For the record, I don’t normally do this. I don’t normally read some article by some writer I’ve never heard of and immediately say “I’ve got to write a well worded response that addresses the original article in a timely manner”. Or something like that.
For one thing, I wouldn’t call my “writing” well worded. And this response is anything but well timed considering Jack Todd’s original article – the one that got me fired up – was published on Saturday.
But I don’t really care. Chalk it up to me making a point of how much I disagree with Todd’s views. Or how busy I am. But first, allow me to be cordial about this.
Readers, meet Jack Todd. Jack is a writer for the Canwest News Service. (Yeah, I don’t know what that means either). Jack writes for the National Post and Montreal Gazette, among other publications. Jack, meet the Classiest readers you’ll ever meet. Or hear about meeting. You get the point.
This past Saturday, Jack wrote a column suggesting Montreal Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri should be a lock for Team Canada’s Olympic hockey team. Yes, you read that correctly. Jack feels Cammalleri’s name belongs with Canadian superstars like Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, and countless others.
Jack even goes as far as hinting Cammalleri deserves a spot on the Canadian Olympic team more than Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley (purely because of his summer antics), and Rick Nash. I’m not even making this up.
As of writing this, Mike Cammalleri has 18 goals this season, good for 6th in the NHL. Don’t get me wrong – that’s impressive. But here’s the deal: For Cammalleri to play on this team and to be effective, you’d have to give him top 6 minutes. That’s what Cammalleri has received in recent years and done well with the Kings, Flames, and now the Canadiens. Cammalleri’s size and style doesn’t support a checking line role either. So in saying that, can anyone justify giving Cammalleri top 6 minutes with better and more effective players?
If Cammalleri is on the team, who do you cut? Whoever it is, that’s an awfully big risk.
Cammalleri has some international experience (a total of 17 World Championship games and 14 World Junior games), but he’s appeared in only 6 NHL playoff games in his career. Cammalleri has 10 points in those 17 World Championship games – hardly top 6 numbers. Compare that to the number’s we’ve seen Rick Nash or Dany Heatley put up and I think you have a definitive reason not to select Cammalleri.
Some may argue Steve Yzerman and co should be taking the players who are playing the best hockey right now (ie. not guys like Jeff Carter). That’s fair to say – but I can find other players playing as well or better than Cammalleri who have better international and playoff resumes. Point trumped, again.
Simply put, there’s no room for Cammalleri on this team. He’s a great player who’s consistently improved year over year, but I don’t think he’s good enough for Team Canada in 2010. If Canada could build 2 Olympic teams, then I’d agree with Jack Todd. But since the top 6 forwards need to be the best of the best, there’s no way Cammalleri can be considered in that elite group. The depth Canada has is far too deep. Maybe in 2014, Mike.
Stay classy, Mike Cammalleri… and Jack Todd.