Ryan Kesler, Sidney Crosby get burned as Zach Parise named Team USA captain

Bad news, friends: Ryan Kesler has not been named the captain of Team USA.

He was never really in the running for the gig, of course. Most assumed it would be one of Parise, David Backes, Ryan Suter, or Dustin Brown. But since this is a Canucks blog, we try to filter all our news through the Canucks fan experience. Hence, we are outraged that Ryan Kesler was passed over for this honour.

Especially now that Parise has it. Has Zach Parise ever won the Selke trophy? No he has not.

Has Zach Parise ever ditched the team that drafted him to take a big-money contract elsewhere? Yes he has. Who’s to say he join Switzerland halfway through the tournament, after they back a truckload of money up to his house?

Don’t say you weren’t warned, America.

Sure, between winning an Eastern Conference title with the Devils, taking silver in Vancouver, and having an older brother, Parise’s already got a lot of experience being second, which is where his team is bound to finish again. But dammit, Kesler’s an Olympic silver medallist and Stanley Cup Final runner-up with an older brother too. It’s not fair!

To make matters worse, Kesler wasn’t even named an alternate. He was passed over in favour of Parise’s best friend, Ryan Suter, and, ugh, Dustin Brown. Kesler was arguably Team USA’s best player at the Vancouver Olympics. What does that get you? Snubbed! And this after they originally gave his spot to an old man.

Now we all know why Zach Parise really got the nod: the Minnesota Wild winger showed he’s willing to lay it all on the line for his country when he submitted himself to the indignity of his country’s Opening Ceremony uniform, a combination of white sweatpants, steampunk boots, and a jacket covered in the vomit of a patriotic sea monster.

But passing over Kesler to reward Parise’s lack of shame is hardly the only controversy here. Dan Bylsma endorsed Parise’s selection wholeheartedly, and in so doing, raised a couple eyebrows — at least the two belonging to this guy. As tweeted by USA Hockey:


Well. Then you’re not trying, bud. Picard. Kirk. Janeway. America. Marvel. Falcon. Reynolds a.k.a. Tight Pants. Ron. Planet. Caveman. Phillips. The one from that Whitman poem. Underpants. Hunnicutt. Beefheart. Nemo. Kangaroo. Jack Sparrow. Morgan. And Tennille. It’s pretty easy.

And you’d think it would be even easier for Bylsma, since he coaches Sidney Crosby, who is, by all accounts, a pretty good captain. He’s decent enough at captaining that not only does he wear the “C” for Bylsma’s Penguins, but he’ll be wearing the “C” for Canada.

It’s a conspicuous moment of selective memory. Sidney Crosby’s a pretty unforgettable guy. Bylsma rarely forgets him — heck, he plays the centre 21:59 a night, the second-most in the NHL among forwards (behind, incidentally, not-a-captain Kesler). And now, suddenly, Bylsma can’t think of a better captain than Zach Parise?

Was this a shot across the bow? A little warning salvo, a way of saying, “Hey Sid, beginning now, we’re foes, and I think you’re terrible, so come at me bro”?

Yes. 100% yes. Unequivocally. You just got served, Sidney Crosby. And now it is on. It is so on. Bylsma and Crosby at loggerheads. Let’s settle this on Olympic ice. Only one man leaves alive.

Sure, you could argue that Bylsma meant among the eligible players, i.e. the Americans selected to the team. You could argue that the full quote — “I can’t think of a better captain than Zach Parise to lead our team and be our captain” — pretty much undoes the premise of this entire piece.

But that’s not what the tweet says, and tweets are gospel, so we can only assume he intended this as a slap in the face to his usual captain.

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  1. steveB
    January 31, 2014

    I hope that Ryan Kesler (and for that matter, the Sedins & Edler) play as well for Teams USA & Sweden as effectively as they have for the Canucks the past month.

    I also hope that Roberto Luongo & Dan Hamhuis don’t follow suit. ;-)

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    • Max
      January 31, 2014

      We’ll probable see with them what we did with Demitra (RIP) back in 2010. They’ll probably all play amazingly then return to underperforming with the Canucks.

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  2. Tengeresz
    January 31, 2014

    I love a good rant, especially with self-conscious dismissal of any pesky inconsistent items like those silly facts, or context, or journalistic integrity.

    Well played.

    That’s what I come here for: Witty and entertaining writing. Plus a few pop-culture links.

    Even after another dismal loss, the humour here keeps my fandom entertaining.

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  3. tom selleck's moustache
    January 31, 2014

    Captain Caveman. That whole paragraph had me in stitches; but Caveman was especially funny. I don’t know how you come up with this stuff sometimes, Mooney; but it was a thoroughly entertaining read.

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