For years other countries have been taking what Hockey Canada has done and used it to their advantage. There was a time when USA hockey would ignore CHL players with American passports, while Canada welcomed NCAA players from Canada and a few of them were key cogs in gold medal efforts. Now it's Hockey Canada who is borrowing a concept and it's one that Guy Flaming has been talking about for a while. Instead of a regular summer camp this year, Canada will take on Russia in a 4 game series. 2 in Halifax and 2 in Yaroslavl to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series, as well as raising money for the horrific plane crash last year that claimed an entire KHL team. Today Hockey Canada released it's list of 28 players named to it's team and I wonder why a few of them are there? You can find the complete roster here.
First of all, I don't there are any guys on this list that don't deserve to be. I just wonder why a guys are there that in all likelihood won't be available. Also Hockey Canada should be using this as a chance to get a look at some guys who will actually be invited to their camp in December.
Does anyone really believe that Dougie Hamilton, Jonathan Huburdeau and Mark Scheifele need to be taking up precious evaluation time and space? Some might even throw Ryan Strome and Scott Harrington into the mix. It's believed to be a Hockey Canada protocol that returning players are automatically invited.
For me I would have liked to see Derrick Pouliot in Portland, Andreas Athanasiou out of London or Mark McNeill get a look for this year's team.
Guy would have liked to see the Oil Kings Michael St. Croix, Slater Koekkoek of Peterborough and Brendan Gaunce from the Belleville Bulls.
I think the only way any of the 6 guys above get invited is if someone declines, like what Taylor Hall did in 2011 when he chose to concentrate on making the Oilers instead of attending a summer camp. I would think several of the players named might be thinking the same thing.
On a positive note, I'm glad a couple of non CHL guys were named, Phillip Di Giuseppe who attended last year's December camp and had 11 goals in 40 games as a freshman with the Michigan Wolverines of the CCHA last season and Kevin Roy who lit up the USHL and is slated to attend Brown University this year.