Messier Vs Yzerman
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12-23-2012, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Originally Posted by
The lack of "surprise" was because the lines from Keenan to Sutter, Graham, and Hawerchuk were easy to draw; a separate issue from disappointment in seeing talent like Sakic and Oates cut, and Yzerman relegated to the press box. Yzerman himself wasn't even that surprised after watching the first few games up there, commenting that he could see that he didn't fit Keenan's "plan" to "run around for 30 second shifts like a Chinese fire drill" (pg. 150, The Canada Cup of Hockey Fact & Stat Book, Anderson, 2005).
I believe this was after the conversation he had with Keenan in which Keenan told him he "had a bad camp, and had bad habits". Of course, Keenan had no problem adding Messier (who originally refused invitation for injury reasons) a day before the first game, i.e. at the end of training camp.
Keenan was really lucky that the other teams in the tournament either featured historically weak or disappointing teams, themselves. No Stastny, Svoboda, Klima, Ruzicka or Holik for the Czechs. The USA was without Turcotte (injured), Kevin Stevens, Iafrate, Housley, Ramsey, Langway (all refused), and Brian Mullen (left to rejoin San Jose). The Finns had the nickname "Team Terrible" going into the tournament - 'nuff said (although they certainly pulled together as a team). The Swedes (defending world champs I think) were without Loob, Gustafsson, Erixon, Eklund (all refused) and Olausson (illness). The Soviets were without the KLM line, Fetisov (not invited - in NHL), Bykov, Khomutov (not invited - in Europe), Mogilny, Bure, Konstantinov (all in NHL training camps), Kovalev, Kasparaitis (both cut), Irbe (refused to play for Soviets anymore - Latvian), and Kamensky (best forward, suffered broken leg in warm up game vs Sweden).
Another thing to keep in mind is that apparently Eagleson had guaranteed Yzerman a spot on the team but then later said that only Gretzky was guaranteed a spot. A he says she says situation but given what we know about the characters of Eagleson and Yzerman...
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