The most blatant thing missing from Team Canada’s Olympic orientation camp in Calgary was of course the ice. Due to costs relating to insurance, Team Canada was forced to prepare for their Olympic ice hockey tournament by running ball hockey drills. While the lack of ice was front-page news across the sports pages, surprisingly there was nary a mention of the absence of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ second (?) most talented forward – Canadian Nazem Kadri.
The thought of Nazem Kadri as a member of Team Canada’s Olympic team brings back memories of Bryan McCabe making the red-and-white roster (check the records – it happened in 2006). While making the team is one thing, why wasn’t Nazem Kadri among the 25 forwards invited to the orientation camp?
Consider this: in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 NHL regular season, Nazem Kadri finished in a tie for 21st in league scoring with 44 points. Kadri’s 44 points placed him in a tie for 13th place in scoring among Canadians. Of the 25 Canadian forwards that were invited to Team Canada’s Olympic orientation camp, Kadri scored more points than 14 of them. The 14 who Kadri outscored (in alphabetical order): Bergeron, Carter, Couture, Duchene, Eberle, Lucic, Marchand, Nash, Neal, Perry, Richards, Sharp, J. Staal, & Thornton. The only Canadian non-invitee to have scored more points than Kadri last season was Mike Ribiero.
Granted, one shortened season does not a superstar make. However, given Kadri’s break-out performance, shouldn’t he have been invited to the orientation camp? Naturally the final Olympic roster does not have to drawn from only those who attended the camp but it will take a sensational start to the NHL season for a non-invitee to crack the line-up. Kadri would probably have to be sitting in the top-10 in league scoring a few months into the season to be given any consideration whatsoever. For the record, I’m not saying Nazem Kadri should be on Team Canada come February. All I’m saying is that he deserves consideration after his impressive statistical performance in the 2012-13 season.
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