Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Team Canada World Championship 2007 - Defence

This list is taken from teams that will either miss the playoffs or are the borderline of making it, therefore, it is likely that some of these players will become ineligible for the first wave of selections. While the goalies will definitely be taken from non-playoff team, up to half the d (3-4) could be taken from teams making the playoffs who get knocked out first round. However, I expect about 5 defenseman will be taken from this list.

Bryan Allen - is not the typical team Canada defenceman, but sometimes in tournaments like this we get a surprising role player, and Allen fit’s the toughness bill. His mobility is a problem though so I wouldn’t consider him much more than a wildcard.

Cam Barker - the kid with mono has made a pretty decent jump to the majors, and was selected to two WJHC teams, so he’ll get a wildcard look.

Jay Bouwmeester - would be a bonified superstar if he played in a hockey city. Has played for Team Canada numerous times before in WJHC, WHC, World Cup, and the Olympics. Will be number 1 or 2 on the players asked to participate.

Eric Brewer - Has done nothing but win when with Team Canada (save the WJHC). An extremely steady presence that is totally underrated by the average hockey fan. Along with Bouwmeester is Canada’s first choice. Rift with Kevin Lowe could preclude participation.

Dan Boyle - what can you say, Tortorella has described Boyle as a Norris trophy candidate. He plays tons of minutes, is a great puck mover and can play the PP. Not a bad defensive guy either. If Tampa Bay misses the dance he’ll be asked. Was alternate on 2006 team.

Carlo Colaiacovo - Is battling with Jackman for most injury prone young defenceman in the NHL. However, he played simply sublime for Canada in the WJHCs a few years ago and is having a very good rookie season in Toronto. Will be a wildcard, not a key defenceman.

Mike Commodore - Three years ago Commodore was a nice story on the Flames, now he’s a regular and respected defenceman on the Hurricanes with a Cup win and two very well played playoff runs. His skating will hold him back but Team Canada loves winners.

Steve Eminger - played really well in the WJHC and is making a respectable transition to the majors. Is definitely a wildcard but I think he’s at least being looked at.

Andrew Ference - Ference isn’t exactly a team Canada regular, but he’s a smart hockey player, has good mobility, his size won’t be as big of an issue on the big ice, and I have a sneaking suspicion he has one of the most important qualities: He wants to go. (total speculation on my part of course).

Jamie Heward - made the jump to the NHL thanks to his standout performances as a bottom pairing D man who had very respectable performances in previous winning WHCs. He’s on the Team Canada map but he lost his previous advantage which was his familiarity with the big ice, as he is now used to NHL sized ice.

Barret Jackman - After winning the Calder Jackman has been on the Team Canada watch list (for instance, he was named to the infamous “Olympic long/short list”). Biggest downside to his game is the fact he seems to be chronically injured.

Bryan McCabe - LT referred to Souray (and his ilk) as chaos defenders, and no high profile defender plays more chaotic than Bryan McCabe. Despite that, he puts up a lot of points and will get a look. Was Canada’s worst defender in Torino 2006.

Brent Seabrook - Is almost a lock to be asked, if not play. Is of the Dion Phanuef/Shea Weber cloth and is one of the few bright spots for Chicago. Played for Canada in the WJHCs on the dream team.

Sheldon Souray - Souray has played for Canada at WHCs before but was not in top form. Looks great on the PP but can be simply terrible one on one. Will definitely get a look after his stellar season (points wise) in Montreal.

Best Guess:
Bouwmeester - Brewer
Seabrook - Ference

Bouwmeester - Brewer
Seabrook - Boyle

1 comment:

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