Let the debates begin.
Following Tuesday’s announcement of the Canadian Olympic roster, focus shifted to who didn’t make the team — and it was an intense focus to say the least.
A trio of captains — Philly’s Claude Giroux, Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis and San Jose’s Joe Thornton — were all left off Team Canada, as were defensemen Brent Seabrook and Dan Boyle, gold medalists at the 2010 games in Vancouver.
Giroux’s omission completes a fall from grace in the eyes of Hockey Canada. Prior to his rough start, Giroux was thought to be a heavy favorite for a spot on the team, and was invited to this summer’s orientation camp (that he bailed on, which reportedly didn’t go over well.)
St. Louis’ omission will sting, as the veteran was looking to again represent his country on the Olympic stage. The 38-year-old played in ’06 and was named an alternate for the Vancouver games four years ago, but never got a chance to suit up.
Thornton, the NHL’s fifth-leading scorer (48 points), had represented his country at the ’06 and ’10 Olympics but was thought to be on the outside looking in this time around, largely due to Canada’s depth at center.
Other noteworthy snubs include:
— From the ’10 team: Mike Richards, Eric Staal.
— Former 40-goal scorer James Neal.
— Sharks forward Logan Couture, who is injured (hand) and will undergo surgery on Wednesday.
— Tyler Seguin, the fifth-leading Canadian goalscorer (21).
— Edmonton’s Taylor Hall, who has 41 points through 38 games this year.
— Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang, a Norris finalist last season.