With the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games right around the corner, the national teams are beginning to announce their rosters.
The good news first. Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook will all suit up for Team Canada. All three deserve the honor, and may finally get the recognition they deserve on a national scale. To me, Keith and Seabrook are the top defensive pairing in the NHL. Individually, neither is a top 5 defenseman, but together, they are nearly unstoppable.
Toews is no stranger to international hockey. Playing for Canada, he won gold in 4 of the 5 various tournaments in which he played.
Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky will suit up for Team Slovakia, which is no surprise.
Now to the dumb...
Sweden, I love your flag, your jerseys, your pancakes, your special pumps (what?), but leaving Niklas Hjalmarsson off the roster
is idotic. Granted he's unproven in the eyes of the national media.
He's likely an afterthought as a Hawk when glancing at the roster, but
anyone who's done a lick of scouting knows he's a very good
Looking at the roster, there are two defenseman I would take over
Hjalmarsson. Only Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall are better at
this point. Magnus Johansson? Really? He was one of the WORST
Blackhawks on a bad Blackhawks team. Dale Tallon signed him, thinking he'd be just the offensive upgrade the Hawks needed on defense. He wasn't. He was absolutely
terrible. Sweden? Fail.
The US team will be announced January 1st at the Winter Classic. While Patrick Kane is a shoo-in, Dustin Byfuglien may be on the outside looking in. We'll find out Friday.