Who's in, who's out?
Team Canada roster debate heats upTurin squad could have fresh faces
Nov. 10, 2005. 05:16 AM
There was 1998, the year Team Canada didn't want Mark Messier.
Then there was 2002, when the Salt Lake City mission didn't include Joe Thornton.
Both were national hockey controversies and both are likely to pale in comparison to the intense debate that is already growing across the country over membership on Canada's 2006 Winter Olympic squad.
Little seems settled with six weeks left before the Canadian roster must be announced.
For example, look at the three players who were, for a variety of reasons, guaranteed positions on the squad.
Mario Lemieux, at least, has started to pick up his game of late. But he declined to attend the August orientation camp in Kelowna, B.C., and there are many wondering if this is the year Lemieux politely steps aside.
Don't forget, there was bitter criticism in Pittsburgh in '02 when Lemieux played for Canada, then returned to the Penguins for only a handful of post-Olympic matches before packing it in for the season.
Steve Yzerman, on the other hand, has accomplished little this season aside from working himself back from a serious eye injury and then fighting off a groin problem to return to the Detroit lineup seven games ago.
Yzerman notched his first goal of the year last night to go along with three assists.
Even Stevie Y would tell you these are not Olympic numbers.