OTTAWA--The AC/DC music is pounding, the warmup is ongoing with Team Canada in brilliant red and Sweden in its traditional yellow and, oh yes, John Tavares is going to try to play a gold medal game while putting the fact the Oshawa Generals have apparently traded him to London out of his mind.
Nice. They couldn't stop this leaking out for one more day? The OHL trade deadline, after all, isn't until Friday. This is not the way it was supposed to work when rules were changed after goalie Steve Mason learned last year on the morning of a semifinal game at the world junior championships that he'd been dealt from one OHL team to another.
Some might say this shouldn't distract a player when he's about to play in probably the biggest game of his young life.
But these are teenagers, not hardened vets. Any way you cut it, Tavares has to be thinking about all the little details he has to take care of to pull up stakes from the junior town he's called home for almost four years.
The whole thing stinks. And its not just Tavares. Winger Chris DiDomenico will be officially dealt from Saint John to Drummondville tomorrow, a much greater geographical move than Tavares is facing.
These are CHL teams making these moves, teams that, at least in theory, should be doing all they can to support the national junior team. Yes, they already do by loaning their players to Team Canada for a month, but having these kids forced to process this info while they should be allowed to concentrate for just one more day on winning gold is really unfortunate.
We'll see how it plays out. This much is clear; after giving up five goals in the first period of the past two games, Canada must get out to a more consistent, smarter start tonight against the Swedes.
See you after the first period.