2014 - Canada Roster Discussion (Part III)
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10-20-2012, 11:29 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Originally Posted by
The 1984 Canadian team at the Canada Cup had 4 Islanders and 8 Oilers, two teams that had just played in the finals consecutively and hated each other. Lots of these guys were in big roles on Canada too. They didn't get along at all, and Canada started off slowly, but ended up winning. That feud was a lot bigger than whatever might exist between Crosby and Giroux.
One of the more common defence groups in this thread is as follows:
Weber, Doughty, Pietrangelo, Keith, Letang, Seabrook, Staal.
To me, those first five guys are very likely locks. Let's look at what they give Canada. Weber is quite possibly the best defenceman in the world. Dougty, Keith, Pietrangelo and Letang are all very adept puck movers and ensure that Canada's defence will be highly mobile as at least one should be on each pairing. All of those can also play big PP minutes, meaning that realistically no one else is needed in this role.
What does Canada need out of the remaining two defencemen? Mainly defensive ability. Guys who can pick up shifts on the PK and who can be trusted to provide a solid shift when called upon. Seabrook and Staal are both decisively better than Phaneuf when it comes to defence. There are numerous other Canadian defencemen who are also better defensively. Another issue is skating, which is of greater importance in 2014. Staal is definitely a better skater than Phaneuf. Phaneuf is better offensively, but really there is no need for Phaneuf in any kind of offensive role with the five guys listed above. Seabrook is a comparable skater, but is better positionally, has chemistry with Keith and also has experience (minimal though it is) at the Olympics.
Phaneuf is a good defenceman, but Canada will very likely have more than 7 defencemen better than him in 2014. Even in the case of defencemen of similar value, Phaneuf's skillset is not as valuable as most on international ice. Even if we did need a Phaneuf type player, we already have Weber who can do all the Phaneuf things at a higher level. One advantage for Phaneuf is that he shoots left, which only Keith does among the very best Canadian defencemen. Even then, there are quite a few guys battling for the last few spots like Staal, Hamhuis, or Alzner who also shoot left.
I don't intend to nullify your point because I agree with what you say, but I find the mentioning of Alzner's name slightly odd: The guy is a good, young defenceman with potential, but I don't think he'll be on Team Canada.
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