"Leafs, eh...just like I always dreamed..."

First off, let’s get this out of the way: I know. I know about your hilarious comment about how the lockout isn’t going to end anyway so it doesn’t matter. …I know.

But for the rest of us who aren’t “glass half empty and this beer was too expensive and the rest of the beer is getting warm“-level pessimists about the lockout, there’s a real possibility worth talking about: once the rosters are finalized for the World Junior tournament, no changes can be made, including additions. So if the lockout ends part way through…hmm.

I’ll let “PuckStopsHere” of the always-informative Kukla’s Korner explain it:

[...]In event of injury, teams sometimes have to compete shorthanded.  With 22 man rosters, it is rare that there are enough injuries that this becomes a problem.  However this year there is a potential problem.  If the NHL season begins during the tournament (or more likely training camp), there are five or six players who would be called up from the junior squad to their NHL training camp.  That would leave Canada seriously shorthanded.  Does that make it too big a risk to take to play all the best NHL calibre junior players on the Canadian World Junior Team?

My personal thoughts echo those of Brian Burke, who would be willing to be flexible:

And, it shouldn’t.

The point of training camp, for the most part, is to get back into shape, get back into a rhythm, get back to hockey. Rielly, as with other potential WJCers would already be doing that. As much as it’s less than ideal to not have them in camp immediately to begin working with them, you have to be reasonable sometimes.

If there’s no new CBA in the next couple days, there should be no doubt: Canada, the US, and everyone involved should take their best available players.

Comments (10)

  1. To be fair to me, I didn’t read the post yet when I joked about the lockout not ending on twitter. It makes the first sentence funny, but also makes me kinda feel like a jerk. Ah well.

    If I’m the kid, I would tell my NHL team to hold their horses. You only get a couple shots at this tournament, and it’d suck to miss it because your NHL team wants you to bus out to New Jersey for a meaningless preseason game.

    • Bullshit.

      Your future employeer tells you to show up for camp and not go to the WJC, you would go to camp. The NHL doesn’t look at preseason games as meaningless like fans do. They give “bubble guys” (like a prospect who maybe on team Canada in this instance) a ton of playing time to see how they play and react on the ice first hand against higher competition.

      Most likely teams won’t pull their prospects from WJC, but if they told them to show up to camp instead, they would be on the first flight there.

      • Let’s not sell the WJC that short here: These guys are good. Sure, I wouldn’t be interested in Canada vs Denmark or some crap like that, but Canada vs USA or Russia is a very good game with a high level of competition.

        Nothing like the NHL, sure. But then again, is a preseason game verse a bunch of AHL and ECHL guys anything like the NHL?

        I get it, you look out for the guys who sign your checks. But I think it’d be a crappy thing to do to make the kids drop out of the tournament.

  2. I can see both sides of the story here. Obviously each country wants to have their best players out there. I only have one argument. Wasn’t it these players dreams to play in the NHL one day and now they have that chance? I realize the people north of the border are bitter they haven’t won since 09, but if I was a gm or owner, I’d have that kid at training camp.

    • On the flip-side, it’s a great opportunity for a GM like Brian Burke to see a prospect like Morgan Rielly play in a high-pressured tournament atmosphere.

      Let’s face it, Rielly likely isn’t going to see that kind of game playing for the Maple Leafs this season. Burke probably appreciates the opportunity to know whether Rielly is the kind of kid who can step up when the pressure is on or if he’ll slink back under the spotlights.

  3. “The point of training camp, for the most part, is to get back into shape, get back into a rhythm, get back to hockey.”
    That is true for most guys, but these are players who are trying to crack the NHL at a young age. Isn’t the point of camp for these guys to prove that they can compete at an NHL level and are ready to play? How much harder does it make for a team to allow their player to play the tournament and then give them a try out once the season my have started?

  4. “But for the rest of us who aren’t “glass half empty and this beer was too expensive and the rest of the beer is getting warm“-level pessimists about the lockout,”

    I guess that would be opposed to others who aren’t ” the sky is always blue, butterflies are great, cats always do what they are told and my beer glass magically refills itself” guys?? :)

  5. Who cares about hockey anymore. The NHL is totally meaningless. It is these types of “Superfan” articles that give both the NHL and the NHLPA the idea that they are actually still relevant. You caring about the next batch of millionaires that are probably going to do the same thing to us again within the next 5-10 years is just ridiculous. The only way that this lockout will mean anything is if we the fans actually “lockout” the league from our lives and teach these primadonnas a lesson in humility. Here is an idea for your next article “we the fans of hockey, the NHl, and the Toronto Maple Leafs are no longer going to buy your product nor support your franchise.” Grow up and stop being such a superfan. We need to show them who actually has the power here. There is more of us then them!

    • you must care, you read this, and probably others… and had the longest response, so yeah.. yer just mad at the whole millionaires and billionaires fightin over money thing, well guess what? it happens they do have a right ( even though they make an obscene amount of money ) to fight for their working rights just like the rest of us… we’re just fans… i dont give a poopie about what others may be saying about how i perform at my job, why should they care what we think? because we a little bit of money to go watch them play a game? sorry thats just stupid.. like i’ve said throughout this whole thing… the people who do all the grunt work, and skilled labour at these arenas are the only people who should have our concern, why? because they didnt get a choice in all this.. us as fans, dude we either watch or we dont, the nhl doesnt really care, the players dont really care, we aint gonna teach them a damn thing

  6. Relax pal. He’s just writing an article about hockey… so, doing his job. No one wants to read about how even when the nhl comes back we shouldn’t watch it to “team them a lesson”.
    And everyone’s had enough of the “team them a lesson” thing, it’s not gonna happen, grow up.

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