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Jarome Not Alone

D'Arcy McGrath

July 25, 2001

Anyone could have guessed that the announcement of the 34 players for Canada's Olympic "orientation" set for Calgary in six weeks would have caused more than a little controversy.

In actuality, the event acted as a starting pistol for resentment, bitterness and second-guessing across Canada and even into the United States.

So why all the hostility?

Perhaps some of the questionable picks made by the selection committee, especially picks made by general managers off their own NHL franchises have some up in arms.

Eyebrows were raised everywhere but in Edmonton when Anson Carter's name appeared on the list. Carter is an above average hockey player, but he isn't a player that would appear on most pundits fifty player lists going into the Olympic games.

Similar picks were made from the Dallas Stars with Richard Matvichuk and Brendan Morrow.

Canadian Depth

The truth of the matter is that Canadian depth is such, that no matter how many times the group submitted a list many would not be happy.

The game is in a transitional period with seasoned all-stars like Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, Patrick Roy and Al MacInnis still on top of their games, while an exciting ambush of youth such as Alex Tanguay, Simon Gagne and Ed Jovanovski have improved greatly since the Nagano Olympics.

Is there more depth in Canadian hockey now, than at any other time?

One could argue such when you see the list of players not invited for the camp.

Top canadian scorers like Jason Allison, Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavalier, Vincent Damphousse, Luc Robitaille, and Calgary's Jarome Iginla didn't make the grade.

Their fans often quote statistics in their defence, as to why they feel their favourite hockey sons have been snubbed.

In reality, a team like this can't be selected on offensive production alone, an NHL all-star team wouldn't do very well in an Olympic Games. Players that dominate different aspects of the game have to be merged into a winning unit.

But what would this Production Team look like?

Team Canada - By Statistics

The following roster represents a 34-man squad based on points per game from last year's NHL season. Any player with less than 50 games played is ineligible. Goaltenders were picked on the basis of wins last season. Players in black were selected for the actual Olympic camp.


Left Wing


Right Wing

Paul Kariya

Joe Sakic

Alex Tanguay

Mario Lemieux

Jason Allison

Theo Fleury

Luc Robitaille

Steve Yzerman

Mark Recchi

Donald Audette

Keith Primeau

Adam Oates

Brendan Shanahan

Jason Arnott

Ray Ferarro

Pierre Turgeon

Joe Thornton

Vincent Damphousse

Missing: Owan Nolen, Eric Lindros, Joe Niewendyk, Mike Peca, Ryan Smyth, Anson Carter, Brendan Morrow, Simon Gagne


Chris Pronger

Al MacInnis

Rob Blake

Scott Niedermayer

Eric Desjardins

Wade Redden

Dan McGillis

Ed Jovanovski

Darryl Sydor

Derek Morris

Gord Murphy

Steve Duchesne

Missing: Adam Foote, Richard Matvichuk, Eric Brewer


Martin Brodeur

Patrick Roy

Patrick Lalime

Ed Belfour

Missing: Curtis Joseph

When basing the lineup on statistics alone, an improbable thirteen new players surface on the 34-man squad, including some surprises like Ray Ferarro and Gord Murphy.

Some very prominent players wouldn't get an invite including Owan Nolen, Ryan Smyth, Adam Foote and Curtis Joseph.

No-Win Proposition

In the end selecting a team for Canada puts a committee in a no-win situation.

The country is starved for some international success after tripping on their skates in the last World Cup and Olympic Games. Once again, anything less than Gold is unacceptable.

An infinite number of lists could have been submitted each with a good chance of success, but also with an equal chance at failure. Unlike basketball, in hockey there are no less than seven "dream teams", and the team that gels the fastest for a brief tournament will be on the medal podium.

Tough decisions have to be made when rounding out a roster.

These tough decisions create mixed emotions in cities where certain players weren't selected.

In actuality, there was no way around it.

(Note to Calgary fans, Jarome Iginla was the last cut in the forwards section based on points per game)