Hayley Wickenheiser’s leadership as captain of the Canadian Olympic women’s hockey team will be crucial to their bid for a third straight gold in Vancouver in February, but she’s probably an even bigger impact player off the ice.
Quinn has a huge appetite for the international game and has always been a big supporter of the women. He’s a favourite of the Hockey Canada brass for always eagerly answering the call. Plus he’s available.
Davidson may have sealed her own fate by openly questioning her ability to do the job after yesterday’s embarrassing 4-1 loss to the Americans at the world championships in Finland.
"Coaching is coaching and if you don't perform, you don't go on," Davidson told reporters in Finland. "If we're not going to perform in the final game, that's on my shoulders and we have to be able to perform. If we can't, maybe Hockey Canada has to look at a change. There's no excuses for that performance out there today."
Added team captain Hayley Wickenheiser: “We had too many passengers.”
It certainly sounds like a team in need of a change.
But Hockey Canada boss Bob Nicholson tends to be a loyal guy and, despite four losses to the U.S. in their last six meetings, Canada was impressive in winning gold at the 2006 Turin Olympics under Davidson. Hockey Canada stuck by coach Daniele Sauvageau despite an 1-8 record heading into the 2002 Salt Lake Games and they pulled out a dramatic win for gold.
Meanwhile, the loss on the same day by Canada’s Kevin Martin to Scotland's David Murdoch in the men’s world curling championships in Moncton once again shows that these gold medals that we so often take for granted are anything but guaranteed for Vancouver next year. That's not a bad reminder to have.
A two-time National Newspaper Award winner, Randy Starkman covered Team Canada at the Olympic Games since 1984 in Sarajevo. His passion for his work comes across on this blog. Randy passed away on April 16th, 2012.
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