Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Doughty makes Canadian Olympic team

The big hockey news of the day was the naming of the Canadian men's hockey team that will be trying to bring home the gold medal for the home squad in Vancouver in February. And, to boot, it's a great day for local hockey -- Kings defenseman Drew Doughty made the cut, as did a trio from the Anaheim Ducks -- defenseman Scott Niedermayer and forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

Here's the full roster. The Sharks also placed four players: forwards Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton and defenseman Dan Boyle.

Sadly, the Kings' Ryan Smyth didn't make the team -- likely because he's coming off an injury that forced him to miss more than a month of play. 

Former Ducks player and current Flyer Chris Pronger got the nod and a goalie that both the Ducks and Kings know well -- the Canucks' Roberto Luongo -- will get to mind the net on his home ice in Vancouver. In other words, the West Coast will be well represented on Team Canada.

The U.S. team will be named during the Winter Classic on Friday in Boston. Three members of the Kings are said to be under consideration: foward and team captain Dustin Brown, defenseman Jack Johnson and goalie Jonathan Quick. Brown, by the way, his Doughty's teammate on the road.

Good coverage of the Doughty selection can be found at LAKingsInsider

My completely uninformed opinion about this: I thought Doughty played better last year than this season. There's no doubt he is very skilled, but he also seems badly out of position at times. About this, I know a little something: I'm often several country miles out of position.

In any event, all of this extremely excites Puck Boy. As cynical as we all sometimes can be about politics and such, there's still something to be said about playing for your country and the Olympic hockey tournament is the game's best chance to make a case for itself to millions of people around the world. And, if it ignites more interest in hockey locally, all the better.

--Steve Hymon

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