Friday, December 02, 2005

Walking In A Hockey Wonderland

Today, the Bloc Quebecois and their leader Gilles Duceppe announced their platform plan to dress a separate Quebec hockey team to participate in international play. Duceppe played up the angle that if it is good enough for soccer and rugby teams in Ireland and Scotland, it should be good enough for a hockey team in Quebec.
"I would like to see the same rules as those applying to Scotland or Wales or Northern Ireland,'' Duceppe said during a news conference.

"They have their own players in the soccer World Cup or the rugby World Cup. If it's possible in Great Britain, it could be possible in Canada.''
Putting aside the fact that England, Scotland and Wales are all constituent countries in the United Kingdom, and that only Northern Ireland is in fact a province like Quebec, it is clear that to me that Duceppe and the Bloc are on to something. No, really. Every time Canada submits a hockey team into international play, commentators remark on how they have enough quality players to submit at least 2-4 teams. So why not go ahead with the Bloc proposal? And why only stop with Quebec? Why doesn’t Canada submit 13 teams to play in the Olympics, World Championships, World Cup, World Junior Championships, Spengler Cup, Baltic Cup (formerly the Izvestia Cup), Sweden Games, and Under-18 Championships? Why not submit one team for each province and territory? And why not do it for men’s, women’s AND Sledge teams?

Obviously, some provinces are stronger than other provinces. Quebec and Ontario could probably dress two teams each, whereas the territories might be hard pressed to dress one between the three of them. Nevertheless, I think the idea is sound. I mean, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia now field eight different teams (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia, Slovenia, Kazakhstan and Russia). Why shouldn’t Canada do the same? And we could do it without breaking up the country, of course. Duceppe, the Bloc and I have no desire to see that happen. Our only motive is quality hockey.

Here now, is a hockey team for each Canadian province and territory. I haven’t created women’s teams for each province. I regrettably lack the knowledge to accomplish such a task. The teams are made up of current players, not players from previous eras. The rosters are also based on where players were born, not where they were raised. That means no Dany Heatley , and no Robyn Regehr. Did anyone else know that Regehr was born in Brazil? I certainly didn’t.


***Five Hours Later***

Okay, that didn’t work. As you will see, some provinces have full rosters. Some don’t. Some provinces have players I haven’t even heard of before. I could have added more no-names, but it seemed beside the point.


British Columbia

G Jason Labarbera – Burnaby
D Scott Hannan- Richmond
D Barret Jackman-Trail
D Eric Brewer- Vernon
D Brad Lukowich- Cranbrook
D Willie Mitchell- Port McNeil
D Brent Seabrook- Delta
F Joe Sakic- Burnaby
F Paul Kariya- Vancouver
F Steve Yzerman-Cranbrook
F Brendan Morrison- Pitt Meadows
F Mark Recchi- Kamloops
F Shawn Horcoff-Trail
F Darren McCarty- Burnaby
F Dallas Drake-Trail
F Turner Stevenson- Prince George
F Rob Niedermayer- Cassiar

Alberta
G Chris Osgood- Peace River
G Jamie McLennan- Edmonton
G Alex Auld- Cold Lake
D Scott Niedermayer- Edmonton
D Brad Stuart- Rocky Mountain House
D Dion Phaneuf- Edmonton
D Jay Bouwmeester- Edmonton
D Chris Phillips-Fort McMurray
D Jason Smith- Calgary
F Jarome Iginla-Edmonton
F Shane Doan- Halkirk
F Ryan Smyth- Banff
F Mike Comrie- Edmonton
F Joffrey Lupul- Fort Saskatchewan
F Darcy Tucker-Castor
F Steven Reinprecht-Edmonton
F Ray Whitney- Fort Saskatchewan
F Daymond Langkow- Edmonton
F Kyle Calder- Mannville
F Fernando Pisani- Edmonton
F Trevor Linden-Medicine Hat
F Tyson Nash- Edmonton

Saskatchewan
G Cam Ward- Saskatoon
G Michael Garnett– Saskatoon
D Wade Redden- Lloydminster
D Kyle McLaren- Humboldt
D Rhett Warrener- Shaunavon
D Brendan Witt- Humboldt
D Lyle Odelein- Quill Lake
D Wade Belak-Saskatoon
F Patrick Marleau- Aneroid
F Jeff Friesen- Meadow Lake
F Brenden Morrow- Carlysle
F Jarret Stoll- Melville
F Curtis Brown- Unity
F Peter Schaefer-Yellow Grass
F Mike Sillinger- Regina
F Tyler Wright-Canor
F Clarke Wilm- Central Butte

Manitoba
G Ed Belfour- Carman
D Bryce Salvador- Brandon
D Bryan Muir-Winnipeg
F Alexander Steen- Winnipeg
F Arron Asham-Portage la Prairie
F Mike LeClerc- Winnipeg
F Ben Clymer-Edina

Ontario
G Marty Turco- Sault Ste. Marie
G Curtis Joseph- Keswick
G Sean Burke- Windsor
D Chris Pronger- Dryden
D Rob Blake- Simcoe
D Ed Jovanovski- Windsor
D Adrian Aucoin- Ottawa
D Dan Boyle-Ottawa
D Bryan McCabe- St. Catharines
F Joe Thornton- London
F Jason Spezza-Mississauga
F Todd Bertuzzi- Sudbury
F Eric Staal- Thunder Bay
F Rick Nash- Brampton
F Marc Savard- Ottawa
F Jeff O'Neill- King City
F Jason Allison- North York
F Brendan Shanahan- Mimico
F Steve Sullivan- Timmins
F Mike Ricci- Scarborough
F Eric Lindros- London

Quebec
G Martin Brodeur- Montreal
G Jose Theodore- Laval
G Roberto Luongo- St. Leonard
D Eric Desjardins-Rouyn-Noranda
D Patrice Brisebois- Montreal
D Philippe Boucher- St. Apollinaire
D Denis Gauthier- Montreal
D Marc-Andre Bergeron- St. Louis de France
D Mathieu Biron- Lac St. Charles
F Vincent Lecavalier- Ile Bizard
F Martin St. Louis- Laval
F Mario Lemieux- Montreal
F Alex Tanguay- Ste-Justine
F Mike Ribeiro- Montreal
F Simon Gagne- Ste. Foy
F Patrice Bergeron- Ancienne-Lorette
F Daniel Briere- Gatineau
F Scott Walker- Montreal
F Luc Robitaille- Montreal
F Pierre Turgeon- Rouyn-Noranda
F Yanic Perreault- Sherbrooke

Nova Scotia
D Colin White -New Glasgow
D Aaron Johnson- Port Hawkesbury
F Sidney Crosby- Dartmouth
F Glen Murray- Halifax
F Jonathan Sim- New Glasgow
F Eric Boulton- Halifax
F Ryan Flinn- Halifax

Prince Edward Island
F Brad Richards- Murray Harbour
F Steve Ott- Summerside

Newfoundland
F Michael Ryder- St. John's
F Darren Langdon- Deer Lake
F Daniel Cleary- Carbonear

N.W.T.
F Geoff Sanderson- Hay River

New Brunswick

Yukon

Nunavut

A way around this would be to combine some regions and create some super teams. For example:

British Columbia/Territories
G Jason Labarbera – Burnaby
D Scott Hannan- Richmond
D Barret Jackman-Trail
D Eric Brewer- Vernon
D Brad Lukowich- Cranbrook
D Willie Mitchell- Port McNeil
D Brent Seabrook- Delta
F Joe Sakic- Burnaby
F Paul Kariya- Vancouver
F Steve Yzerman-Cranbrook
F Brendan Morrison- Pitt Meadows
F Mark Recchi- Kamloops
F Shawn Horcoff-Trail
F Darren McCarty- Burnaby
F Dallas Drake-Trail
F Turner Stevenson- Prince George
F Geoff Sanderson- Hay River
F Rob Niedermayer- Cassiar

Alberta
G Chris Osgood- Peace River
G Jamie McLennan- Edmonton
G Alex Auld- Cold Lake
D Scott Niedermayer- Edmonton
D Brad Stuart- Rocky Mountain House
D Dion Phaneuf- Edmonton
D Jay Bouwmeester- Edmonton
D Chris Phillips-Fort McMurray
D Jason Smith- Calgary
F Jarome Iginla-Edmonton
F Shane Doan- Halkirk
F Ryan Smyth- Banff
F Mike Comrie- Edmonton
F Joffrey Lupul- Fort Saskatchewan
F Darcy Tucker-Castor
F Steven Reinprecht-Edmonton
F Ray Whitney- Fort Saskatchewan
F Daymond Langkow- Edmonton
F Kyle Calder- Mannville
F Fernando Pisani- Edmonton
F Trevor Linden-Medicine Hat
F Tyson Nash- Edmonton

Saskatchewan/Manitoba/ Maritimes
G Ed Belfour- Carman
G Cam Ward- Saskatoon
G Michael Garnett– Saskatoon
D Wade Redden- Lloydminster
D Kyle McLaren- Humboldt
D Rhett Warrener- Shaunavon
D Brendan Witt- Humboldt
D Colin White -New Glasgow
D Bryce Salvador- Brandon
F Patrick Marleau- Aneroid
F Sidney Crosby- Dartmouth
F Glen Murray- Halifax
F Brad Richards- Murray Harbour
F Jeff Friesen- Meadow Lake
F Michael Ryder- St. John's
F Brenden Morrow- Carlysle
F Jarret Stoll- Melville
F Curtis Brown- Unity
F Peter Schaefer-Yellow Grass
F Mike Sillinger- Regina
F Alexander Steen- Winnipeg

Ontario
G Marty Turco- Sault Ste. Marie
G Curtis Joseph- Keswick
G Sean Burke- Windsor
D Chris Pronger- Dryden
D Rob Blake- Simcoe
D Ed Jovanovski- Windsor
D Adrian Aucoin- Ottawa
D Dan Boyle-Ottawa
D Bryan McCabe- St. Catharines
F Joe Thornton- London
F Jason Spezza-Mississauga
F Todd Bertuzzi- Sudbury
F Eric Staal- Thunder Bay
F Rick Nash- Brampton
F Marc Savard- Ottawa
F Jeff O'Neill- King City
F Jason Allison- North York
F Brendan Shanahan- Mimico
F Steve Sullivan- Timmins
F Mike Ricci- Scarborough
F Eric Lindros- London

Quebec
G Martin Brodeur- Montreal
G Jose Theodore- Laval
G Roberto Luongo- St. Leonard
D Eric Desjardins-Rouyn-Noranda
D Patrice Brisebois- Montreal
D Philippe Boucher- St. Apollinaire
D Denis Gauthier- Montreal
D Marc-Andre Bergeron- St. Louis de France
D Mathieu Biron- Lac St. Charles
F Vincent Lecavalier- Ile Bizard
F Martin St. Louis- Laval
F Mario Lemieux- Montreal
F Alex Tanguay- Ste-Justine
F Mike Ribeiro- Montreal
F Simon Gagne- Ste. Foy
F Patrice Bergeron- Ancienne-Lorette
F Daniel Briere- Gatineau
F Scott Walker- Montreal
F Luc Robitaille- Montreal
F Pierre Turgeon- Rouyn-Noranda
F Yanic Perreault- Sherbrooke

But then it goes on and on, doesn’t it? Right back into the ultimate super team: Team Canada. The thing I realized in doing this little project is that as a team, Team Canada is better off united than apart. In many ways, it reflects the reality that Canada is better off united as one political unit. Just like the political state that is Canada, each regional roster has weaknesses and strengths. Take Quebec, for example. Every one knows that Quebec produces great goaltenders. Just looking at the three on their top three makes you groan in jealousy. And look at some others who didn’t make the roster:

G Jean-Sebastien Giguere- Montreal
G Martin Biron- Lac St. Charles
G Jocelyn Thibault- Montreal
G Marc-Andre Fleury- Sorel
G Dan Cloutier - Mont-Laurie
G Patrick Lalime- St. Bonaventure

But take a look at Quebec’s defence. A little thin, if you ask me. Alberta, on the other hand, is knee deep in defenceman. In addition to the top six who made the team, there is:

D Sheldon Souray- Elk Point
D Brent Sopel-Calgary
D Andrew Ference- Edmonton
D Derek Morris- Edmonton
D Richard Matvichuk- Edmonton
D Nolan Pratt- Fort McMurray
D Darryl Sydor-Edmonton
D Mike Rathje- Mannville
D Nolan Baumgartner-Calgary
D Glen Wesley- Red Deer

But Alberta is weak at goal. Do you see my point here? Ontario probably has the deepest roster, but their goaltending and defence are getting old. Yet they have some invaluable snipers. So too does British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the Maritimes. You put all the provinces together, under one banner, and you have an unstoppable team.

One final thing to note, and that is that there are a few places in the country churning out a plentitude of quality NHL players. Montreal is no surprise, but even I was taken aback by the talent coming out of Edmonton, especially on the back-end. Ottawa is also high on the list, along with Trail and Cranbrook, British Columbia. Apparently the B.C. interior is a hotbed of hockey.

6 Comments:

At 9:41 AM, Blogger G-Dog said...

Andy, I don't in theory disagree with you. I would like to see Canada ice a few different teams; I'm not so sure that it would drive a wedge between different areas necessarily. It might just make us realize how good we really are in this country at the one thing we seem to want to be good at.

Unfortunately, we'd have some work to do with the International Ice Hockey Federation, whose rules appear to be different from FIFA's, in that Great Britain has only one entry... convenient isn't it. They can have one entry when they don't have enough players to be competitive (hockey) but multiple entrants when they can be competitive (soccer). More evidence of just how unfair the world can be.

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger sacamano said...

Hey, isn't TooToo from Nunavut?

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Tootoo isn't playing in the show. And he was born in Churchill Manitoba.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

You could dress a pretty good team from Edmonton alone:

G Jamie McLennan- Edmonton
D Scott Niedermayer- Edmonton
D Dion Phaneuf- Edmonton
D Jay Bouwmeester- Edmonton
D Andrew Ference-Edmonton
D Richard Matvichuk- Edmonton
D Darryl Sydor- Edmonton
D Nathan Dempsey Edmonton
D Derek Morris- Edmonton
D Mike Commodore- Fort Saskatchewan
D Cale Hulse- Edmonton
F Jarome Iginla-Edmonton
F Mike Comrie- Edmonton
F Joffrey Lupul- Fort Saskatchewan
F Steven Reinprecht-Edmonton
F Ray Whitney- Fort Saskatchewan
F Daymond Langkow- Edmonton
F Fernando Pisani- Edmonton
F Tyson Nash- Edmonton
F Brad Isbister- Edmonton
F Gilbert Brule- Edmonton
F Stu Barnes- Spruce Grove
F Jaime Lundmark- Edmonton
F Jason Strudwick- Edmonton
F Jason Chimera- Edmonton
F Chris Dingman-Edmonton
F Todd Fedoruk- Redwater
F Brian Sutherby- Edmonton

A Northern Alberta team could do some damage too:

G Alex Auld- Cold Lake
G Chris Osgood- Peace River
D Brad Stuart- Rocky Mountain House
D Chris Phillips-Fort McMurray
D Sheldon Souray- Elk Point
D Jim Vandermeer- Red Deer
D Glen Wesley- Red Deer
D Nolan Pratt- Fort McMurray
F Kyle Calder- Mannville
F Mike Rathje- Mannville
F Dave Scatchard- Hinton
F Darcy Tucker-Castor
F Shane Doan- Halkirk
F Trent Hunter-Red Deer
F Scott Upshall For McMurray
F Josh Green-Camrose
F Dean McAmmaond- Grande Cache
F Rene Bourge- Lac La Biche

 
At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Canada should abstain completely from sending pro players to the Olympics and World Cup, opting instead to play a domestic interprovincial championship. I would honsestly rather watch Quebec vs. Alberta than Canada vs. Whateverastan. And it would be like saying: "We already know we're better than everyone else, so we'll just send a squad from like 'Making the Cut' to show you up."

-Nathan

 
At 6:38 PM, Blogger Alex said...

I'd put money on Team Upper Canada winning it all.

 

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