Honestly, I hope that the World Juniors will be one more thing that Rogers takes control of over the next year. Sure, TSN provides great video coverage and they brought in Ray Ferraro so that there was at least one person who has a little bit of a junior hockey history in Canada. However, the rest are boneheads – especially the one that’s been there since 1986.
Why so bitter? The smug, all-knowing looks from the panel as they are perpetually overly critical of these kids aged between 16 and 19. Ask Connor McDavid if he’s watched and listened to any of the recorded broadcasts. The kid is 16 years old. He assists on two goals in the opening game of the tournament. Yet, he is bashed for not scoring a goal. Do they know that in the OHL, McDavid is a Gretzky-esque setup man who is responsible for Dane Fox’s potential record setting goal scoring pace? Connor doesn’t have to score any goals in this tournament to be a success.
Then, the kid takes two marginal penalties in Canada’s second game, both resulting in goals. The team’s penalty killing is not to blame for the goals, according to TSN. I refused to listen in on what Bob McKenzie had to say about Brent Sutter’s choice to have McDavid participate unsuccessfully in the shootout. Hopefully, Nazem Kadri took time out of his busy schedule to give Connor a call and give him the inside scoop on how to handle the constant doubting from these media naysayers. I understand that your jobs at TSN have been reduced to sports ‘Shock Jocks’ but, jeez, ease up a bit – they’re teens playing for free.
Anyhow, that’s my rant. With the knowledge that TSN is a bit of a joke, we’ll take a look at their WJC All-Time Team that the network announced a few days ago. Already, they are being berated for including players from just three countries: Canada, Russia and Sweden. You can’t tell me that over the 41 years of WJC action, there haven’t been a few Czechs (Jaromir Jagr with 18 points in 7 games in 1990 as a 17 year old), Slovaks or Fins that have earned their spot on this squad? Especially, since this is a large all-time team consisting of 22 players.
More specifically, we’ll take a look at the members of this All-Time Team that played in the Ontario Hockey League. There are five forwards, three defensemen and a goalie.
Jeff Carter – Forward
Carter played in the OHL for four years from 2001-02 to 2004-05, all with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Jeff played for Canada at the 2004 and 2005 World Juniors. In the first year, the team won Silver and in the star-studded NHL lockout year of 2005, Canada won gold.
In 2005, Carter led the tournament in goals and in both years he was named to the tournament All-Star Team. Over his WJC career, Jeff scored 12 goals and assisted on five for 17 points over 12 games.
Eric Lindros – Forward
Lindros played three years in the Ontario Hockey League from 1989-90 to 1991-92, all with the Oshawa Generals. In each of his three years, he played for Canada at the IIHF World Juniors. In 1990 and 1991, Canada won gold. In Eric’s final year in the tournament, Canada plunged to a sixth place finish. Over his three years, Lindros played a total of 22 games. He scored 12 goals and assisted on 19 for 31 points.
Wayne Gretzky – Forward
Back to Connor McDavid for a moment. This is the guy Connor is supposed to be living up to. Gretzky played in the tournament in 1978 when it was a shadow of what it is today. Wayne participated in the 1978 WJC for Canada and the team came away with a bronze medal. Gretzky scored eight goals and totalled 17 points over just six games. He led the tournament in points and was named to the All-Star Team.
Gretzky played two years in the OHL, 1976-77 and 1977-78. His first year consisted of just a handful of games with the Peterborough Petes. In his only full season, Wayne played for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
Kris Draper – Forward
Draper played one year in the OHL but in two World Junior Hockey Championships. Kris played for the Ottawa 67’s during the 1990-91 OHL season. He played for Canada at the World Juniors in 1990 and 1991. Both years, Canada came away with gold. Over the two years, Kris played 14 games, scoring a goal and assisting on five.
Mike Richards – Forward
Richards played in the OHL for four years from 2001-02 to 2004-05, all with the Kitchener Rangers. Mike played for Canada in 2004 and 2005, winning silver and gold. Richards played 12 games over the two years, scoring three goals and assisting on seven for ten points.
Marc Staal – Defence
Staal played four years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2003-04 to 2006-07, all with the Sudbury Wolves. Marc played for Canada in 2006 and 2007, winning gold both years. In his first World Junior tournament, Staal was named best defenseman. Over his total 12 goals, he added just one assist.
Ryan Ellis – Defence
Perhaps the best of the best, Ellis played in three consecutive WJC’s. Ryan was part of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 teams that won gold, silver and silver. In his final year, he was named the tournament’s best defenseman and was also a member of the All-Star Team. Over his WJC career, Ellis played 19 games, scoring five goals and assisting on 20 for 25 points. Ryan played four years in the OHL from 2007-08 to 2010-11, all with the Windsor Spitfires and is one of the most decorated defensemen in league history.
Brent Tully – Defence
Tully played four years in the OHL from 1990-91 to 1993-94, all with the Peterborough Petes. Brent played for Canada in 1993 and 1994, winning gold both years. In his first year, he was named to the All-Star Team. Over 14 total WJC games, Tully scored one goals and assisted on three.
Manny Legace – Goalie
The recently retired Legace played three years in the OHL from 1990-91 to 1992-93, all with the Niagara Falls Thunder. He played for Canada at the 1993 WJC and led the team to a gold medal. Manny was named the tournament’s best goaltender and was also added to the All-Star Team.