Yzerman Already Making Tough Choices
LONDON -The news is good - very good - on the early Olympic decisions of Steve Yzerman.
Yzerman's already making the tough choices that Wayne Gretzky felt he couldn't make back for the Torino effort in 2006, at least partially because Gretzky was hamstrung by the 2004-05 lockout that gave him little evidence upon which to pick a roster.
This time around, Yzerman has shown some good decisiveness and a willingness to say farewell to some fine old warriors. From the '06 team, defenceman Rob Blake, Adam Foote and Wade Redden have not been invited to the Calgary orientation camp, and the same goes for Ed Jovanovski, who was originally named to the Torino team but didn't play because of injury. Bryan McCabe, who did play, was also not invited this time around.
Up front, Kris Draper, Brad Richards and Todd Bertuzzi weren't brought back. Neither was third-string goalie Marty Turco or alternate forward Jason Spezza. Yzerman didn't invite Detroit goalie Chris Osgood, unfortunate but a demonstration he won't favour any Red Wings, nor was centre Marc Savard asked to attend the Calgary camp, probably the biggest name player not to make the grade.
By contrast, Yzerman did invite veteran Joe Sakic despite the fact he missed last season with an injury, knowing he may well need Sakic in a leadership capacity that he himself filled for Team Canada at the '02 Salt Lake City Games.
That's quite a bit of change in three years.
On the other hand, Yzerman did make some interesting choices of players to invite, including defenceman Francois Beauchemin and Stephane Robidas, and forwards Dan Cleary, Andy McDonald and Milan Lucic.
Meanwhile, you've got to love the invitations that went out to all three Staal brothers. What a story that would be if Eric, Marc and Jordan all made it.