster decisions. Let us know in the comments section if the same player that came to our mind was the one that came to yours.

“We want skaters, the most we can possibly have,” said Babcock, per ESPN. “We want high hockey IQ. But the most important thing is trust. No sense taking somebody you don’t trust, because they’re all going to be one-goal games, and in the end you have to defend.

“People think the big ice is about offense. No, it’s about defending. So you got to able to play without the puck. Can you do that or can you not do that? To me, it’s really simple.”

Was it PK Subban that came to mind? It was PK Subban, right?

Subban may be the reigning Norris Trophy winner, but he’s far from a lock to play for Team Canada at the Olympics. When it comes to right-handed d-men, Drew Doughty and Shea Weber are pretty much locks. It’s hard to imagine Alex Pietrangelo being left out. Dan Boyle is a veteran that Babcock trusted plenty in 2010. Brent Seabrook played limited minutes in Vancouver, but he’s got considerably more big-game experience than Subban. Kris Letang is another option for Babcock, though his play may beg the same question as Subban’s: can he be trusted?

Related: Team Canada announces orientation camp roster

  1. ash0war - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Letang can be trusted. He Just needs to Focus more on Defence then offence.

    • withseidelinn - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      Not really his game.

    • 19to77 - Dec 2, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      If it’s that easy, you’d think he’d have figured out how to do it before.

  2. withseidelinn - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    I just can’t see Subban making it ahead of Seabrook and even Boyle for that matter. They are both substantially better in their own end, especially Seabrook. For an Olympic roster you don’t really need defensemen that are primarily offensive, as the quality of player you’re going to take is going to be able to score from the back end regardless. I wouldn’t consider Shea Weber an offense first type guy, but he sure can rip them from the point.

  3. dhawks19 - Dec 2, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    They are so stacked in all skater categories. Letang is hard to read sometimes he can be brilliant but sometimes makes bad decisions and turnovers in his own zone. With all their offense and skilled forwards they’re better off going with defensive minded D’s like Seabrook who still has offensive upside

  4. scaarepittschamberofcommerce - Dec 2, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    If I’m team Canada I’m keeping Pietrangelo and Bouwmeester on a line. name a better pair in hockey right now?

    • thailer35 - Dec 2, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      You’ll see a better pair in blue and yellow with Ekman-Larsson and Erik Karlsson in Sochi.

    • 19to77 - Dec 2, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      JayBo’s gonna be in, no question. Canada’s really open on left point and he’s been one of the best so far this year. Plus, like you said, synergy.

  5. 19to77 - Dec 2, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Canada doesn’t need fourth forwards on defense, not with the offense we’ve already got – especially a guy with ego and temper concerns like Subban’s. He seems like exactly the kind of guy who would lose his temper in a high-pressure game and take a costly penalty. Can’t have liabilities like that on an Olympic team.

  6. endusersolutions2013 - Dec 2, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Very surprised that Duncan Keith was not mentioned – lots of points AND very good defenseman. On the other hand, as an American, leaving him off the team, getting him some rest and something to prove would be good for the Hawks as well;).

    • withseidelinn - Dec 2, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      He’s a lock on the other side.

  7. cjnbsc - Dec 2, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Keith is a lock as a lefty. Subban should be on. If you need a goal at any point, he’s the guy you want out there. And his defensive criticisms are way overblown. Plus he’s an incredible skater. The lack of skating ability has killed Canada on the big ice. He’s needed.

    And the best d pairing in the nhl right now is probably Subban-markov.

    And

  8. muckleflugga - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    bad year to be picking an olympic roster…pickings are lean for canada, blue line and back

    canada’s backward hockey theology is showing like a frayed slip [ sorry girls ]

    seabrook and keith in the mix…on big ice, get real

    goalies, no one competitive beyond brodeur, and he’s gonna get shelled without competent defence

    medal round is but a dream…make book

  9. bsaures - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    One thing no one seems to remember is that Subban has more experience playing games on Olympic size ice than the entire potential defense for Canada put together. That experience will prove very valuable as he will be able to adjust his game much quicker because he has played it already.

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