Friday, April 01, 2005

Bitterness gap widens with Team Canada's Disinterest

With some attention growing towards the World Championships of Hockey later this summer, the angst and bitterness of the NHL dispute is leaking into the IIHF and the Team Canada selections for the World Championships.
Lemieux, Gretzky, Sakic, Yzerman, Thorton, and several others have all told Team Canada that "they've got better stuff to do". After listening to some of the Canadian broadcasters, it seems as if they are confused and some of the fans are steeling their angst against the players in the labor dispute. Clearly, Canada is concerned that they may not be able to defend their World Championship without the roster they had last year. I guess that pretty much sums up the frustration amongst the hockey elite in North America with this quote from Chimaera, the Kanata Princess.
And just for the record, if Robyn Regehr announces next week that he's staying at home to water his ficus plant, I'm throwing in the towel on this tournament altogether.

I think that this is going to be a more even series this year. Perhaps, it may even be an advantage to some of the younger teams in the tournament. My Slovaks must be really excited to put together a good run for a championship. The key for them would be to find a healthy roster and get them all on the ice. They lost in last year's World Cup and the '02 Winter Olympics because of their roster.
The same goes for Team USA. If they can get a young core of players like Paul Martin of the Devils and Ryan Malone of the Penguins, they too may feel as if they have a shot at winning the world championship. I would only have to agree. A depleted Canada team has evened the playing field they had once dominated for two years now.
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