Team Canada

Matt Duchene Is True Foundational Player Canucks Need in Rebuild

It’s hard to believe the Colorado Avalanche would actually trade Matt Duchene but rumour on the street is that it’s in the cards. Duchene along with Gabriel Landeskog are apparently being shopped or will soon be shopped. The Canucks seriously need to kick tires on a potential deal with the Avs.

Not only would Duchene solved a serious void up the middle but it would force the Canucks to buy in to the future earlier and put the rebuild on the fast track. Safe to say, it won’t come cheap but competing for a Stanley Cup comes at a cost.

In the recent Monday morning musings with Ed Willes, the hint bomb was dropped that Joe Sakic wants to build the Avalanched around star Tim Hortons actor, Nathan Mackinnon. It’s a great idea and there must be some reason he’s willing to part with stars Landeskog and Duchene but who really cares.

The word in hockey circles is that Joe Sakic, the head of the Avs hockey department, will look to move Duchene and Landeskog and build the team around MacKinnon.

No one asks why the expensive Air Jordans are selling for $60 at your local Marshalls, you just buy them because you’re not an idiot.

Jim Benning has stated that he isn’t parting with anyone really but you have to believe that’s on a day by day basis. I say to myself every day that I’m going to work out but things change and also beer. I stick to the plan overall but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to have a little fun too!

We are now in the Christmas roster freeze which means no coaches, players or even Jimbo himself can be moved but there has to be talks going on. Both of these teams have needs and can accomodate each other.

Scoring Duchene probably won’t happen for Jake Virtanen, Luca Sbisa and a 3rd, so Jim will have to get creative. Going forward, who are the locks for foundational pieces?

– Bo Horvat, Troy Stecher, Ben Hutton, Chris Tanev and maybe Sven Baertschi? These are the current roster players that Colorado would be interested in most likely as well as a prospect and a pick. You never want to give up your best when someone isn’t giving back their best.

I could see Chris Tanev being involved but if I’m still planning on being the GM of the Canucks, the defense I’ve mentioned is a non-starter. Alex Edler would be available, Luca Sbisa and Erik Gudbranson even. On forward, Jake Virtanen, Jannik Hansen, Brandon Sutter and Markus Granlund could be involved.

The Canucks always seem to be the ones giving up the house and it would be really nice if they actually saw the stronger side of a deal for once. There was the Christian Ehrhoff deal, so I guess that’s one for us.

With all the hiccups in Jake Virtanen’s immediate development, I just don’t get the vibe he’s giving. It feels like Cody Hodgson 2.0 without the shotty injury notes. Jake looks like he “could” develop into a top 9 forward, maybe a ceiling of 2nd line winger but even from the get-go, Canucks brass knew he was a work in progress.

Matt Duchene, however, is a star in motion. He’s Canadian, for one, a decorated Olympian, a goal scorer and a playmaker. The Canucks barely have half of that combination with any player, not named Sedin. Duchene is 25 years old and teetering on 400 career points. His power play stats are everything the Canucks would dream of and he’s right at the beginning of his prime. The day is coming soon when the Sedins hit line 2 or 3 and there has to be a plan.

We hear again and again, there’s no plan. Jake Virtanen has no clue what HIS plan is, who knows what the plan is in net. Brandon Sutter was put with the Twins and the $6 million man, Loui Eriksson, gets less time on the first line after every game.

As far as coaching goes, it’s up in the air too! Pretty easy to see that when the management group can’t even put together a roster to compete. Bringing in Matt Duchene makes way too much sense and it’s early enough in his career that he can be defined as a lifer in Vancouver.

Normally, these types of players only come through the draft but the Avalanche are also at a crossroads and this deal could help both teams move forward(s) pun intended.

I am on board the Matt Duchene train (hey, that rhymes!) and the Canucks should be too.

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Enough With The Waiting Period – Put Todd Bertuzzi In The Hockey Hall of Fame, Or Not

People are pretty touchy when you mention the Canucks right now, it’s the losses I think. There are trade rumours, Willie getting fired rumours and even Benning getting the axe; but no one is talking about the REAL elephant in the room:

Will Todd Bertuzzi be in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Seeing the latest entries into the Hall this past week got me thinking about why the NHL or I guess, more importantly, the governing body of hockey has SO MANY INDUCTEES!! Baseball is pretty picky and so is football, so why does hockey feel the need to put in anyone that was really good but not great?

I believe the Hall of Fame is reserved for those who were truly great, the elite of the elite. There should be no questions when a player gets voted in, it should be a slam dunk. The criteria for what it takes to be a member needs to be made public so we all know what it takes to truly be great.

As of right now, that doesn’t exist and we go through years where really good players make it in and are now on par with the greatest players to ever play the game.

I think if you’ve won a major individual trophy, have played 500+ games, won the Stanley Cup and crack the top 20-30 (not sure what that is for some positions, mainly goaltenders) or have a combination of at least 3 of those things, you should be in the Hall.

So let’s forget all that for a second and focus on #44. For a time, Todd Bertuzzi was the most dominant player in hockey. He had the Gatorade commercial, a catchy song from a local fan and mitts as soft as pillows.

His stat line reads as follows:

GP 1159 G 314 A 456 P 770  To add to all of this he was a -44 which is kind of cool when you think about it. ONE MORE SHIFT BABS!

When you look at players like Pavel Bure, Mats Sundin, Dino Ciccarelli, Sergei Makarov and Pat Lafontaine nothing screams Hall of Fame. Were they really good players, you bet. Were they undoubtedly Hall of Famers? I hate to say it but no.

The name of this blog is heavily based on what Pavel Bure did in that magical spring of 1994. A win would have cemented him as one of the greatest to play the game and he was unlike anything people had seen when he arrived in the league. He won the Calder trophy as Rookie of the Year, some all-star nods but that’s it.

Crazy to think Bure has 9 more points than Bertuzzi and played in over 400 fewer games than Bert as well. If we went on points alone, combined with his brief dominance of the league and playoff performance, he might just get in one day. This, right now, is a reality.

Do I actually think Todd Bertuzzi is worthy of the Hall of Fame? No, I don’t. It has nothing to do with the Steve Moore incident, as violent and unnecessary as that was. It isn’t because he didn’t eclipse 1000 points like many of the Hall members have or that he wasn’t in the top 10 of any particular category (maybe advanced stats but I doubt it).

Todd had success like so many good players do but he never raised his game above the really good level, his overall decision-making hampered any chance of him winning any scoring titles or advancing beyond the second round of the playoffs for the Canucks. The way he floated around on so many occasions was beyond frustrating. Despite coming to the aid of teammates, his suspensions didn’t put him in the league’s good books either.

In 2006, when Bertuzzi was invited to be a member of Team Canada for the Torino Olympics, I just watched in awe as they wasted a spot on him. To be fair, that team was awful right through. Wayne Gretzky loved Todd and it was a forgone conclusion Bertuzzi would be on that team regardless of if he warranted the call or not.

A retribution case for Team Canada sounded great but when it comes to best on best, that was a far cry from a true Olympic squad.

Back to the Hall discussion; If you had to compare Bure to Bertuzzi, for example, Pavel always gave his all even when he was dragged down by injuries. Pavel wanted out of Vancouver and yet he still put the team on his back and put up a playoff run for the ages and hung around after the fact when it was clear it was his time to move on.

Bert was always one of my favourite players but if we’re talking about the Hall of Fame and being included as one of THE best players to ever play the game, he just doesn’t cut it.

I imagine someone may make a case for him down the road, however, the Steve Moore incident will probably hang around him when any decisions like this are ever brought up. Also, it would be tough to say he always played hard and was a difference maker for more than 2.5 years.

I love ya Big Bert but I don’t think you’ll get that call.

OK, now back to this year’s miserable Canucks.

 

Follow me on twitter, I’m funny: @always90four

 

Kevin Bieksa Might Hang Around Another Year

The deal was as good as done: Jim Benning and Ron Wilson had the pieces in place to send Kevin Bieksa to the San Jose Sharks. Apparently, as crazy as Wilson is to send players like Ehrhoff for a cap dump and parts, he’s equally mad when it comes to basic verbiage in trade talks. Bieksa was a Shark and Wilson had to have back tracked on what he said he’d deliver to Vancouver. A 2015 2nd round pick was supposed to go the other way but it seems he balked on the year. So is Kevin Bieksa hanging around?

It happens all the time in fantasy sports; two guys are ready to make a deal and someone gets cold feet. It usually pisses off the other guy and the damage has already been done regardless of if the trade eventually gets made. We have all been pretty harsh on Jim Benning, including myself, but the man was trying to get a deal done that made everyone happy.

According to Elliotte Friedman’s weekly article “30 thoughts“, Bieksa had made a trip to San Jose to look for houses already. He had prepared himself for his new reality. Taken from said article:

According to a couple of different sources, three entities — Bieksa/Overhardt, the Canucks and the Sharks — were working on this for at least a week and probably longer. In fact, the player recently visited the San Jose area with his family to look at houses. Knowing that, it’s incredible this didn’t work out. Everyone involved had plenty of time to understand the parameters. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of private disgust.

Now, Bieksa hasn’t exactly been amazing the last few years but injuries and the eventual partnership with Luca Sbisa haven’t given him much to hang to. Lost in all this are his leadership qualities. We see grumpy Kevin in the media a lot but this guy was thought so highly of that Team Canada gave him the “A” last year at the World Championships.

He can be frustrating to watch at times with giveaways and some less than stellar decision making but with the injuries he has sustained in his career, one could wonder if maybe he’s trying to keep his body from falling apart. A healthy Bieksa is an affective one. That and being given the reigns again to make the offensive push that turned him into the player he is.

Juice had some of his best years with Dan Hamhuis when Hammer could hang back and play it safe while he pinched and made the risky play. Kevin Bieksa has a good amount to offer still and hopefully wherever he is, he’s given that chance.

With the whole Luongo fiasco that took place the last few years, it looks like Kevin is the next guy to get the shaft. With one year left on his deal, a failed attempt to move him somewhere new and quite frankly a lot of questions coming: why doesn’t Vancouver just keep him?

Players goto free agency all the time and for whatever reason GM’s feel that its always neccesary to get a full return on every player. Sometimes, that just doesn’t happen no matter how bad they want it. It isn’t easy to let a player walk at the end of the day but after what’s just gone down, they probably owe him that at the very least.

Like many players the last few seasons, Bieksa hasn’t looked the same and an aging core is quite evidently showing its face. If Benning doesn’t have something concrete before the season starts, let it ride until trade deadline. If it gets worse before then, revisit what the market is asking and go from there.

But for now, let the man enjoy his summer.

Follow me on twitter: @always90four


Photo credit – canucks.com

Todd Bertuzzi Brought The Spotlight Back To Canucks

It’s crazy to think Todd Bertuzzi is still able to play hockey at 40 years old. Most players his age have called it quits and moved on to the next stage in life, well unless you’re Jaromir Jagr. Big Bert feels he still has some gas left in the tank and as a big fan myself, I hope he can give it a go one more time. His time with the Canucks will be remembered the most and what we may forget is that he helped bring the spotlight back to Vancouver.

Struggling in Long Island and not exactly getting along with management, the beginning of superstardom happened in February 1998 when Todd Bertuzzi and Bryan McCabe were traded to the Canucks for Trevor Linden. What seemed like the destruction of a franchise, and to a degree it was, it was a blessing in disguise. Bertuzzi brought his big frame, smooth skating and feather light hands to a Canucks team that needed a reboot.

Bertuzzi would emerge as a top line player early on in Vancouver and eventually was put together with star winger Markus Naslund and Andrew Cassels. His angled drive to the net was something to be marvelled. Todd gave the Canucks a true power forward that the team really hadn’t seen in their lineup in ages. He set up shop in front of opposing goalies around the league and could not be rivaled in the NHL during the early 2000’s. When the “West Coast Express” made its inaugural start in January 2002, Big Bert took off.

Combined with center Brendan Morrison and all star Markus Naslund, the West Coast Express quickly became the NHL’s #1 producing line. With 82 goals, 100 assists and a sick ton of PIMs from 2002 through the end of the 2003 season, Bert hit his stride and everyone could see it.

Bertuzzi was a badass as well, and we all wanted in on his distant, grumpy interviews. Everyone wanted his jersey and we all liked how he just didn’t seem to care what people thought. His snarl was his trademark and he didn’t take crap from anyone, sometimes even the coach. I don’t know why Canucks fans adore the black sheep so much but they always seem to gain popularity.

What also can’t be forgotten is the ever visible “dip”. Ah yes, Todd Bertuzzi and his wad of chew. Not an interview went by that Bert wasn’t enjoying a dip. His answers to questions were slurred and short because no one wants to swallow that stuff. With his short answers came his short temper.

Multiple suspensions kept Bertuzzi from potentially winning the scoring title in 2002 after foolishly coming off the bench to help team mate Ed Jovanovski (not a real police officer) fight off the evil Scott Parker of the Avalanche which got him 10 games and possibly ended his career after the infamous Steve Moore knockout punch that had him suspended for a total of 20 games. He wasn’t a good boy that Bert but that only gave him more popularity with his edginess. He was a GIANT in Vancouver….foreshadowing.

2015/01/img_1079.jpg
credit gettyimages.com

Apparently Wayne Gretzky thought enough of Bertuzzi after the Moore incident that he invited him to Team Canada Olympic Orientation Camp in 2005 and eventually named him to the Canadian Olympic team for Torino in 2006. Should Todd have made that team? NOOOOOOOOO way, but we all wanted to believe he had changed. He hadn’t.

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credit olympic.ca

As great as the ol’ grump was, he could turn it on and off quite easily and when the off switch got flicked, no one knew when it would go back on again. He floated around the ice most games later on in his tenure with the Canucks and eventually both the Canucks and their fans had enough.

So we can really thank Bertuzzi on a few levels: He was traded for uber goalie Roberto Luongo in Florida and was later traded from Florida to Detroit for Shawn Matthias. See a pattern here? Matthias was traded to Vancouver last season in the deal that sent Roberto BACK to Florida. Crazy I know, but keep up I’m getting somewhere. Would Shawn Matthias have made his way to the Canucks via the Red Wings? Who knows? But he’s here and we like him a lot.

Really, the Florida Panthers deserve a lot of credit as well for helping shape the Canucks to what they are today.

As Todd Bertuzzi tries to get his last gasp of NHL air with potentially the Ottawa Senators farm team in Binghamton, we can think back to a truly zesty career and the many quotes, goals, hilites and low lites that made up Big Bertuzzi.

Thanks for the memories Todd. You had the moves of Lenarduzzi, you looked like the watoosi and night in and night out, you called the goalie Suzy. Heavy Eric you said it best, it’s called the Todd Bertuzzi.

Go get em 44.

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Canucks Should Draft Kelowna Rockets Nick Merkley

As stated in my article on Two Pad Stack about how the Canucks should try drafting local, here is a perfect opportunity for Vancouver to redeem themselves; Nick Merkley of the Kelowna Rockets is a sure thing. Well, I should clarify; with a growth spurt and a few extra pounds on his frame, he has the ability to be a huge part of the Canucks future.

In 2013, Merkley arrived during the playoffs to try and help the Kelowna Rockets beat the Kamloops Blazers. It wasn’t meant to be, but what everyone saw was that they had the makings of a star. He racked up 3 assists in 7 playoff games but to his credit, he probably should have had 4 goals too. The puck just finds his stick and he is one of the few players in hockey that knows exactly how to be in the right place at the right time.

His hockey IQ looks like it should be off the charts and his ability to stay calm and make smart plays in a fast paced environment is evidence that he can control the game. Merkley is a great setup man, something Ryan Kesler never was; and his smooth hands have goalies looking behind their back in the net when he skates by with his arms in the air. Just as a quick example, take a look at this past Saturdays hilites in Kelowna, he’s #10…..don’t miss the dirty move on the Brandon Wheatkings netminder at 2:05 mark.

http://www.kelownarockets.com/videos

With the Canucks failing to see the gems that exist in British Columbia, save Alex Edler, they can get these guys on the cheap and they have the best access to see them. What they will get in Merkley is a Gretzky-like, ya I said it, playmaker, a savvy shot and moves around defenders that just make you look at the guy next to you and do this:

IMG_0946.JPG
Photo courtesy: vansunsportsblog.com

Vancouver is going to need a new breed of hybrid forward in the next few years once the Sedins are gone, Burrows starts tailing off and the kids (Horvat, Fox, Shinkaruk and Virtanen) need help. Merkley has the potential to be a 2nd line center, maybe higher on the right team. If its in a Canucks jersey, sitting second fiddle to Horvat isn’t exactly bad.

Nick Merkley aka @merkdaddy4 doesn’t have an attitude, loves to feed his team mates the puck and all he does is win. He was the 2014 WHL Rookie of the Year, CHL Rookie of the year finalist, 2014/15 U-18 Ivan Hlinka Gold Medallist with Team Canada and after this season, possibly the WHL scoring champion and World Junior Championship Gold Medallist after Christmas.

The Canucks have a chance to do something right this year at the draft regardless of where they pick. As of right now, he is ranked 30th which is a deal for anyone making the playoffs….wink wink Canucks. Check out his real good stats too eh?

If you live in any of the cities the Rockets play this year, check out how good this kid is. If we’re lucky, we may get to see him suit up with the green and blue before we know it.

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The NFL Draft, Montreal Canadiens and Lint Rollers

It really is a shame I wasn’t able to see the NFL draft live this year. My cohorts and I had baseball and we won, so that evening I did resort to checking out the twitter machine to find out who got better and who made a regrettable pick. The Houston Texans added freak show athlete Jadeveon Clowney to the already lethal J.J. Watt and believe you me, them Texans will be a force to be reckoned with.

THE #1 pick in 2014 Photo courtesy of usatoday.com

THE #1 pick in 2014
Photo courtesy of usatoday.com

In a surprise move, the Buffalo Bills moved up and took top wide out Sammy Watkins, which pretty much killed any hype I had for him in fantasy football. Ask yourself this: why would you get hyped on the Bills? Thankfully the next best receiver, Mike Evans, went to Tampa and should do just fine in their offense….and mine.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to watch the mind numbing footage of Johnny Manziel aka Johnny Football pick after pick waiting to hear his name get called. He was finally called at pick 22 by the Cleveland “you better BELIEVELAND” Browns. A great pick by the Browns and they will be the latest team to add a read option QB to their arsenal. Johnny is an electric player to watch and when you are a true freshman and you lock down the Heisman, you are good.

There was another QB that had to wait awhile to hear his name called, you might have heard of him: Aaron Rodgers. Mr. Rodgers waited for someone to come to his neighbourhood for many a pick until the Green Bay Packers came calling. Last time I checked, that worked out ok for them. Don’t worry Mr. Football, things are going to be ok.

On to hockey; how about those Montreal Canadiens? WOW! Just when you thought the Bruins were going to finish things up, the bleu, blanc and red show up huge in game 6 and post a shutout. The trip to Boston will be an antsy one but game 7’s are the best and heroes are made all the time. Will PK Subban raise his game to the next level and put himself in a new realm? If I was a betting man, I’d say there is a good chance.

The Habs are the only Canadian team even in the playoffs this year so obviously, we are all keeping a closer eye on the action in Quebec. It sure would be nice to see the Cup come home but when it’s all said and done, the new Habs generation is sure cocky. Ya, we get it, they’re good. Move on.

Now I know this is old news and by old news I mean about a week and a half ago but lets revisit a very odd/cool moment in the NBA playoffs. After a Raptors win against the Nets, Canada’s own Drake brought out a lint roller and proceeded to “get…that…dirt off yo shoulder”. Never seen something like that before but Bounce was more than happy to hand them out the next game. Good fit too; clean fans and COMPLETELY RANDOM product placement.

Yup, lint rollers folks Photo courtesy of ca.eoline.com

Yup, lint rollers folks
Photo courtesy of ca.eoline.com

I’m beginning to believe Drake IS marketing.

Follow me on twitter too folks: @hankthetank10 and @always90four

How the mighty have fallen

It just isn’t ending. Despite an Olympic break, the wound stays open for the Canucks and they need all the motivation they can get. The mighty have fallen and it doesn’t look like they are getting back up any time soon.

John Tortorella needs to get every motivational speech on film and in real life on film ASAP. It started with some lackluster play, then some injuries took over and now its just flat out embarassing. The Canucks just aren’t what they used to be. There is no sign of hope on the horizon, no cavalry on the way; Canucks fans are stuck with a loser right now and nobody likes a loser.

Thankfully, the boys in blue can take a break if they arent going to Sochi and figure out what they need to do to bounce back. As for the players going to the Olympics, one can only hope that being surrounded by winners will rub off on the them. It can’t get any worse than losing to the Leafs to start the 2 week break, the Leafs! The Canucks don’t lose to the Leafs. It’s just not done.

Local scribe, Squire Barnes said it best:

Never played the game, but it has to be brutally tough.

Here’s a quick update as to where your favorite Canucks stand after their dismal loss in Toronto:

Henrik Sedin – rib injury, although it hasn’t really mattered anyways. He has looked like a shadow, no I take that back. Henrik hasn’t even looked like Henrik’s shadow this season. I’ll kill two birds with one stone on this one, Daniel has been awful too!

Last point: Jan 10 against St. Louis….an assist. 5 points in January. All assists.

Ryan Kesler – the only “star” forward that seems to still be hanging on. He hasn’t been all world lately either but at least he is showing he can still offer something. Feel bad for this guy, he has it in him, it just isn’t all coming out. Monster amounts of ice time doesn’t help either.

3 goals and 6 assists in the last 11 games. Not bad actually, but far from great.

Alex Burrows – he is having one of those seasons that any player would like to forget. The puck is avoiding him like the plague and fighting his way back from a broken jaw can’t be easy. Burrows gets a pass, he is much better than his season has shown.

Roberto Luongo – Bobby Lu is probably the one thing keeping the Canucks relevant. He has done everything that has been asked of him and unfortunately there haven’t been enough goals for the guys in front of him to keep his performances in the win column. Roberto gets a much needed boost of talent when he heads to Sochi on Monday. He needs a break from the crap he has dealt with.

No big deal, just a country’s expectations on his shoulders.
19-15-2 with a 2.36 GAA and 3 shutouts. With ANY goal support, Roberto would have at least 7-10 more wins, then no one is questioning this team…ok that’s a lie.

Sensing a trend here? It’s like watching “Sharknado”. It’s bad, it’s really bad. But if you start watching it, you have to know how it ends. It’s really a shame to see how far the Canucks have fallen since 2011. There hasn’t been anything to reference since, they just haven’t stepped up. Too bad all of their prospects aren’t ready to take the plunge, how much worse could it get?

Thankfully, it’s time to sit back and see some good stories unfold at the Olympics in Sochi. Team Canada looks to be the favorite in hockey and there is a handful of Canucks that may have something to say about that.

All statistics courtesy of fantasynews.cbssports.com

Team Canada to wear German jerseys in Sochi

By now you have all heard Team Canada’s roster announcement. Its pretty good. It might even be so good you skipped your work day to bask in glory of your country’s genius decisions. Maybe you just went back to listening to your Ipod or downloading illegal copies of the latest Bachelor episodes online. Regardless of your life decisions after Team Canada was announced, you took notice.

Steven Q Yzerman put his picks out in the free world for all to see on Tuesday and it definitely was met with slight criticisms. For example, how in the blue heck was Todd Bertuzzi NOT on there? He played in 2006. Did he not impress? Were his late night strip poker sessions and hot tub parties too much for the Canada brass? We may never know. Why did Wayne Gretzky yet again miss the cut? Age? Maybe. Did he just feel he couldn’t compete anymore or was the fact that brat Sidney Crosby was already there turn him off?

I could ask questions all day about this, but I have been told its my bedtime soon so I’ll keep it short or short-ish. Mike Babcock will have quite the roster of talent going into Sochi and even though it may not be the best team ever assembled, it has enough leadership and overall talent to get the job done. 2010 was arguably the best team Canada ever brought to the Olympics and with a few of those players no longer in the league or too old to compete competitively, there needed to be a switch in mentality. Go young and make sure the guys that go are responsible with the puck. Not to mention, they can move it around better than the Sedins. Ok maybe thats a stretch but it wouldn’t hurt.

I don’t need to get into a big list of who made the team because quite frankly, you are smart enough to google it and I don’t need to waste my time typing the obvious. Seriously, grow up and google it! You want me to pour your cereal and feed you too? How about I do your laundry and wipe yo….ok im sorry. That was rude of me. Im just so gosh darn excited to see Team Canada repeat as Olympic Champion Overlords of the hockey universe. Aren’t you?

So lets tackle this jersey issue. You read the title of this little diddy and so far I haven’t even given you a hint at whats up. Ok check this out:

We will win gold Mein Fuhrer

We will win gold Mein Fuhrer

See that little red arm band? Lets just leave that thought alone for a second. Why would they put that there? Ok I broke my own rule there. Its of German relation lets just say that.

So back to the team. We have some pretty saucy names going to Sochi. Take for example P.K. Subban. He won the Norris trophy last year and he was great in the World Juniors for Canada. He would be on the Luongo level of criticism for being worthy of going but apparently the talent isn’t good enough for some reason. I’ll never understand that. Jamie Benn is going. Good for him. A great addition to the team and he will bring a physical presence up front. Chris Kunitz got the call as well and he can pretty much thank Sid for that. It makes me think why Mike Richards wasn’t asked to be on the team. Maybe he had too much snow being constantly stuck to his stick blade *wink*

Roberto Luongo will take up residence in Canada’s net again this time around and maybe he can buck the trend of losing that first game or playing bad enough to get the backup in for good. Don’t do it Strombone, DON”T DO IT!!! The last thing you need is one more reason for people to become idiots about your play.

Funny story, after his non invitation to play for Team USA, Bobby Ryan was asked to play for Team Canada. He will play along side Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. No not really, but Brett Hull would sure get a kick out of that.

Is Canada going to win Gold at Sochi? You darn skippy they are! There isn’t a team that can fully contend with our beautiful symmetry of players and abundance of raw, unadultered talent. This will be a tournament for all time and Canada will reign supreme. I do ask one thing of the @strombone1, please please please, do not tweet any pictures of you kissing a man or anything resembling a man, they are on an anti-gay kick right now and I bet they ship you back to Canada. Just saying.

Hope you enjoyed the read, there should be more coming regularly now. Its about to become a beautiful friendship you and me. Lets go crazy together.

Follow my antics on twitter @hankthetank10 and make sure to follow @always90four as well. I’ll hunt you down if you don’t.