Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

My Olympic Injury Replacements

In December I posted my picks for the Canadian Olympic Team and the US Olympic Team.  While everyone on the US Olympic Team appears ready to go, there are two people on my Canadian Olympic Team that would be unavailable.  Steve Stamkos is out of the Olympics because he has not fully recovered from his broken leg.  Kris Letang was also a member of my team (though not the actual team) and he would be unavailable because of a recent stroke.  Thus I have to replace a Canadian forward and a Canadian defenceman.  My picks for both of these spots would be players who are not going to the Olympics. 

The forward would be James Neal of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Neal has the fourth highest points per game in the NHL so far this year.  I really don't know why he didn't get more consideration for the Canadian Olympic Team.  I would add him now.

My defenceman is Dion Phaneuf of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  There isn't a clear choice to replace Letang.  I reject Dan Hamhuis and Marc-Edouard Vlasic as being Olympic level players even though they made the Canadian team.  Their choices were due to handedness more than hockey skills and that is a mistake.  I would have considered Mike Green, but he is out with a concussion, so now is not the time to take a chance on him.  Phaneuf has solid international experience, but has never quite made an Olympic team.  He plays a solid physical game.  His offence has dropped off as of late, but is still solid.  There are concerns about his high PDO, but I think he is the best choice available to me.  With injury to Dan Hamhuis, some wonder if he will get a call as an injury replacement on the actual team as well.

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Comments

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There’s a lot of room for discussion about fwd selection I’ll give you that but Phaneuf would be badly exposed on the big ice. The guy is beaten like a drum on a regular basis by anyone with speed to the outside.
If Hamhuis can’t go and your throwing out the lefty, righty balance Babcock wants then the next man up is definitely Seabrook.

In Steve and Mike we trust.

Posted by vansteve on 02/08/14 at 12:48 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Seabrook already on my team and really should already be on Team Canada.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 02/09/14 at 10:31 AM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

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