‘Keep evolving’ – The process behind selecting Team Canada

1 Comment

For some of us, a study of the construction of Team Canada’s roster would revolve around a series of questions regarding the decision to choose Jay Bouwmeester over the likes of Kris Letang and P.K. Subban.

Sportsnet’s Dan Robson provided an interesting glimpse at the process that Doug Armstrong, Mike Babcock, Marc Bergevin and others went through to put together an absurdly deep 23-man roster.

No, there isn’t much insight regarding those nitpicking questions, and there also isn’t a Brian Burke scorching Bobby Ryan‘s intensity-type bombshell. But it’s still a worthy read.

One thing that stood out: you couldn’t merely rest on pest accomplishments.

“What won in 2010 and in 2014 won’t be good enough to win here,” Babcock said. “You have to keep evolving.”

Interestingly, that didn’t just mean bringing in young blood, although Babcock admitted that the under-23 team affected decisions, as well.

(Is that Babcock essentially acknowledging that Connor McDavid would have made the team? Anyway …)

It also meant that players could work their way into the mix, which Joe Thornton apparently did during an impressive 2015-16 season.

“He was someone who bumped off someone we probably had higher up the food chain,” says Armstrong. “We couldn’t ignore the work that he did.”

It’s also tough to ignore certain quibbles, whether you agree with the criticism of selecting Bouwmeester or believe that a different player got snubbed. As Armstrong told NHL.com, that’s just the nature of the beast when it comes to choosing between All-Stars.

/Continues to grumble about Subban and Letang not making the team …