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Video: PHT Extra — surprises, snubs from Canada’s Olympic Team

Jan 7, 2014, 5:53 PM EDT

Yzerman Canada

On Tuesday, Brough and I spoke with NBC’s Kay Adams immediately following the announcement of Canada’s Olympic roster and discussed a number of topics — specifically, the inclusions of Chris Kunitz and Jeff Carter and the omissions of Claude Giroux and Martin St. Louis.

On snubbing St. Louis, here’s what Canada GM Steve Yzerman — who also serves as St. Louis’ GM in Tampa Bay — had to say:

“I’m hopeful that we can get through this. He’s a guy that I want to finish his career (in Tampa). I’m hopeful that somehow we can be fortunate enough to win a Stanley Cup. He’s going to play for as long as he chooses and (I hope) that we’re going to have success there.

“There’s not much I can say—I can’t apologize. We’ve got to make these decisions.”

Brough and I also talked about the strengths of the Canadian roster, and refused to acknowledge any weaknesses because GOLD MEDAL IN 2010, Y’ALL.

  1. joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    Marty will be resting on a beach somewhere in paradise charging his 38 year old battery to help push TB deep in a playoff run. Not a bad move by Mr. Y.

    • c9castine - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      to be honest with all the good players canada has the only real snub is Marty St. Louis

      with all he has done over his career, in past olympics, and even recently with the art ross last year and another great year of production and leadership….how do you pick rick nash over him?

      i also think they failed to see he is pretty much a perfect right winger for sidney crosby. let stamkos have his own line. kunitz-crosby-st. louis would be really hard line to contain. impossible. they would run around on you at breakneck speed and then before you know stamkos and company step on the ice and so on and so on. that’d be a bad night for an opposing defense.

      • joey4id - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        St. Louis, Giroux, Couture, Thornton….. Man! The easy answer from a purely talent comparison perspective, you replace Carter with say St. Louis for example. However, these are very different types of players, and TC has more St. Louis type players than Carter type players. So….. idk…. Regardless of the picks when you have an abundance of talent there will be ‘snubs’. I don’t the margin of depth would increase all that much had they selected anyone of the 4 mentioned above. Canada has a very good team up front and on d. If Luongo and/or Price can bring their best game, then Canada will be tough to beat.

  2. jasminedonut - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    No Dick Nash is on the team, how?

  3. chanceoffleury - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    As an American Penguins fan, I hope this motivates James Neal. I’ll give Canada Perry and Sharp. Shoot I’ll even give them Marleau. But I draw the line at Carter and Nash. I mean, I’d *really* love to hear the reasons. How did the conversation go where they made the choice that Canada’s 2nd most productive goal scorer, a guy with tons of speed, great hands, and probably the best wrist shot in the entire world right now, was dismissed from the lineup. AND NEVERMIND the fact that your top goal scorer is going to be no more than, what, 2 weeks removed from a 3 month long injury? I can’t wait to see how this plays out. If I’m wrong I’ll humbly eat my crow, but I just feel like after seeing the rosters and factoring in the weight of expectations: Sweden might quickly turn into the underdog team to beat. I like their balance and overall look a lot.

  4. dkphilly1122 - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    As a Team USA fan, I am glad they left better players off. That gives the US SOME hope. However, how the hell Giroux, Letang and St Louis didn’t make it and the likes of Carter, Marleau and Hamhuis did is amazing, but hopefully it works against them. I doubt leaving them off hurts Team Canada, but wishful thinking.

  5. 7mantel - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Keep the pro’s out of the Olympics ,the games are like an all star game ! it was fun when the amateurs played .

    • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      it it was like an all star game Giroux and Neal would have made the team.

      • imleftcoast - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:05 PM

        Got to go to practice Iverson. Giroux choose to enjoy his summer.

  6. slysipops - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    there will never be a ” MIRACLE ON ICE TEAM ” again! everything has been watered down or ruined with all the pro sports players put in …WHY …..for the sake of bucks ?

    • imleftcoast - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:07 PM

      That was a group of US college players against a Russian team that had been together for years. I’m not a huge fan of sending professionals, but a justification for the change was to even the playing field.

    • c9castine - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:33 AM

      I’m trying to figure out why you would want to watch anything but the best athletes. nobody is making money from this except tv networks and sponsors. no hockey player or team or country is making money.

  7. muckleflugga - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:00 PM


    what you say makes sense, though i’d argue johan franzen has the best wrist shot anywhere…when it hits the net

    neal was, like many others, fully worthy when evaluating reasons for selection, but dropped when weighing reasons for being dropped from selection…not so much the kneeing incident in and of itself, lacking in control and discipline, but his and his team’s lukewarm contrition likely tipped scales against…

    there’s too much at stake to risk meltdowns in arenas where our play is continually criticized for violence and unsportsmanlike behaviour…we’re inured to it, they’re shocked and appalled by it…they’re looking for any reason to give penalty accordingly…players with overexposure are at greater risk for undue attention from referees

    that said, i like kunitz…rarely has a player come so far and been more deserving, but expectation for a continual up-curve is unlikely because crosby will be hog-tied at every turn…he has to be, or he’ll light it up…ditto a wounded stamkos

    while improbable, i’d like every forward and defensive set for my olympic team to be comprised of sets from top ranked club teams…fundamental criterion in selection would be team play

    team play from team players, given the short preparation window, is the best recipe

    watch the swiss and yes, watch the austrian camps…surprises coming free of ad hoc selection processes

    abstract as it may appear, small can be bigger than big

    • chanceoffleury - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      I will never dismiss what Neal did to Marchand. It was wrong and dirty and it made my head spin.

      But contrary to popular belief, Neal does have the ability to behave. Last year in the playoffs, Neal had 4 penalties and took 3 of them in 1 single game (a game the Penguins crushed the Sens, too, not a loss). He had one other minor penalty in the 12 other games he played. In fact, in the 3 years he’s been on a playoff team, he’s never taken penalties in more than 2 games their entire runs. He’s abnormally well behaved in the playoffs, actually. Especially considering he’s a “minute per game career average penalty taker” in his career thus far. It’s not necessarily anything I like to point out, for it’s just further proof when he does take them he’s just being a little poop and has nothing to do with “just playing his game” or whatever else bs excuse he’s given. But, it’s poor situational scouting to say Neal takes penalties in high stakes games. It’s simply not correct and there’s 25 games to prove that.

  8. laleafs - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Big ice surface, I’ll take speedsters like Carter, Nash and Marleau over little / slow guys like Giroux, St. Louis and Letang pretty much all day long. Kunitz and Sharp could have been passed over for Hall and Seguin, but their sniping and grit and comfort levels with Crosby and Toews makes them better choices, on the margin, than Giroux, St. Louis etc.

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

      Leaving Sharp off the team would have been a national tragedy. His style is bred for international rinks: snipes, speed, hands, skating, great 2 way play. He’s been flexing them all these last few weeks. Well deserved and without question deserves his spot, imo. I couldn’t believe people were even still considering him a bubble player as recent as Monday night.

      • laleafs - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:35 PM

        Crosby Toews Tavares Stamkos are in “national tragedy” category, don’t think anyone else is. Lots of great players to choose from, I would have been fine with a variety of other guys like Hall Seguin Neal Giroux St. Louis, but think Stevie Y did a pretty darn good job of putting together a well rounded team with lots of speed. Big ice surface, different game.

      • chanceoffleury - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:54 AM

        laleafs, just a joke and an ode to Sharp in how well he’s been playing as of late. He’s been playing possessed these last few weeks. Possessed in a similar way to how Crosby/Stamkos/Toews play all the time! Haha!

    • c9castine - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:36 AM

      well theres a difference in opinion and then theres calling st. louis, letang and st. louis slow and naming nash and carter speedsters.

      I’m dumbfounded.

  9. eagles512 - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Giroux chose to enjoy his summer? He was rehabbing an injury.

    • laleafs - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:44 PM

      Easy flight to be there in person.

  10. cspsrbums - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Team Canada get ready for your but whipping in February. How do you leave St. Louis off that team I hope the don’t even Medal.

  11. rico33rd - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    Watched St. Louis interview after tonight’s game and he continues to be a class act. He deserved to be in a 25 man roster and would love to see him still get a chance via injury.

  12. japachu - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    When will people realize that Olympics teams don’t necessarily feature the best of the best. You need to include players who compliment each other and have a mix of skill, speed, and toughness. From the sound of it most of you want an all-skill team but that won’t win you a medal. This isn’t basketball, other countries are in the world are actually good at hockey.

  13. deisel19 - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Kunitz deserves to be there. Everyone says that he is who is because he plays with Crosby which is completely understandable but we all forget two years ago when Sid was out with a concussion and Kunitz was put on the Malkin & Neal like to create a power house. Malkin and Neal play a completely different style of hockey then Crosby and Dupuis but Kunitz excelled. He is a very good play and plays well with the players that are on his line. He adapts to his situation and does so consistently game in and game out.

    I’ll be honest that Neal wasn’t really on my Olympic roster. He has a great shot but maybe he is overshadowed by playing with Malkin? I am not sure what the reason but I read an article in a Pittsburgh paper (the trib) about why Neal deserves to be there and it changed my mind instantly. I was not aware that Neal has been so productive and consistent over the last 3 season. I understand that the roster isn’t selected solely on numbers alone (see Ryan, Bobby & Couture, Logan) but those numbers are are pretty astounding. I think playing on the larger ice surface can only help him b/c he will have more space. Maybe his maturity is in question with the antics he has pulled in his career but still snipers like Neal are not a dime a dozen.

    Article on Neal:

  14. davebabychreturns - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Hey guys, I’m going to use your old post to test how blomfeld does this:

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      hey, they both work!

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