Canada finally announced their 2014 roster for the Sochi Olympics, and without a doubt the biggest surprise is Claude Giroux not making the team.

There are eleven returning players on the 25-man roster, but in my eyes Rick Nash continues to be the most overrated player in the NHL. Nash has had one 70-point season, and since the 2010 Olympics he has scored 185 points in 228 games, 25th most amongst Canadian-born players. In that same time span Marty St.Louis has scored the most points, 271, while Giroux is third with 255.

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Nash has only two goals in 16 NHL playoff games, but Hockey Canada seems to put more onus on the fact he has played well at the water-downed World Championships.

Nash did play okay at the last Olympics, but how much of that was because he was on Toews line, and Toews was the best player in the tournament.

Nash has 18 points in 27 games this year. No one can say he is playing well, or close to the level of Claude Giroux, but Hockey Canada choose him because he’s played for them before. I guess Giroux should not play crappier in the NHL so his team could miss the playoffs and he can pad his stats at the World Championships.

Here is the roster, returning players have **.

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  • Roberto Luongo**
  • Carey Price
  • Mike Smith


  • Jay Bouwmeester
  • Drew Doughty**
  • Dan Hamuis
  • Duncan Keith**
  • Alex Pietrangelo
  • PK Subban
  • Marc-Edouard Vlasic
  • Shea Weber**


  • Jamie Benn
  • Patrice Bergeron**
  • Jeff Carter
  • Sidney Crosby**
  • Matt Duchene
  • Ryan Getzlaf**
  • Chris Kunitz
  • Patrick Marleau**
  • Rick Nash**
  • Corey Perry**
  • Patrick Sharp
  • Steven Stamkos
  • John Tavares
  • Jonathan Toews**

I still believe Canada is the favourite, because of the blueline and their top-six forwards; Crosby, Tavares, Stamkos, Getzlaf, Perry and Toews.

It will be an awesome tournament and I can’t wait to watch, but picking Nash over Giroux makes little sense. Essentially they are basing it on seven good games that happened four years ago. Horrible decision.

Which decision surpised you?

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  • prendrefeu

    Nash on there is a joke. Hockey Canada blows it again. Same with Carter. I’ll take Joe Thornton over Carter.

    No St. Louis – what else does the guy have to do? And on the big ice too, just plain stupid, no other way to put it. Completely idiotic. Hockey Canada – morons, all of them.

    Replace Carter and Nash with Giroux and St. Louis…..but wait! Why would you want the NHL leading point-getter from last season or 4 seasons combined who can skate like the wind and has more heart and desire than almost anyone?

      • Cam Thornton

        Do you believe they would play Stamkos “with” St. Louis though? It seems pretty solid that Stamkos is gonna be with Crosby, which leaves open that last wing spot. If it came down to MSL and Kunitz, they’re gonna give it to Kunitz based on his success with Crosby. Having a line with MSL-Crosby-Stamkos, you’d be feeding more off the chemistry between Stamkos and MSL, where I really think they’d want Crosby to be setting the passes (if that makes sense, it does in my mind, but I may be wrong)

        • Bean-counting cowboy

          That’s true. I suppose it would have given them a different option to mix things up if they weren’t working. If Stamkos isn’t meshing with Crosby & Kunitz, put him on a line with St. Louis.

          Or maybe put them out on the power play together as a 2nd unit.

          I Just really don’t like Nash on this team.

      • Bean-counting cowboy

        stammer and johnny t have messed in the past. my nephew attended a summer tryout camp years ago that featured stamkos,taveres, pietro and doughty . from what i was told the 2 together were amazing to watch.

  • piscera.infada

    Interesting side-note about Vlasic–he was drafted in the 2nd round, with the pick the Sharks acquired from Calgary for Miikka Kiprusoff (who was, at the time, their third string goalie). Pretty good trade for both teams, no?

  • Colin.S

    Was Crosby not gonna go if Kunitz didn’t get to go or something? I don’t get it, I’d take Giroux 10/10 times before Kunitz.

    Agreed on the Rick Nash front as well, you don’t get to go to the Olympics cause you played some world Championships sometimes, or you were good this one time 4 years ago.

    As well lastly, why is Hamuis there?

  • Vancityleaffan

    I also think picking Nash was very strange. I also get that they wanted to keep an equal amount of right and left Dmen, but taking Hamuis is silly. He’s not event the best Canadian on the Nucks, never mind the NHL

    • Cam Thornton

      The only Canadian forwards of note are Burrows and Santorelli – the former is injured and was in a slump before his injury, and the latter is way too unproven. Hamhuis is the current #1 defenceman. Luongo is already on the team. Who, pray tell, is this mystery Canadian on Vancouver who’s better than Hamhuis and should have made the team over him?

      • piscera.infada

        You write that as if Hockey Canada owes the Canucks something, which they clearly don’t. Burrows would never make that team, don’t fool yourself. I actually like the Hamhuis pick as he’s a great skater and has some (albeit minimal) experience playing with Weber.

  • piscera.infada

    I agree with you on Nash. I don’t get it. At all. That said, I think if Couture doesn’t break his hand (or whatever), he probably takes that spot on the team, not Giroux – just my opinion though.

  • Cam Thornton

    “Chris Kunitz is only there because of Crosby”

    That seriously has to be the most overused comment I’ve seen when deciding whether he should go or not. Kunitz actually had his greatest season (excluding this year) when Crosby was injured and was playing along Malkin and Neal. That year, both players had 50/41 goals, respectively. He was the glue to that line, and being from Pittsburgh and watching every game, he was the key to that lines success. Kunitz also played with the Ducks before he came to Pittsburgh, in which he put up 50/60 point seasons.

    In many interviews with Crosby, when he mentions Kunitz, he says he knows where he’s gonna be, which is why some of Crosby’s amazing passes that he didn’t even look before he made at that much better. He knows where Kunitz is gonna be which is the whole “chemistry” thing that people through around.

    Sure, you could make a line of Stamkos-Crosby-Duchene or whatever, but that gives them so little time to actually get to know how each other plays and where they tend to be. Just putting all the best players on a line is a recipe for success in the long hall, but not in such a short time that the Olympics is

  • prendrefeu

    its pretty hard to argue against this braintrusts decision. the fringe picks such as carter,nash and marleau upfront all have impressive resumes, on the backend vlasic and hamhuis are solid solid nhlers. the goalies are sound as well. sure seguin,couture, and seabrook made great bar room discussion. and lastly how can any hockey fan argue that dion or the dion should be on this club.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    It’s all good. This is an absolutely lights out team. Sure we can whine and moan all we want that this guy should have made it over this guy. Whatever, it speaks to the overall strength of canadian hockey, and to be honest with you, thats our first win. Now lets take this home with the Gold.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash and Jeff Carter are the surprises to me. Looks like they went for a size/speed combination for the last few spots as Carter and Nash at 6’4 are just bigger than Richards, Giroux and St. Louis.

    I do like taking team mates instead of just an All Star Team hope we do better this time on international ice than we did in Turin.

    • Joey Congi

      At the end of the day, I agree with the sentiment that I’m more worried about their ability to play on the big ice, like in Turin, than about the team.

      Sure, Nash is an oversight, and it should probably be a spot given to Giroux or St. Louis, especially since their speed will be better for the larger and more open ice anyway.

      But I don’t think the team will win or lose based on taking Nash.

      As for the defense, anyone who has a problem with Vlasic or Hamhuis has never seen or followed either player in their life.

  • Rockmorton65

    Seriously, looks like a solid team. Canada always seems to get the right mix of players who have been there before, and first timers. My surprises include no Giroux and Jeff Carter. I haven’t seen much of Carter the past couple years, I just remember a while ago when he was supposedly untradeable. I really like our D.

    • piscera.infada

      I like the D too. Although, I don’t feel the love for Vlasic – maybe someone could open my eyes, he’s just never a guy I really notice.

      I don’t mind Carter, straight to the net kind of player with an amazing shot. He’s fairly quick, and solid on his skates.

      • Rockmorton65

        Vlasic is one of the more underrated players in the league. He’s like Oliver Ekman-Larsson with just slightly less wow factor.

        To put it another way, Vlasic is the 3rd best possession player on the Sharks, and he does that with 47% zone starts and playing against the second toughest comp among defensemen (behind Justin Braun, who I’m assuming must be his defense partner since their underlyings are so close).

  • Colin.S

    Nash really surprises me. Carter is also a surprise however I don’t mind that pick. I love Marleau on the team.

    I predict that Jamie Benn will have an outstanding Olympics.

    I’m mostly curious what our special teams looks like. I’m not concerned about Power play but Penalty Kill will be interesting. Which of these forwards play a lot of PK on their NHL teams?

    • Colin.S

      I think Getzlaf, Toews, Nash, Carter and Bergeron will be the forwards that get the most PK time on this team. You MIGHT see Perry get a bit as well if they are running very short PK shifts and such. But our PK will be fine mostly because of our D.

  • Bertly83

    Really don’t like the fact St.Louis did not make this team. Had a stellar season last year, and has still kept it up this year. IMO, I would prefer seeing St. Louis rather than Benn. Regardless, Crosby will win us gold again. GO CANADA GO!

  • prendrefeu

    For those of you even considering Phaneuf, you need to get back on your meds. He is a pylon and would get walked around wide on the big ice surface. There will always be debate on players selected (and I may agree that St. Louis should have been selected) but other than Lowe, I have complete confidence in the selection group. One interesting note: Yzerman likely could have swayed the vote for St. Louis….but didn’t. Lowe likely could have swayed some votes for Hall….but chose not to. Should be an interesting dynamic when both return to their teams.

  • piscera.infada

    I’d prefer to see St Louis and Giroux over Nash and Marleau….

    I’m not a fan of Bouwmeester either, Though I understand why he’s on the team. But I’d prefer Seabrook.

    On paper they look like favourites. But honestly, given Canada’s track ecord on international ice, a Bronze medal would be a victory.

    I think Sweden are the heavy favourites. Russia is stacked offensively and super-motivated, but have holes in the back-end and in goal ( not to mention lack depth). The US is always dangerous, and Finland always seems to find a way.

    • Purple Hazze

      After their top 4 fwds the Russian team looks horrible. They have an aging Markov on D followed by no one, and their bottom 6 is filled with KHL players who could never crack the NHL.

      Sweden is definitely the team to beat, they’re just too good on the bigger ice.

  • Joey Congi

    Why is Vlasic and Hamhuis on the team instead of Seabrook and shall i say Phaneuf. Vlasic has 4 goals, 16 pts and a +12 rating, Hamhuis has 4 goals, 13 pts and a +12 rating, Seabrook has 5 goals 31 pts and a +22 rating, Phaneuf has 4 goals, 17 pts and a +12 rating, how do they take Vlasic and Hamhuis over Seabrook and Phaneuf?

    • Greg

      Hamuis is there because he’s a left D. Seabrook is a right D so taking him would have left Canada with 5RD and only 3LD.

      He does make me a bit nervous though. I would have preferred Giordano. He’s not a “sexy” pick but if something goes wrong with the D pairings during the tournament, I would trust him to capably plug any hole they needed. Not sure Hamuis is as dependable that way.

      But hey, at least they didn’t take Dion. Cause Dion sucks! (I noticed that’s all you have to say to get props 🙂

  • prendrefeu

    Nash is an enigma, he’s probably not the same player he was 4 years ago. I guess Hockey Canada wants a big guy to stand in front of the net and be hard to knock off the puck. Even though Gregor points out Nash only had one 70 point season. Last season, during the lockout he was nearly a point per game producer, and was a ppg guy in 05/06. This season on the Rangers he looks like a very marginal player plus the injury this year didn’t help. Carter may have a great offensive flair but you need some guys like Richards to kill penalties and play that shutdown role. Also, if Kunitz didn’t have the chemistry with Crosby he did this year I don’t think he would be on the team. Even if he has won two Stanley Cup. What would happen if Crosby got injured? Could Kunitz do the same?

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    if i remember iggy djid good last olympics he must have declined too much in skill too bad i thought he and crosby were the heroes of the gold medal game.

    • The Real Slim Brodie

      He did play well in 2010

      Not so well in 2006

      And he was the hero of the 2002 team in salt lake (along with Sakic as his centre)

      But he is almost 40 now.

      Aging power forwards in their farewell tour year don’t usually do well in short tournament on big ice.

      They already have plenty of leadership, and that is all he could really bring to Team Canada at this stage of his career.

      • The Real Slim Brodie

        “And he was the hero of the 2002 team in salt lake (along with Sakic as his centre)”

        That line was a beast. I think they had like Lemieux on the other wing. Insanity.