NHL Olympic Canadian Corner – February 11, 2014

The latest news on Canada’s Men’s Olympic hockey team, Senators coach Paul MacLean recalls his Olympic experience and an update on the Canucks.

Chris Kunitz, Martin St. Louis and Sidney Crosby share a laugh during Canada's first practice in Sochi.

Chris Kunitz, Martin St. Louis and Sidney Crosby share a laugh during Canada’s first practice in Sochi.

TSN.CA: Canadian coach Mike Babcock assessed his initial lines and defense pairings during his team’s first practice in Sochi. Among the notable combinations was Jeff Carter on the first line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz while Duncan Keith was paired with Shea Weber.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN provided the complete listing but don’t expect those lines and pairings to remain intact. Babcock juggled them up during the Vancouver Olympics and I daresay he’ll do the same as the need arises throughout this tournament.

SPORTSNET: Defenseman Drew Doughty has learned a lot since winning gold with Canada during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

CBC.CA: Canadian GM Steve Yzerman defended NHL participation in the Winter Olympics.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be the NHL owners who decides if the league continues its Olympic participation. I have my doubts we’ll see the NHL taking part in future Olympics.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators coach Paul MacLean recalls his Olympic experience at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, MacLean had a big moustache back then too. 

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks need rest and recovery during the Olympic break.


  1. Babcock also went on to state later that he did not like Carter on the top line, he hated during practice that instead of shooting that Carter would pass the puck back to Crosby. They are looking for a shooter on that wing, they want Crosby setting it up, Kunitz getting to the net, and the other winger shooting that puck.

  2. Im probably in the minority of fans but Im hoping this is the last olympics for the NHL. It makes no sense to stop a season and risk injury to your teams best players. Bring back the World cup if international competition is so important for professional athletes. The Olympics and the IOC and the IIHF does nothing for the NHL but put them at risk of damaging their assets. Growing the game is a joke teams and countries that participate in the Olympics either have professional leagues or franchises, just because the NHL is in the olympics isnt likely to spur a whole new generation of Brazilian or Cuban hockey players.

    • I’m with you! An injury to a star player will pretty much spell the end of NHL participation in the Olympics, I would think., and it’s only a matter of time. Team owners would drop the hammer on that fairly quick, if the likes of a Crosby, Ovechkin, Zetterberg or Chara were sidelined for an extended period time as a result of an injury incurred in Olympic competition. Teams like Montreal or Toronto could pretty well kiss their season goodbye, if Price or Kessel should be felled by a potential season ending injury. Imagine the fall-out from team owners!

    The Canucks need a heck of a lot more than just rest and recovery during the Olympic break.
    Thank you.

    • LOL!