PK subban4

Last night I spent some time going over old Canadian hockey rosters, and inevitably you come across certain names that make you go “Wow, that guy was on the 20__ roster?” During the 2010 games Brenden Morrow stood out to me, and there was a long line of Drapers and Zamuners before him.

So, I asked the question to my twitter followers:

I only ruled out Kunitz because half of Canada was upset with his selection, and I wanted to see some other names. What I got: a huge helping of “Mike Smith,” and sizeable portions of Dan Hamhuis, Marc-Edouard and the odd side of Jay Bouwmeester. There were other names mentioned, but where this long walk is taking us is here:

NOBODY SAID P.K. SUBBAN.

Nobody. Not your mom, your family dog, your next door neighbor, or that racist guy in Georgia.

Nobody said P.K. Subban because he’s a 24-year-old Norris Trophy winning superstar with more raw talent in a finger than most of us have in our whole bodies (hell, more than most NHLers have in their whole bodies). He’s a true difference-maker that breaks games open and can do, in a nutshell, what Erik Karlsson did for the Swedish team yesterday – score the goals you need to win.

But also…also he makes the odd mistake (because he plays a ton and has the puck all the time, which people like to forget). Because of that wonky label, he’s been made a healthy scratch in Canada’s first game against Norway, while Vlasic, Hamhuis, Bouwmeester and the rest will play.

And it’s stupid.

Here’s the main issue: if you’re going to take P.K. Subban, you obviously know how he plays. If you feel like his game’s too risky, don’t take him (which would’ve been worse, but whatever). But if you take him at all, you have to find out if you can use him or not. There’s a real chance that he could be like Drew Doughty in the 2010 Olympics and be the country’s break-out star. So again: you have to find out if you can use him, so you need to get him in the games against the lesser teams in the early going – as in, Norway and Austria – to find out how he looks on the international ice on the huge stage at this point in his career.

If he’s taking too many chances and you can’t use him, at least you found out. Then all you do is say Pickles, Boring guy, Ham house, you guys are in, we can’t trust P.K. Maybe you find out he looks great and you bump him up the depth chart. Imagine that! After all, he’s easily got the highest ceiling of all the guys you’re considering as “bottom pair” guys.

Now you’re in a situation where at best he gets one game before things get real, and there’s a chance it could be none. And if that’s the case, superb handling of a risk-taking player who’s prone to mistakes, guys. P.K., it’s time for your first game. Hop in there against a talented nation’s all-star team. Good luck.