|Let's just say that goaltending would be Team Quebec's strong point.|
A big shoutout to Gilles Duceppe this morning. Not only has the guy grandstanded his way from the election trail to the sports pages with his talk of a Team Quebec, he's landed here in JABS' lap like a puck dropped from heaven.
As Cathal Kelly noted in an email this morning, Big Gilles knows the beautiful game:
"What I have noticed is that when you are at the World Cup ... Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own teams."
Wales! This guy's been watching since 1958!
But what would it look like, not only for Quebec but who's left (excepting Olympics, of course, which are held to national teams only)? Helped along by Hockey Page co-conspirator Spencer, we've put together possible lineups. And hey kids -- take the jump, and you can play along at home!
First, your Team Duceppe, managed by Spencer:
Goaltenders: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, Jose Theodore. Where have we seen this before?
Defence: Patrice Briesbois -- solid vet having good year; Eric Desjardins -- more experience; Phillipe Boucher -- another all-round guy for the top-4; Mathieu Dandenault -- all purpose and solid; Denis Gauthier -- physical presence; Marc-Andre Bergeron -- small, speedy, good fit for Olympic ice.Stephane Robidas as first sub.
Forwards by lines:
Simon Gagne - Vincent Lecavalier - Mario Lemieux ... the been there, done that superstar line.
Alex Tanguay - Martin St. Louis - Pierre-Marc Bouchard ... the young, though very small, super-speed line.
Daniel Briere - Patrice Bergeron - Ian Laperriere ... more catch-me-if-you-can speed for the Olympic ice with Laperriere chasing pucks all over the place.
Luc Robitalille - Marc Chouinard - Martin Lapointe ... the checking line, with Lucky Luc included for added offence and experience. Subs: Eric Daze (who will undoubtedly be injured so we move on the next), J.P. Dumont, Mike Ribeiro.
And introducing Team Rest of Canada, chosen by me (I think you can come up with a better moniker than that):
Goaltenders: Joseph, Turco, Legace. Cujo resurgent and has point to prove, Marty Turco belongs here. Legace's been tremendous, Belfour also a possibility.
Defence: Niedermayer, Regehr, Redden, Jovocop, Blake, McCabe. First five are incumbents. McCabe's slapshot belongs. Bring Dion Phaneuf as seventh man, if you want. Significantly absent: Foote.
Centres: Sakic, Spezza, Richards, Thornton.
Wingers: Iginla, Heatley, Staal, Smyth, Draper, Crosby, Nash, Doan. Doan was on a good line with Smyth and Richards at worlds. Spezza-Heatley-Staal would sizzle. Sakic-Iginla-Crosby sounds intriguing. Thornton-Draper-Nash is the other trio, but with Nash on limp and iffy in the real world, options include Marc Savard, Steve Sullivan, Bertuzzi and I'm sure you can think of others.