The following is the resume of a player Team Canada should not have ignored at selection time.
Age: 28 years old
Height: 6’ 3”
Weight: 227 lbs
NHL experience: eight years
International Hockey Experience:
World U18 Championships: 2003—Gold
World Junior Championships: 2004 – Silver
Winter Olympics: 2010—Gold
2010 Stanley Cup Champion
2013 Stanley Cup Champion
This is the resume of Brent Seabrook,
defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks. How the so called “experts” failed to mention his name in consideration for Team Canada’s 2014 Winter Olympic team is beyond comprehension.
First, he made this same team 4 years ago.
Second, he is entering the prime of his career.
Third, his game is easily adaptable to the bigger ice surface’s awaiting in Sochi, Russia.
What does Seabrook bring to the table? Well, besides a winning attitude and pedigree, Seabrook is a leader on and off the ice, he is the steady rock on the blue line for the Blackhawks (ask Duncan Keith if he wins the Norris trophy in 2010 without Seabrook as his partner), and has become a big game player. On the biggest stage in hockey. Repeatedly.
Let me take you back to one of the worst calls in recent memory when Blackhawks Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson scored the go ahead goal against hated, arch rival Detroit only to have the goal overturned on a brutal call. While some players may have frustrated themselves to the point they aren’t effective in that situation, Seabrook did what he does best. He stepped up.
Quick review of the situation.
Game winning goal overturned on a brutal call. Check. Most hated rival. Check. Game seven. Check. Overtime. Check. More than enough pressure to crack. Not Seabrook. Step up, pick up the puck, skate in, wrist it home, next round booked.
And next it is.
Move ahead to game four of the Stanley Cup Finals. The score is tied at five. Almost halfway through the first overtime. Boston scores, series is virtually over. Cue Mr Clutch. Seabrook picks up a loose puck (stop me if you’ve heard this before) skates in and blasts a shot past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. Chicago wins six to five, ties the series at two games each and goes on to win their second Stanley Cup in four years.
Now, hockey is a team sport, no doubt, but that is as clutch as a player can be. Any player. Any era. And this guy wasn't selected to represent his country. Maybe his stats have dropped off. 34 points in 60 games to go with a +24. So that’s not it.
Lack of respect for some unknown reason. Seabrook is just not a sexy pick. He does everything well, no one area stands out. Unless you count winning.
We all know there were players that “should have” be there, our favorites that we thought deserved the chance to represent their country but Seabrook was a must because he would have brought a winning, calming influence to the most talented dressing room at the games.
For what it’s worth, here were my other choices to make the Canadian Mens Olympic Hockey team.
Goaltenders: Carey Price, Roberto Luongo, Corey Crawford
Defencemen: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Shea Weber, Drew Doughty, Alex Pieterangelo, PK Subban, Jay Boumeester, Marc Vlasic
Forwards: Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Patrice Bergereon, Steven Stamkos, Patrick Sharp, Taylor Hall, Cory Perry, Matt Duchene, Martin St Louis, Jaime Benn, Tyler Seguin, John Tavares, Claude Giroux
Of course, with the games about to start, this is all water under the bridge. Agree? Disagree? Please leave a comment below and feel free to follow along with me on Twitter @fiveminutemajor
. Thanks for reading.