Not quite pointless. But almost.
Four days of Team Canada meetings, fishing outings and golf isn't going to help Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock pick an Olympic team for the Rainbow Olympics in February scheduled for Sochi, Russia, nor is it going to help them win the tournament.
Foster team chemistry? When almost half of the 47 invitees are not going to make the cut when the team is announced? C'mon. Who is one supposed to bond with, exactly?
They can hand out the free stuff - Lord knows NHLers need more free t-shirts, etc. - let players know how one travels from North America to the Black Sea and even show some video and have a chalk talk on how Team Canada intends to navigate the larger international ice surface.
But none of that will help in February.
The reason, we are told, that Team Canada hopefuls won't actually take to the ice and get some actual preparatory work done is because of insurance costs.
Roughly $1 million, says Hockey Canada boss Bob Nicholson, is what it would cost.
When you look at, say, the 2012 world juniors in Alberta and see that it generated about $22 million in profits, a big chunk of which went to Hockey Canada, and then imagine the profits likely to be generated in 2015 and 2017 when Toronto and Montreal share the tournament, you might wonder on the basis of that money-making event alone why it isn't possible for Hockey Canada to cough up the $1 million to hold a serious Olympic training camp.
Do we not want to win in Sochi quite as badly as we did in Vancouver back in 2010?
Instead of skating, practicing and figuring out the big ice and which players might be most comfortable on that expanded surface, however, Team Canada will hang out for four days.