As this point, your heart just goes out to Steven Stamkos. The No. 1 overall pick in 2008 for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the kid battled through absurd expectations placed on him through offseason marketing -- and his own struggles -- in a season that saw him earn just three third-place sympathy votes for the Calder.
But he played better as the year wore on, and played very well for Team Canada in the 2009 world championships. Olympic hockey analyst Pierre McGuire thought his international experience might be enough to earn Stamkos a roster spot for Team Canada in the 2010 Winter Games; but then again:
"The age factor may be as it was for Crosby and Phaneuf when they weren't chosen to go to the 2006 Olympics. Age will be part of the equation but not all of it."
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Some other interesting omissions at the Team Canada
'who will lose to the gold to the Russians?' orientation camp roster was revealed this morning:
Chris Osgood, Detroit Red Wings: A long-shot to make the cut, considering the caliber of the five goalies invited to the camp. But with Steve Yzerman as the executive director, one figured he might have an 'in.' His Canadian Red Wings teammates rallied behind him as a candidate when asked about it during the Stanley Cup finals.
Marc Savard, Boston Bruins: The competition at center is obviously steep, and neither he nor Brad Richards of the Dallas Stars received an invite. (Yet Andy McDonald did.) McGuire had him as a bubble player to make the team, so not getting a call for camp is a little surprising.
Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators: Good lord, how the mighty have fallen. Three world juniors appearances, two world championship appearances and a reserve on the Canadian team in the 2006 Games in Turin. Now, he doesn't even get a skate in the door.
The list of players includes 40 players with senior international experience, either at the Olympics, IIHF World Championship or World Cup of Hockey/Canada Cup, while 36 of the 46 players played for either the National Junior Team or National Men's Under-18 Team.
Players not invited to the orientation camp can still be considered for both the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and 2010 IIHF World Championship. Although the 2002 and 2006 Olympic teams were comprised entirely of players who had been invited to camp.
Defense: François Beauchemin, Anaheim Ducks (for now); Jay Bouwmeester, Calgary Flames; Dan Boyle; San Jose Sharks; Brent Burns, Minnesota Wild; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Mike Green, Washington Capitals; Dan Hamhuis, Nashville Predators; Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks; Scott Niedermayer; Anaheim Ducks; Dion Phaneuf; Calgary Flames; Chris Pronger; Philadelphia Flyers; Robyn Regehr; Calgary Flames; Stéphane Robidas, Dallas Stars; Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks; Marc Staal; New York Rangers; Shea Weber; Nashville Predators.
Forwards: Jeff Carter, Philadelphia Flyers; Dan Cleary, Detroit Red Wings; Sidney Crosby (who?) Pittsburgh Penguins; Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes; Simon Gagné; Philadelphia Flyers; Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks; Dany Heatley, Ottawa Senators; Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames; Vincent Lecavalier; Tampa Bay Lightning; Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins; Patrick Marleau; San Jose Sharks; Andy McDonald, St. Louis Blues; Brenden Morrow; Dallas Stars; Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets; Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks; Mike Richards; Philadelphia Flyers; Derek Roy, Buffalo Sabres; Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche; Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks; Ryan Smyth, Colorado Avalanche; Martin St. Louis; Tampa Bay Lightning; Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes; Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins; Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks; Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks.
The camp is scheduled for August 24-27 at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary.
Yeah, good luck convincing Heatley to play in Alberta ...