Ideas for Other “World Cup of Hockey” Team Entrants
The World Cup of Hockey is right around the corner and… to be honest I don’t know how I feel about it. On one hand I will probably tune in because I love hockey. But on the other hand, I really just don’t care about the result. The NHL is branding this as a replacement for the Olympics, but the mere presence of the Under-23 North American team and the Rest-of-Europe team has rendered this tournament to be a bit of a joke.
It’s a good thing that I enjoy a good joke. I am actually kind of excited to see a team purely built on the young talent of the NHL and how they’ll stack up against the likes of Canada, Russia, and the US. My problem with the World Cup is the fact that the NHL is marketing this as a serious tournament that will definitively prove the best nation in hockey. How will they decide which anthem is played if team Europe wins? Or for team North America for that matter? How will people react to the US program if they come in last despite conceding a bulk of their talent (Eichel, Matthews, Gaudreau, Jones, Gostisbehere, Gibson) to this Young Guns team? The NHL should embrace the joke instead of claiming that this tournament is an Olympics replacement. Play every game 3 on 3. Let fans vote on what song plays for team North America’s anthem. Add even more gimmick teams to the tournament roster.
Team “Rest of Canada”
Forwards: Logan Couture, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Mike Hoffman, Jonathan Huberdeau, Ryan Johansen, Milan Lucic, Corey Perry, Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Jason Spezza, Mark Stone
Defense: Tyson Barrie, Cody Ceci, Mark Giardano, Travis Hamonic, Kris Letang, Brent Seabrook, PK Subban
Goalies: MA Fleury, Martin Jones, Roberto Luongo
The stupid thing is that this team could contend for gold. I made this team before Canada replaced the injured Jamie Benn with Logan Couture. Despite Canada’s choice when replacing Duncan Keith, I still didn’t have Jay Bouwmeester on this team. I feel like as good as Canada is, they are starting to buy into their hype a little too much. I know handedness comes into play when selecting the team, but in a tournament that doesn’t matter, being played in Canada, why not make a team of the best possible players on the ice, purely for the promotion of the game. Subban and Letang are infinitely more marketable than Muzzin and Bouwmeester. This is just another example of Team Canada (and the NHL for that matter) taking themselves way too seriously. Subban and Letang are fantastic players and should be on the real team Canada in their own right.
Forwards: Jeff Carter, Logan Couture, Matt Duchene, Claude Giroux, Connor McDavid, Sean Monahan, Rick Nash, Ryan O’Reilly, Corey Perry, Tyler Seguin, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Joe Thornton
Defense: Brent Burns, Drew Doughty, Aaron Ekblad, Mark Giardano, Jake Muzzin, Alex Pietrangelo, PK Subban,
Goalies: Brian Elliot, Steve Mason, Mike Smith
This team could win gold. The only reason that it isn’t a lock, is the apparent lack of elite goaltending. But if you can line up with McDavid, Tavares, Seguin, Doughty and Burns in the opening faceoff, the other team is in for a rough time. This is the only provincial team that I took the time to construct, but I would love to see team Price backstopping team BC or Crosby captaining team Maritimes.
2003 NHL All-Draft Team
Forwards: David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, Louie Eriksson, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Getzlaf, Matt Moulson, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Corey Perry,
Eric Staal, Lee Stempniak
Defense: Brent Burns, Dustin Byfuglien, Matt Carle, Dion Phaneuf, Brent Seabrook,
Ryan Suter, Shea Weber
Goalies: Corey Crawford, MA Fleury, Jimmy Howard
The deepest draft ever still holds up in 2016. A couple of years ago it would have been even stronger with Vanek, Mike Richards and Clarke MacArthur still playing top-end minutes. Unfortunately by 2016 they have been edged out by Lee Stempniak.
Over 33 Team
Forwards: Mike Cammalleri, Shane Doan, Marian Hossa, Jerome Iginla, Jaromir Jagr, Miko Koivu, Patrick Marleau, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza, Joe Thornton, Henrik Zetterberg
Defense: Francois Beauchemin, Dan Boyle, Zdeno Chara, Duncan Keith, Niklas Kronwall, Andrei Markov, Brooks Orpik
Goalies: Roberto Luongo, Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Miller
This team would absolutely dominate in 2006. This is the opposite end of the spectrum from your under-23 team. The crazy thing is this team could still have a shot at gold if Luongo or Lundqvist gets hot. While the blue line is slow as molasses, you better skate with your head up with Chara, Kronwall and Orpik roaming the neutral zone. I would throw lots of money at a new Adidas Jaromir Jagr Over-33 jersey with a “C” on the shoulder. I could see myself actively cheering for this team over the current Canadian team.
The Truculence Team
Forwards: Derek Dorsett, Matt Martin, Fraser McLaren, Cody McLeod, Chris Neil, Colton Orr, George Parros, Brandon Prust, Antoine Roussel, John Scott, Shawn Thornton, Jordan Tootoo, Tom Wilson
Defense: Kevin Bieksa, Matt Borowiecki, Eric Gryba, Barrett Jackman, Alex Petrovic, Luke Schenn, Clayton Stoner
Goalies: Ray Emery, Jonathan Roy, Tim Thomas
Fighting is a dying art in hockey and players like Colton Orr (#RE28ECT) are long extinct. People went crazy for John Scott in last year’s All Star game and I figure why not take that formula and ramp it up? If they score even one goal, the crowd will lose their minds. Right now Patrick Roy is looking for a coaching gig and I could not think of a team that would be better suited for him. His son Jonathan makes the team despite never making the NHL team purely because of this fight from 2008.
The All-Celebrity Team
Will Arnett (TOR), Justin Bieber (TOR), Michael Buble (VAN), Snoop Dogg (NHL), Will Ferrell (LAK), Kevin James (CHI), Jon Hamm (STL), Tom Hanks (NYR), Chloe Grace Moretz (LAK), Mike Myers (TOR), Matthew Perry (LAK), Margot Robbie (NYR), Kevin Smith (NJD), Cobie Smulders (VAN), Kevin Spacey (FLA), Michael Strahan (NYR), Kiefer Sutherland (VAN), Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood (NSH), Vince Vaughn (CHI), Patrick Warburton (NJD)
This tournament ultimately doesn’t matter so throw in some celebrities. For the same reason that I sometimes watch the celebrity game during NBA All Star Game weekend, people love watching celebrities do normal things like play sports. I would love to see Kevin James Mall Cop unleash a wild hip check on Sid the Kid.
Canada’s Women Team
Why not make a tournament that doesn’t matter and make a statement. In the minds of sane people, this should be a win-win situation. If the women are competitive or even win a game, I could not imagine anything greater women’s sport in encouraging female participation in sport. If they lose badly it should also spark a social movement nonetheless. A tough tournament loss should make it apparent that more time, energy and funding needs to be put put into women’s sport. Of course you will have your brain-dead bigots against the idea, or actively cheering against the women. But they need to catch up to the world, not the other way around. It wouldn’t be the smoothest transition seeing as there are some rule discrepancies between the men’s and women’s game but greater obstacles have been overcome.
If you have any ideas for gimmick teams share them in the comment section.