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.

Comments (12)

  1. But he shoots right! You absolutely CANNOT have a guy play his off side. Not ever ever ever. Ever.

  2. They’ve already said that Subban and Duchene will get in tomorrow, so I feel like this is exactly what there plan is, although playing him in both “gimme” games probably would have been better.

  3. This decision is baffling. At the very least dress him for the power play… his mobility, his experience on the big ice, and his shot make this decision incredible for me.

    I hope we lose 1-0.

    • I hope you enjoy your exile to Siberia

    • Leave the country, please. Thanks.

      The reason no one tweeted Subban is because no one wanted to dare pick up a “racist” label for criticizing him because, as someone pointed out earlier, he’s black. People have their lives and careers to think about, understand? It wouldn’t matter why they chose Subban as a nothing name for 2014, the instant assumption would be racism. That’s it. So spare us all the crap. Hell, surely the racists at least should have written in – but they didn’t. Why? No anonymity. Done. Subban’s fine, but far from the best man out there (more talent in his little finger, bollocks), so stop it.

      As for why scratch Subban? Hell, I dunno: how about penalty minutes, and being a dumbass?

      And look – uh oh. Game with the Finns done. Canada won and Doughty – why – Doughty scored the lead goal in a game with a 1 goal differential! Didn’t he know how racist that was for Subban? What a jerk! Better luck next time.

  4. Is it at least possible that the converse is true – that the coaching staff know what they have in PK and are Not concerned, therefore they give him a rest day to start so they can get a better sense what they have in some of the others, and give those guys some more experience on the larger ice?

    I know that’s a more hopeful take on it, but I’m going to guess that the coaching staff are probably more comfortable with Subban than the rest of the selection-process suits were.

  5. Dan Hamhuis. Played above his level to start the season, but might be injured and has been playing horrendously the last few weeks.

  6. “Sometimes it helps when people actually like you, Niki”

    Someone should probably tell PK.

    • I don’t think that PK is particularly unlikeable. It’s unfortunate that people seem to dislike him for having a personality.

  7. Someday PK is going to get traded to an American NHL team, and the entire story on him will change in a country that doesn’t hate swagger as much as Canadian based teams, and associated media, seem to hate it.

  8. PK is going to feast on big ice. The Canadians were relying heavily on their defense to jump into the play as a trailer after low-cycles. Doughty had a few great chances – but for the most part the Canadian D shot right into blocks. PK will get his shot through – but even more importantly, he can pass like a magician down low which should lead to wide open looks for wingers.

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