Thursday, December 15, 2005

Grapes Makes the Case for Staal

Staal to don the Red, White and Black (sans Silver)
The HNIC stream below is billed as Don Cherry making the case for Jason Spezza, but he starts by making the case for Eric Staal's selection to Team Canada. I like the fact that Grapes thinks the past is past, and team selection ought to be based on who's performing in the here and now.

December 10, 2005: Don urges Team Canada to bring Jason Spezza to the Torino Olympics.» Real Video

Staal has a real opportunity here to contribute to what should be a gold medal winning team. The chance to play alongside Sakic, Iginla, Thornton, et. al. will refine his game at a stage when he's still evolving into the player he's going to be. Yeah, he/the 'Canes risk injury, but the upside for Eric and what he can bring back to this squad is too great.

At least with Staal there, I won't get so depressed when Team USA get's their clocks cleaned.

Lots of buzz in 'Caniac world about the longer term cost/benefit of Hurricanes playing in Turin. I agree with many pundits that Cole might best benefit from the three-week rest and the shock to his self-esteem from being left off. It might make him return newly inspired going into a contract year. Not that he doesn't play hard every night, it's just that he plays injured and hard nearly every night. Anyway, what's he going to learn at this stage in his career by playing with Roenick (god forbid), Guerin, Hatcher, et. al?


d-lee said...

I would be SHOCKED if J-Ro is named to the team. He isn't performing well in the NHL this season, and he has never performed well on Olympic ice.

Honestly, though, I wouldn't be surprised if Colesy makes the final cut.

CasonBlog said...

Concur with your second comment. He played well at the Worlds under Lavvy, and has probably earned a spot. I would like to see him rest. I think he's got shoulder/upper body issues right now that are effecting his play. Have you noticed him banging with his shoulder and then only using his legs in the corner puck scrums? I blew out my shoulder playing C-league hockey a few years ago, and the way he left the ice the other night (he did return) looked like a classic shoulder dislocation.

Bill Purdy said...

As much as I'd love to see Cole play for Team USA, I'd rather see him take three weeks to heal that shoulder. He scored tonight, but you're right -- he's still playing hurt.