It is no surprise that Mike Green will be one 16 defensemen invited to Hockey Canada’s summer orientation camp for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. The camp will happen in Green’s hometown of Calgary from Aug. 24-27.
Making the actual team is no sure thing for Green, even if he had the best offensive season by a defensemen in the past 15 years and finished second in the Norris trophy voting. This might be the toughest hockey team at any level to make since the 1987 Canada Cup team (side note: if you haven’t read Gretzky to Lemeiux, I highly recommend it).
We broke down the Team Canada roster last month and included Green. I talked to about a dozen Canadaian writers over the past month and asked all of them their opinion of Green being on the team. Every one of them said he’s either one of the last couple on or the first couple off — squarely on the bubble.
Between this camp and the start of next season, Green needs to prove A) his shoulder is healthy and B) he can be responsible in his own end.
Breaking down the group of 16 at the camp, I think there are only three locks for the roster (barring injuries) — Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger and Shea Webber. Niedermayer is a strong candidate to be the captain of this team. There are probably five guys who are longshots at best — Marc Staal, Stephane Robidas, Francois Beauchemin, Brent Burns and Dan Hamhuis.
That leaves eight guys fighting for likely four spots. Green, Jay Bouwmeester, Duncan Keith and Dion Phaneuf made our Canada roster (most people think Phaneuf needs a big bounce back year and I think he has it), while Dan Boyle, Robyn Regehr, Drew Doughty and Brent Seabrook were the four who just missed the cut. Any of those eight can consider themselves deserving, especially if Doughty is even better in his sophomore season.
It will certainly be a fascinating process to watch, and that camp should produce some high-level, high-intensity hockey.