I've been looking through some player stats on hockeydb lately and have noticed a number of people listed as part of the Canadian National Team for a season or two. I'm just curious, was this something that only occurred during the olympic years? If so, why did they play so many games (and why did they play a number of games in off years)? Also, why is Petr Nedved listed on the team in 93-94? I rarely ever see US National team listed for players, so I was just curious as to why the Canadian National team seems to play such a prominent role?
Nedved was a Canadian citizen who had never played in an IIHF sponsored event as a Czechoslovakian, and thus, was eligable to compete as a Canadian. He was holding out when negociating with the Canucks, so, since it was an Olympic year, he chose the national team as the team to keep his game legs.
Which is also the reason there's more players on Olympic years, many players chose the team as a way to play during hold outs, but, there are other options such as European leagues where they'd get paid, but the prestige of the Olympics is worth the loss in pay for many.
Every post comes with the Nalyd Psycho Seal of Approval.
I've often wondered if Canada's development has suffered since they disbanded the national team. Since there's enough tournaments in Europe, wouldn't it make sense for Canada to develop a team? Especially, since its unlikely that the 2014 Olympics will feature NHLers. I would think you'd start grooming these players now akin to the US NTDP in the USHL and the USA Basketball program.
Along these lines I've often wondered, were Canadians who played in European leagues considered for pre-1998 Olympic teams or was it strictly the national team that was sent to the games?