Thursday, July 02, 2009

Spezza's not going camping with Team Canada

There is irony, on a base level.

Jason Spezza's apologists will often suggest there's a chance he can do the Steve Yzerman metamorphosis from all-out offence to two-way centre when he gets older. Well, they both wear No. 19 and they're both right-handed shots. Now the Ottawa Senators centre has been left off the Canadian Olympic hockey team's summer camp roster chosen by none other than Steve Yzerman.

Honestly, it was a joke to write back in May that Spezza was one of the No Way Guys for Team Canada. Granted, this only has to be awkward for Sens fans if they let it be awkward. They like to pile on Spezza as much as the next guy.

Their team will have Spezza's undivided attention and he won't be holding back to try to avoid an injury that would keep him out of the Vancouver Olympics. He won't get burnt out by the playoffs. Anyway, it is dollars-to-donuts that the Ottawa media will try to reassure the faithful by pointing out this does not mean Spezza playing in the Olympics is absolutely out of the question. As per CTV's report, "Players not invited to the orientation camp can still be considered for both the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and 2010 IIHF World Championship. Although the 2002 and 2006 Olympic teams were comprised entirely of players who had been invited to camp."

In other words, Transformers 2 can still be considered for Best Director and Best Picture.

If it is any consolation, three other Canadian NHL teams, the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, do not have a single player going to the summer camp. There is the Calgary contingent, Jarome Iginla, Dion Phaneuf, Jay Bouwmeester and Robyn Regehr, bingo-bango-bongo Roberto Luongo from the Vancouver Canucks. Otherwise, if you follow a Canadian NHL team and would like to see a player who you're not angry with skating for this country internationally in 2010, you're going to have to wait for the world championship.

And you know what that means. Remember, we're all in this together.

On a Kingston-related note, former Voyageurs (and Belleville Bulls star) Dan Cleary has been invited to the camp. Everyone should be rooting for him, since he's a Newfoundlander. The St. Louis Blues centre Andy McDonald wrangled an invitation, too.


Dennis Prouse said...

Dan Cleary got an invite? Awesome - at least they know to whom to give Rob Zaumuner's old number.

Is someone trying to tell me that Jason Spezza is NOT one of the top 25 Canadian born forwards in the National Hockey League? Give me a break. The guy is a phenomenal playmaker, especially when given talented linemates to whom to dish. It's sad to see Team Canada's braintrust being so heavily influenced by the conventional wisdom on Spezza as decreed by talk radio boneheads.

Big V said...

Looking at the list of forwards who were invited.... Not seeing Spezza is kind of UNBELIEVEABLE

According the tsn srticle, Stamkos JUST missed the cut...

Anonymous said...

The problem with Spezza is what he does without the puck, which, on many nights, isn't much.
And he does have a penchant for turning the puck over, usually at the most inopportune time.
Now Dany Heatley is no Selke candidate either.
He's a sniper, pure and simple.
But he is less riskey than Spezza, who is a playmaker of the high risk high reward variety.
I think Team Canada are looking for players that are solid two way performers, or, at the least, players who won't hurt the team defensively.