Subban has competition to make Team Canada

AP
9 Comments

P.K. Subban believes he can be trusted.

He believes he’s proven his worth.

He believes he deserves to be on Team Canada at the World Cup.

“I’m going to trust in what I’ve done in this league and what I’ve accomplished over the past two seasons to do the talking for me,” Subban told reporters yesterday, hours before his name became the most notable omission from Canada’s first 16.

“For me, I feel that in any situation I’ve ever been put in I’ve always found a way to help my team.”

But Subban will have competition to make the cut. Drew Doughty and Shea Weber have already made it on the right side, with Duncan Keith and Marc-Edouard Vlasic on the left.

Canada will name three more defensemen by June 1. Assuming at least one of those three will be another lefty, that leaves a maximum two spots on the right side, and maybe just one.

So, will Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, in charge of the defense for Canada, push for Brent Seabrook?

What about Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo? Like Subban, he was on Canada’s gold-medal-winning Olympic roster in Sochi. And Canada’s GM, Doug Armstrong, is also the Blues’ GM.

Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie may shoot left, but he plays the right side on a pairing with Mark Giordano. Both those guys are “in the mix,” according to Armstrong.

Want another? Armstrong mentioned San Jose’s Brent Burns as a potential candidate.

In addition to all that competition, if there’s another challenge for Subban’s candidacy, it may be his reputation for taking unnecessary risks. That, of course, was an issue that flared up recently in Montreal.

“What I know about [Mike Babcock] from the Olympics is he likes predictability,” Armstrong told reporters. “He likes to know that he can play a player in any situation.”

Subban didn’t play much in Sochi under Babcock. In fact, he only dressed for one game, against Austria. He sat for all the big games.

And remember, Subban was the reigning Norris Trophy winner at the time.

“I’ve just tried to be the best payer that I can be over the last six years and definitely since the last Olympics,” Subban said.

“I definitely hope that I deserve to be on the team, but I don’t get to pick it.”