In case you missed the two prior columns, I previously broke down the goalies and defensemen who will make Team Canada in 2010. This week’s column examines the forwards that will make the team. As an added bonus, I will provide the line combos as well.
A few things I want to point out. First of all, making these line combos has pretty much been the best day of my summer thus far, as the talent is just ridiculous. Secondly, since there is obviously a large number of centres, a few players had to be shifted to wing to accommodate. Finally, picking 13 of the 25 players was surprisingly somewhat of an easy task, with only a few players that I was wavering on. You’ll see below…
Forward candidates: Jeff Carter, Dan Cleary, Sidney Crosby, Shane Doan, Simon Gagné, Ryan Getzlaf, Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla, Vincent Lecavalier, Milan Lucic, Patrick Marleau, Andy McDonald, Brenden Morrow, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Derek Roy, Patrick Sharp, Joe Sakic, Ryan Smyth, Martin St-Louis, Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Joe Thornton, Jonathan Toews
Line 1: Rick Nash (LW), Ryan Getzlaf (C), Dany Heatley (moved to RW)
It was hard to truly define a top line, but only on Team Canada would it not feature Sid The Kid. I initially did have Crosby here instead of Heatley, but after a round table discussion with a few of the IC contributors, we thought that this line would probably be kept together after dominating at the Worlds previously. Oh, and @#&$ you Heatley.
Line 2: Simon Gagné (LW), Sidney Crosby (C), Jarome Iginla (RW)
Here we go with Crosby…Crosby and Iggy will form a nice 1-2 punch, with Sid dishing and Iggy popping them in. I had to include Gagné on this line, given his previous chemistry with Iginla in 2002.
Line 3: Eric Staal (moved to LW), Vincent Lecavalier (C), Martin St-Louis (RW)
Vinny C. and St-Louis are a package deal, and when put with Staal should form a nice third unit. Staal should have no problem adjusting to wing, given his great skating.
Line 4 (Grind Line): Brenden Morrow (LW), Mike Richards (C), Shane Doan (moved to RW)
This grind line practically made itself, and the only question mark is really Morrow, as he missed almost all of the 2008-09 season. Should he have a weak start to the season, Ryan Smyth or Patrick Sharp could take his spot.
Spare: Joe Thornton (C)
Thornton is on this team, but I’m not rushing to put him into the lineup. It’s nice to have a player like Thornton’s caliber ready to jump in. At first I had Staal as the spare instead of Joe, but Thornton’s lack of a 2-way game hurts him.
Players who did not make the cut:
Carter had a great season last year, but one season does not suffice. Remember, he was this close to being a Maple Leaf. And remember my policy of Maple Leafs being included on this team…
Is this some sort of sick joke?
Lucic’s claim to fame is that he has somewhat of a cult following…he’s just not good enough in any aspects of his game to make this team.
Sorry, we only have enough room for one underachieving Shark forward on our bandwagon.
McDonald is decent, but I still can’t believe he was invited to this camp over Marc Savard.
To quote that late 1980s PSA (for possibly drug awareness or drinking and driving): “I considered it, and then I said no.” Putting Perry on this team to play with Getzlaf would be a good move, but there are just better players available.
A good too-way centre, but not great.
Could be added for Morrow, but not likely.
He needs to come out of retirement, purely for selfish Bob Cole reasons.
Father time is not working in Captain Canada’s favour.
If Jordan makes this team, we might as well add parents Henry and Linda for crying out loud.
Leaving Toews off was a tough one, but his time will come. Two seasons of 54 and 69 points means there is still room for improvement.