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Kunitz ‘belongs’ on Team Canada, says Yzerman

Jan 7, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT

Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz AP

In the words of Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman, here’s why Penguins winger Chris Kunitz made the Olympic roster over the likes of Claude Giroux, Logan Couture and the captain of Yzerman’s own Tampa Bay Lightning, Martin St. Louis:

“Chris Kunitz has been an outstanding player throughout his career, is a Stanley Cup champion, played for me in the 2008 World Championships in Quebec and Halifax and was a very good player on that team. He’s virtually been in the playoffs every year, so we haven’t had the opportunity to bring him to other world championships.

“He’s played extremely well. He’s a hard-nosed player. He’s a skilled player. Yes, he plays with Sidney Crosby, and he’s been a great contributor not only to that line, but to his team — whether it be five-on-five or on the power play.

“The question that a lot of people have asked is, is Chris Kunitz being helped by Sidney Crosby? They help each other and he’s a tremendous player, and ultimately we asked ourselves the question, on his own does he belong on this team, and our answer was, yes, he belongs on this team.”

Hey, do you get the feeling Yzerman was prepared for that question?

Kunitz, 34,  has 23 goals and 24 assists this season, his 47 points ranking him sixth in NHL scoring.

Audio of today’s Team Canada press conference (including the part about Kunitz) is below:


  1. narfmoo12 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    I guess he had to keep Cindy happy. Kunitz on, Giroux off. What a little crybaby that Crosby is.

    • ewoods6 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      You really believe Giroux deserves it over Kunitz with the year each has had? This isn’t football pro-bowl voting. Your past contributions matter, but very little. Especially when comparing the year each has had so far.

      You just a typical hater. Only one I see being a crybaby is you.

      • narfmoo12 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        Okay…

        1. Canada’s GM even states how much past contributions matter in the article. Solid effort with the reading there.

        2. Giroux is much better than Kunitz. He kills penalties, plays shutdown defense, and is averaging more than a point per game since having recovered from his hand injury at the start of the season.

        3. Giroux is faster than Kunitz, which is important on the larger ice.

        4. What do Kunitz’s numbers look like without Crosby or Malkin? Not so good.

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        none of your bullet points did you provide any evidence to back up.

        past contributions? yeah exactly. WINNING as in two stanley cups and 500 career points.

        kunitz leads the league in plus/minus. he does a lot of “shutting down”. Kunitz has averaged more than a point per game for over two seasons.

        i seriously question wether Giroux is faster than kunitz. hard to tell unless you put them in a one on one race, which won’t happen.

        i dunno, what do Kunitz numbers look like with Crosby or malkin? you’d have to go back to 2008 and at that point Girouz hardly existed. stupid point. no star winger that produces over a point per game doesn’t play with a star center.

        what else you got??

      • narfmoo12 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        Crosby missed all of April last year: Kunitz had 2 goals in 12 games (1 every 6 games). With Crosby in the lineup: 20 goals in 36 games (1 every 1.8 games). But it’s clear that Kunitz scores without Crosby!

        Kunitz doesn’t play on the PK, but Giroux is out there as the top center on the PK.

        Kunitz leading the league in +/- doesn’t show that he’s “shutdown” … Just shows that he’s going against checking lines that are out there to play defense, not score.

      • hockey412 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        It was around the April time period that they brought in Iginla, and Morrow, and were trying different things to see where everyone fit it. Kunitz production, EVEN WITH ANAHEIM, has been pretty steady. Can’t say that about Giroux.

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        a 12 game sample last year in which we lost all of our top forwards and introduced iginla morrow and jokinen.
        it should be noted that Kunitz’s numbers switched into a more play-making role with new line mates, as he did record 6 assists for 8 points in those 12 games.

        giroux has 12 game stretches worse than that all the time.

      • narfmoo12 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        You literally just spew garbage with no facts.

        Giroux:
        10-11: 76 points in 82 games
        11-12: 93 points in 77 games
        12-13: 48 points in 48 games
        13-14: 38 points in 42 games.
        TOTAL: 255 points in 249 games.

        Kunitz:
        10-11: 48 points in 66 games
        11-12: 61 points in 82 games
        12-13: 52 points in 48 games (2 goals in 12 games without Crosby, 20 goals in 36 with him)
        13-14: 47 points in 44 games.
        TOTAL: 208 in 240 games.

        By the way, in Anaheim, he was never even close to a point per game.

      • killerpgh - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        Crosby has missed a good amount of time over the past 3 years. Only 2 Canadian born wingers have scored more goals over the past 3 years than Kunitz. And one of those Canadian born wingers is James Neal.

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        narfmoo what do you want me to say that i agree with you?

        your just giving me career stats. you also just pointed out to everybody that Kunitz has outscored Giroux for the last 100 games.

        boil it down to just that and it makes sense. throw in the winning, the 3 zone responsibility, the physicality, and the chemistry with the top player on the team and you HAVE NO CASE.

        get over it dude, giroux didn’t make the cut.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        2 olympics now claude doesnt make it, maybe team canada knows more than any of us biased fans do? they gave him a spin in the world championships in 2013, he obviously didnt impress enough despite putting up a ppg (maybe too many PIM’s?). he has a whopping 8 games for team canada since juniors when he played 7 games and won gold with the likes of stamkos and tavares on his team. maybe he is just a d-bag that no one wants around, anyone think of that?

      • kastout11 - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:47 AM

        If past years do not matter, then how the hell did Rick Nash make Team Canada. He has not done anything the last couple of years. I am a Flyers fan and Giroux is clearly their best and my favorite player, so clearly I believe he belongs on Team Canada, but with the other centermen, which one of those guys are you going to leave off the team. Giroux will use this as motivation and rest for 2 weeks before the Stanley Cup playoff run they are going to go on this year. He is only 26 and I am confident that he will get an opportunity to represent Team Canada in 2018 and 2022, assuming he plays the way we all know Giroux is capable of playing.

    • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      Whiner!

      • ntvd7 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        Giroux is not faster than Kunitz

        That’s an asinine statement right there….

    • hockey412 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      Here’s why this is so hard to take seriously…please tell me, exactly what ARE Kunitz’s numbers without Crosby or Malkin? And where did you get them?

      Giroux is a decent hockey player, but seems to take LARGE portions of his career off (like all of last year and half of this one)…Kunitz goes hard for the puck, every shift…Giroux is faster and likes to dance around with it. There are already a lot of skill guys on the team (I’m not even sure he’s more skilled than any of them though)…Kunitz will go GET the puck, and deliver it to you, or if you have it will fight to stay in front of the net until you can get it to him. Giroux can not now, nor has he EVER been able, to do that. Kunitz has outscored Giroux badly for two years now.

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        kunitz is the kind of guy that will (excuse me for the term) skate hard straight at a guy, rape him, take the puck and set up a goal scorer in the slot all in about .03 seconds time. and nobody will know what happened.

        its lethal and its produced well over 100 points for the kunitz-crosby duo.

      • narfmoo12 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        Crosby missed all of April last year: Kunitz had 2 goals in 12 games (1 every 6 games). With Crosby in the lineup: 20 goals in 36 games (1 every 1.8 games). But it’s clear that Kunitz scores without Crosby!

      • JoeAvg - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        You guys are all missing the point. It’s not about who is a better player. It’s who fills a particular role better. Do you really think that if either Nash or Toews goes down with an injury that the same player would be brought in as a replacement in either case? No way. They’re building a team to play a team game, not partake in a skills competition (well they do have the shootout :-( ). If Crosby goes down maybe they bring in a St. Louis or similar, if it’s Carter then maybe Neal is the replacement. It’s not about 1, 2, and 3.

      • thesportsjudge - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        @c9…”rape him” that’s a classy comment, oh wait didn’t the Penguins employ a rapist a few years ago?

      • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        It doesn’t matter what his numbers are without Crosby. What’s more important is what his numbers are with Crosby. Here’s why.

        Duchesne-Crosby-Kunitz
        Sharp-Toews-Stamkos
        Nash-Getzlaf-Perry
        Marleau-Bergeron-Carter

        Jamie Benn/John Tavares

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        rape (noun)

        4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
        5. the act of seizing and carrying off by force

        like i said sorry for the term, but it does have more than a singular meaning and is perfectly acceptable in the context i used it in.

        im not sure who you are referring too, but your the one who used the term in its filthiest form.

    • speedstickmusk - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      ur an a$$ if you think Giroux belongs on Team Canada…

  2. btlpper68 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    He is a solid 2/3 liner w out sid. Yea they finaly found someone who can play w Sid but whn Sid went out last year w the broken jaw Kunitz did absolutely nothing playing without Sid or malkin

    • hockey412 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      That’s not true at all….but hey – don’t let facts get in your way, there. I’m sure we all believe you anyway.

      • narfmoo12 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        Crosby missed all of April last year: Kunitz had 2 goals in 12 games (1 every 6 games). With Crosby in the lineup: 20 goals in 36 games (1 every 1.8 games). But it’s clear that Kunitz scores without Crosby!

        ….How about those facts? Can they get in your way?

      • hockey412 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        Giroux is a decent player. So is Kunitz, even without Crosby. But Giroux is a miserable ball of selfishness (look at his suspension in the playoffs two years ago…and WHY? FOR WHAT? IT WAS A TEMPER TANTRUM!) whereas Kunitz is not. Probably the same reason Neal wasn’t chosen, takes selfish penalties doing dumbas* things on the ice.

    • btlpper68 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      Wow 2 goals no assists in 12 games wow skip the olympic straight to the hof

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:59 PM

        narfmoo forgot to mention the 6 assists he had.

  3. c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    you guys are just spitting out words none of it makes sense. he finished last year with 52 points in 48 games. nothing??

    you jokes don’t watch him even play that much. apparently you guys are more in tune with what a good hockey player is than steve yzerman and the canadian olympic committee. 2nd 3rd line? your out of your mind.

    name me one player anywhere near Kunitz’s production that doesn’t have a star center to play with. you can’t do it.

    its done, its settled. chris kunitz is one of the best players in the world, deal with it.

    • narfmoo12 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      You do realize that Yzerman left off Thornton, St. Louis and Giroux? … All players who are much better than Kunitz, and don’t have a Crosby to rely on to rack up the points.

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:34 PM

        your not F’ing listening are you? they are not better than Kunitz. (ok maybe St. Louis)

        giroux is a punk, and didn’t go to orientation camp. CUT

        thornton is getting older, and his big problem is he is a center for team canada and can’t really play wing. CUT

        st. louis, well i would have st. louis and Neal in over carter and nash. probably woulda taken couture instead of Bergeron too. can’t really explain that one. how about this? 36 years old. CUT

        some people just can’t accept that a guy can hit his prime when he’s in his 30s and become a star. crosby and kunitz make each other better. some guy named Yzerman realized that and made the right choice.

      • narfmoo12 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        Crosby missed all of April last year: Kunitz had 2 goals in 12 games (1 every 6 games). With Crosby in the lineup: 20 goals in 36 games (1 every 1.8 games). But it’s clear that Kunitz scores without Crosby!

      • hazlydose - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:55 PM

        St. Louis plays with Stamkos? Probably the closest thing to Crosby you can play with…

    • hockey412 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      Here’s another interesting idea….what if, at 36 years old, Yzerman worried about St. Louis being able to perform late into the season if his own team makes the playoffs?

      Rest up, we’ll do the Sochi thing and wear down the competition….SCANDELOUS!

  4. btlpper68 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Flyers fans butthurt as hell kuni in gooroo off

  5. hockey412 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Kunitz just keeps getting better and better, year after year. Yzerman does his homework and has a hockey brain (unlike many commenters on this site). Would have been nice to see St. Louis on this time also.

    • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      im not gonna complain too much. I am an american.

      but Carter, Nash, and Bergeron should be replaced by St. Louis, Neal, and Couture.

      • thesportsjudge - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        What possible logic could you have to not want Bergeron on that team? He only does EVERYTHING.

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        a lot of guys do everything, although i acknowledge maybe not as well. but there are solid two way players on this team that can bury the puck with regularity. Couture would be one of them.

  6. sjsharks66 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    I don’t think he should have made the cut. He is like Giroux. He is a good player but needs that line mate like Crosby and Jagr to boost his play.

    St. Louis would have been a better choice.

    • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      ask you the same question i ask everybody

      what star winger in this league plays without a star center??

      • puregreed - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        Just to answer your question, Jeff Skinner, and he does not play with Staal. Ive been a pens fan since Paul Coffey arrived, Kunitz is made by Crosby.

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        yeah been watching the team almost every night since 89 season. no he’s not. skinners is a good player but even with his current hot streak his numbers and ALL AROUND game don’t match kunitz. everybody seems to agree on that. thanks for the answer at least, but his production isn’t at a star level over the past couple years. 117 pts and a -31 over last 3 seasons doesn’t compare to 160 pts +68

      • koredan - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, Jeff Skinner… national teams notwithstanding, not a few star wingers play without star centers.

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        first of all get out of here with kane. can’t believe you mentioned him. kessel and skinner have your right, only solid centers, but they don’t produce what kunitz does. kessel has 40 goals 90 points in the same amount of time kunitz has 45 and 99 points. besides, both play soft games and kessel is american so while i didn’t rule him out of the conversation it really doesn’t matter.

      • puregreed - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        Your question was what star winger in this league plays without a star center? The answer I gave you was Skinner.
        Not sure why you brought up Kunitz stats and compared them to skinner. A better comparison would be Kunitz as a younger player playing with out Sid, Skinners numbers are way better and he is the better player. +/- can be attributed to the team you play on, check Duchene’s this year to his past seasons. Kunitz is great but he is a .7 pt per game player without Sid. Kinda like Rob Brown, remember him? Do you think he was better with Mario than anyone else?

      • c9castine - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:40 AM

        your argument sucks. why would anybody be better with a center that isn’t the best in the world at the time. of course they are better with them. the thing to look at is Kunitz used to score .75 pts per game. 60 point player with sid then, and he gradually got better. the second half of 2011-2012 until now he is a point per game player. he was good, now he is better. it used to be 2006, now it is 2014. can we at least establish that? everybody wants chris kunitz to be chris kunitz in 2006 when there was no sid and he was just an average run of the mill 25 goal guy, get you 50-60 points. he’s not that anymore.

      • koredan - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        Your question was “what star winger in this league plays without a star center,” not “what Canadian named to Team Canada…”, so Kessel and Kane are both applicable. Tyler Bozak is not in any way “solid.” Though I’ll give you Kane- after all, how could I overlook the offensive prowess and tremendous star power of his center, Michal Handzus.

    • hockey412 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      I have convinced myself that Yzerman doesn’t want to wear down his 36 year old star in case they make the playoffs.

      • boltsfan777 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        Great call. That’s really an interesting point. He really is the motor, and the constant in any success, past, present or near-future, for the Bolts. It’s hard to picture Yzerman leaving him off the team unless he has a solid reason.

  7. hosewater2 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    The point of all this isn’t to make the Ultimate All-Star Team, the goal is to win, and Hockey Canada is trying to do that. This was never going to be unanimous.

  8. jaybaileys - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    I understand people disagree on Kunitz or Giroux but look at their stats. Kunitz is 20 higher in +/-, has 11 vs 2 ppg, more points, more goals, etc. Not to mention, instant chemistry with another player on the team. Giroux has been wildly inconsistent the last 2 years , and although from a pure talent standpoint may be better than Kunitz, this isn’t golf, it’s a team sport, if they would have equal numbers I’d see why everyone is up in arms, but it’s really not close if you look at it without orange or black and gold glasses. I would say St. Louis or Thornton not making it are way harder take than Giroux.

    • narfmoo12 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      Giroux:
      10-11: 76 points in 82 games
      11-12: 93 points in 77 games
      12-13: 48 points in 48 games
      13-14: 38 points in 42 games.
      TOTAL: 255 points in 249 games.

      WILDLY INCONSISTENT!!!

      • jaybaileys - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        Notice i didn’t say through his career, i said this year and last. Who cares what he did 3 or 4 years ago that was last Olympic cycle when Pronger and Iginla played.

      • hockey412 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        Are you just posting those numbers to prove the consistency thing? Or is it a basis for choosing him? Because the last two years, Kunitz numbers are better, and quite honestly Kunitz is smarter…he plays the game without temper tantrums. Temper tantrums that hurt the team.

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        0 goals in 15 games and only 7 points to start the year. -11. didn’t show up to orientation camp.

        how the hell is there any debate about it if you wanna boil it down to those two??

  9. eagles512 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Good player but definitely not better than a bunch of guys left off. Not even debatable.

    • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      lets debate it. you start first. name a guy who should be on the team over kunitz and provide evidence to support your position.

      when people start actually coming up with real reasons, not perceptions or reasons why their teams player is better in their own eyes, then ill start listening.

      i have yet for anybody to provide me with reasons why chris kunitz shouldn’t be on the other team other than “he plays with sidney crosby” which to me sounds like a great reason to be on the team.

      • puregreed - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        What if Sid gets hurt? Who would Kunitz play with then?

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        anybody. like yzerman said, crosby doesn’t make him. haven’t you been reading my posts?? lol.

      • shaundre93 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        Its ok that you like Kunitz, but you talking down to people acting like youre some hockey genius just because he made the team is ridiculous. I’m not saying one is significantly better than the other but I feel like Giroux would have been the better choice. I don’t think it makes sense to put Kunitz on L1 over guys like Tavares, Duchene, Stamkos just because he has chemistry with Crosby, I don’t think it will take long for Crosby to develop chemistry with talent like that. I don’t think Kunitz significantly produces more than Giroux, Nash, Carter or one of those guys playing in the bottom of the lineup either. Giroux is excellent at faceoffs and good in the d zone, he can kill penalties. I don’t think kunitz is known for any of those things, and that’s what you want in your bottom 6. If you’re talking about wanting to build a real hockey team I think Giroux was the better option, but that doesn’t mean I think Kunitz is bad

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        you may not think kunitz is known for those things, but a lot of thinking heads around the league and on olympic committee know him for those things.

        right now giroux is known for skipping orientation camp and have no goals in his first 15 games and only 7 points and a minus 11 when he was supposed to be impressing the brass for a spot on the team. if he was so hurt he couldn’t perform, he should have been sitting out. thats what members of real hockey teams do. they think team first. traits like that can earn you 2 stanley cups in 8 years.

      • puregreed - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:01 PM

        As a pens fan I will say Skinner should be named over Kunitz. Does not play with any all star players, let alone the best in the world. Im not saying this is who should be there or whether Giroux or anyone else should be there, but Kunitz is not one of the best players in Canada.

        Averages 2 mins less a night, with a 1.03 ppg compared to Kunitz 1.68, both have 4 game winning goals. How many wins does Carolina even have?

        Has 3 goals less than Kunitz with 12 games at hand.

        Kunitz averaged about .7 pts a game before Sid. I think Kunitz is awesome but you have to have you pens glasses on to pick him for this team.

      • c9castine - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        uh huh again you did give me a couple solid bullet points about a pretty short time frame. duly noted on the goal scoring. what else does skinner do better than kunitz? carolina also doesn’t have 2 lines like the pens do, so he’s gonna see even more opportunity.

        so, your telling me team canada has Pens glasses on? because they skipped over a winger (james neal) that makes jeff skinners and a lot of other players goals per game stats look downright childish.

        come on.

      • puregreed - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        Im saying you have your Pens glasses on. He doesn’t see as many opportunities than Kunitz, he plays 2 mins less. He also does not player with 2 NHL MVP’s on the power play, or the best player in the world.

        Do you think he would get the same amount of Pts a game if he didnt play with Sid?

      • c9castine - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:42 AM

        if he played with another good center, like anybody else at his level, yes he would.

        and you don’t seem to get it. your not telling me i picked the wrong guy, your telling steve yzerman he did. i didn’t pick team canada, I’m pretty much repeating his reasons for doing so though.

  10. jpdoc26 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    For those saying Kunitz only produces because he is on a line with Crosby…you do realize he will be on a line with Crosby in the Olympics, right?

    • puregreed - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      Who does he play with if Sid gets hurt?

      • jpelle82 - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        they replace crosby and kunitz might not dress, they bring 14 and only play 12. possible scenario, if that happens

    • puregreed - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      Seems a little risky to me especially when you have better talent available.

  11. eagles512 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    Giroux is a punk? Whoever said that better not be a Crosby fan because there’s no bigger punk.

  12. cmpuck - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    So Yzerman doesn’t even choose his own captain to be on the team.. This could be interesting.

  13. joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    I’m not going to split hairs over selecting Kunitz before Giroux or the other players mentioned above. There is a huge difference between building a team to win gold and selecting players for an all star team. The player selection would be very different if they were selecting and all star team. Most of you complaining about Giroux not being on the team don’t know the difference. It’s important to have chemistry on a line, and the best way to ensure chemistry is to get three players who play together. However, this is the least likely to happen. Next best thing is to get two players who have chemistry, next is to put three players on a line who’s styles can compliment each other’s play. Hence having Crosby/Kunitz & Getzlaf/Perry for example.

    narfmoo12, you’re just making a fool of yourself.

    • handsofsweed - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      That he is! But, at least he’s doing it consistently and he doesn’t need a star PHT poster to help him embarrass himself.

    • shaundre93 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      My only issue is that I don’t think it is (or at least shouldn’t be) set in stone that Crosby plays Kunitz. There is a stupid amount of talent on Canada. You could potentially have Tavares-Crosby-Stamkos as a top line. If they clicked together they would be unstoppable. If Kunitz isn’t with Crosby, hes a 4th liner. You talk about building a real team, if im building a real team I want a guy who can win faceoffs, play D and kill penalties playing on my 4th line and that’s Giroux. For me it has nothing to do with one guy being significantly better than the other, I just think Giroux has a better or at least more versatile bottom 6 skill set which I believe is huge in these tournaments

      • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:01 PM

        If they click together… This is not training camp. You want to combine players that click together to begin with. This eases the adjustment period. You do when possible to put all the chances on your side when the blades hit the ice. Why wouldn’t you benefit from the chemistry already in place for some players?

        Duchesne-Crosby-Kunitz
        Sharp-Toews-Stamkos
        Nash-Getzlaf-Perry
        Marleau-Bergeron-Carter

        Jamie Benn/John Tavares

      • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        BTW, I agree that Giroux would be in the bottom six. However, I’m damn sure Giroux isn’t a bottom six player, and he would probably not enjoy playing less minutes that what he’s accustomed to when player for Philly.

      • hazlydose - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:58 PM

        You realize that Giroux’s competition at killing penalties, winning faceoffs, and playing D on the fourth line is Bergeron right? Arguably the best defensive center in the league.

    • kastout11 - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      Well said.

  14. joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    I have tremendous respect for Yzerman, and I think the team he and his colleague’s who were responsible for putting the team together did a very good job. Besides! How can I argue with a guy who wants to hand out game misconducts for fighting? :-)

    narfmoo12, you should be on hockey Canada’s men’s hockey selection committee for the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. ;-)

    • narfmoo12 - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      Sorry for taking a viewpoint that is different from the mighty Penguin fans, and then using actual facts to back it up. Let’s review:
      -Giroux is “wildly inconsistent” … showed that he’s a point per game player each of the last 4 seasons.
      -Kunitz isn’t worse without Crosby and is still a deserving players … 2 goals in 12 games without Crosby, 20 in 36 with him.
      -Kunitz is better than Giroux in three zones … Kunitz averages 6 seconds of PK time, compared to Giroux playing 1:30 per game on the PK … If Kunitz was so great defensively, they’d have- him kill penalties.
      -Kunitz was still the same in Anaheim … Nowhere near a ppg.
      -Kunitz is dominating Giroux the last two years … 4 more points last year, 9 points this year, despite Giroux being injured the first 15 games. BTW, Giroux has 31 points in his last 27 games, despite actually playing in all three zones and on the PK.

      Once again, numbers don’t lie, but Penguin fans don’t like them and click thumbs down.

      • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        narf, firstly… get your facts straight. I’m not a Pens fan or any other team. I’m a hockey fan.

        This is not an all star team. You need to have instant chemistry when possible to make it all work. Creating duos of players on the same line is one of the most effective ways to do that. Hence Crosby/Kunitz, Towes/Sharp and Getzalf/Perry. It it was an all star team, then yes by all means add Giroux and remove Kunitz. But! It isn’t. Giroux is a top 6 forward who is accustomed to playing a big minutes with the Flyers. Something he won’t be able to do with TC, and he’s not a 3rd or 4th liner. It doesn’t mean is not worthy or a very good player. Take a chill pill and don’t take it so personally.

  15. penguins87and71 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Kunitz in my opinion is one of the most underrated players in the NHL. As a Penguins fan I have the privilege to watch him every game. He truly is my favorite player. He goes to the dirty areas, his a hard hitter, and he scores goals. Kunitz in my opinion is a player that can do basically do anything on the ice he can do anything from scoring goals to blocking shots. His just a very intelligent hockey player. His a very hard worker and he deserves to be on team Canada. Anyone who thinks that Giroux deserves to be on team Canada over Kunitz is crazy.

  16. toiletclown - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    haha that bum giroux didnt make it? no suprize there, hes irrelevant

    • solo4420 - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      Irrelevant. He leads the flyers into a second place spot in a division with one of the best players in the world. I am a flyers fan and i can easily say ovechkin is best. Head to head flyers v capitals giroux makes the flyers put up a fight. Crosby and kunitz and neal stand behind refs and defensemen while punching opposing players in the face. They are nothing bur cheap shot artists.

  17. awad2251 - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Lots of people asking what Kunitz’s numbers are without Crosby. Why does that matter? He’s going to be playing with Crosby in Sochi? In a short tourney, isn’t chemistry that much more important?

    • puregreed - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      What if Sid gets hurt? Did you lose 2 players?

      • sawmi11 - Jan 9, 2014 at 8:59 PM

        If Giroux was in the playoffs and lost Sid on his line he would be the difference? Don’t fool yourself Kuni would do fine, he has played on many different lines due to the injuries on the Penguins team all year and still managed to put up the fifth most points in all the NHL. But the Giroux will be able to see that just fine when he is watching the Olympics from his home.

      • sawmi11 - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:57 PM

        Not Olympics not playoffs.

  18. sclairebear - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Why is the argument assuming that if Kunitz isn’t on the team, Giroux would be? Kunitz is a winger and Giroux is a center. If Giroux has played as a winger before, how did he do?

  19. broadstreetbeatdown - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    What a joke. Kunitz, Nash and Carter over Thornton, Giroux and St. Louis? Good freaking luck Canada, I see the specters of Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, and Malkin shelling the crap out of you guys. Of course as a good ole boy I’ll be rooting for USA even though they made the bone headed move of leaving Bobby Ryan out. If I was a gambling man I’d bet on Russia.

  20. prostock75 - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Pens fans and Flyers fan’s opinions are irrelevant here. If Pens fans want to trash Giroux then they have zero credibility and vice versa for Flyer fans. That being said, I have no issue with Kunitz making it for the reasons Steve Y stated but he is not a better player than Giroux overall. You would be hard pressed to find two GM’s that would take Kunitz over Giroux.

  21. kastout11 - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    I love all this back and forth about who deserves to be on Team Canada, but when Team Canada does not win the gold and St. Louis, Giroux and Thorton are rested for the playoffs, maybe Yzerman will realize he made a few mistakes on selecting the team. If anyone has watched the Flyers play the last 2 months, there is no way you can watch the games and think Giroux does not belong on Team Canada. He is one of the 10 best players in the world, Lavi was crazy saying he was the best in the world. Although he did clearly outplay Cindy that entire series.

  22. sawmi11 - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Thats funny! Flyers? So all you people reading this take note. All the comments that go back and forth about who deserves to play for Canada the forum comes to fruition. Not only is Giroux, who throws way more temper tantrums than the greatest player alive (Sidney Crosby), but the Flyers are the best team in hockey over the last two months. You are not the only person with the NFL hockey package. And anybody who has watched the Penguins play hockey aren’t too worried about a rested St. Louis, Giroux and Thorton… especially Chris Kunitz who is a +32 and 5th in total points in all the NHL which means what? Well lets take a look. Pittsburgh is tied for the most wins in the NHL and have had game winning streaks all year long, Best at home, and have done all of this with many injuries from the start of the year. Let me check Giroux’s stats along with his Flyers…… hold on… I’m scrolling down.
    Shut your mouth!

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