Earlier today we introduced you to the forwards that make up the Team Canada roster. But the team is more than just its most exciting players. There are also defencemen and goalies on this team. Let’s meet them in much the same way.
About: Jay Bouwmeester is a left-shooting defenceman for the St. Louis Blues. He holds the current active ironman streak at 692 games, but has a reputation for not being a playoff performer, by virtue of basically never playing for a playoff team, which is totally his fault. Sure, he’s spent most of his career with the Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames, but sure, we’ll blame Bouwmeester.
Nickname(s): J-Bo, Javid Bouwie, JWoww, Boa
My wife thinks he looks like: A more robust DJ Qualls.
Expect to hear: “Bouwmeester and Pietrangelo have excellent chemistry.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Bouwmeester and Pietrangelo do excellent chemistry. You absolutely must try their meth.”
About: Drew Doughty is a right-shooting defenceman for the Los Angeles Kings. He was the youngest member of Team Canada at the 2010 Olympics and ended up being arguably the team’s best defenceman. Also, he wishes he had a pet lion.
Nickname(s): No Doubt Doughty, Doughnut, Dewey, Brad Doty
My wife thinks he looks like: Kevin Corrigan.
Expect to hear: “Doughty is so poised.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Doughty is so poisoned.”
About: Dan Hamhuis is a left-shooting defenceman for the Vancouver Canucks. He’s a super-nice guy and is just as quiet and unassuming off the ice as he is on it. He’s known for his charity work. In Vancouver, we call him the Community Man. He’s not known for his powerplay proficiency. Fortunately, he likely won’t be playing on the power play for Team Canada at all.
Nickname(s): Hammer, Hammy, Community Man
My wife thinks he looks like: He has never smiled before in his life.
Expect to hear: “Dan, you can’t adopt all these puppies!”
Don’t expect to hear: “Pretty sure it was Hamhuis who poisoned Drew Doughty. Just look at him. He looks like a poisoner.”
About: Duncan Keith is a left-shooting defenceman for the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s incredibly talented and he’ll likely be Team Canada’s top defenceman in Sochi. We don’t particularly like him around here because he once tried to take Daniel Sedin’s head off with one of the dirtiest elbows I have ever seen. It was one of many retaliatory cheap shots in his career. Also, he might be a pinch sexist. But since he’s on our team now, we take offence to all the things we said previously.
Nickname(s): Scumbag McGee, Jigsaw, Duncan Teeth
My wife thinks he looks like: Mick Foley.
Expect to hear: “Keith is such a smooth skater.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Keith is such a smooth criminal. Hey, remember Alien Ant Farm? They were an incredible band.”
About: Alex Pietrangelo is a right-shooting defenceman for the St. Louis Blues. Considering he’s the number one defenceman for the team that allows the fourth fewest goals in the NHL, we rarely hear much about him. He’s an excellent all-around defenceman and these Olympics may be his coming out party as one of the best defencemen in the world.
Nickname(s): Petro, Peter Angelo, Neck, Necky P
My wife thinks he looks like: The Globe & Mail reporter James Mirtle.
Expect to hear: “I know nothing about Alex Pietrangelo, which is crazy, because he’s amazing.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Alex Pietrangelo is amazing. He has evolved to be able to reach the leaves of the tallest trees.”
About: P.K. Subban is a right-shooting defenceman for the Montreal Canadiens. He is one of the best offensive defencemen in the NHL, which, of course, means people question his defensive ability, but he tilts the ice so much in his team’s favour that any defensive deficiencies are a moot point. He’s also a black star in a predominantly white game, so he’s frequently described as having a bad attitude, i.e. he’s too black. It’s really dumb. He’s also the star of one of hockey’s best GIFs.
Nickname(s): Pernell Karl, Primetime, Subbanator
My wife thinks he looks like: A young Forrest Whitaker.
Expect to hear: “That P.K. Subban is so brash and so reckless.”
Don’t expect to hear: “I suspect my opinion of P.K. Subban is coloured by a preconception of the way black athletes usually act, and my own, haughty, overly moralistic and fully unwelcome opinion about how they should act. Once his confidence and basic enthusiasm for the game is filtered through the lens of my unspoken, racially-driven bias, it comes out looking like arrogance and selfishness to me. But rather than search myself and sort out the complicated relationship with race that’s driving this perception, I call for him to smarten up, which is silly and hypocritical. It’s my problem. I am the problem.”
About: Marc-Edouard Vlasic is a left-shooting defenceman for the San Jose Sharks. He was one of the more surprising selections to Team Canada, simply because he has flown under the radar during his career. He doesn’t put up big numbers, but quietly makes everyone around him better. Everyone on the Sharks who has spent any time with Vlasic has significantly better statistics with him than they do without him.
My wife thinks he looks like: A less dreamy Nick Jonas.
Expect to hear: “Vlasic is so steady. Not a flashy guy, but he always seems to make the right play.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Seems pretty obvious to me that one of the vowels from Vlasic’s last name escaped to his first name.”
About: Shea Weber is a right-shooting defenceman that plays for and is the captain of the Nashville Predators. His slapshot is insane. At the last Olympics, he put one through the net. Through the net. Plus he should give Canada the upper hand on Sweden, as Weber has shown he knows how to handle Henrik Zetterberg.
Nickname(s): Shea Butter, The World Wide Web, Captain Turnbuckle
My wife thinks he looks like: Young Tom Waits.
Expect to hear: Whoa! Weber’s shot ripped a hole in the net!”
Don’t expect to hear: “Whoa! Weber’s shot ripped a hole in the space time continuum! Now it’s the past!
About: Roberto Luongo is the goaltender for the Vancouver Canucks. He was the starting netminder when Team Canada won gold in Vancouver. He has a reputation for not being able to win the big game, despite that pretty memorable time he won the big game. But hey, things that actually happened matter very little when you’re trying to tell a story.
Nickname(s): Luuuuuuu, Ra-ra-ra-Roberto, Funny Bob
My wife thinks he looks like: Sacha Baron Cohen
Expect to hear: “LUUUUUUUUUUUU!!”
Don’t expect to hear: “ONGOOOOOOOOOO!!”
About: Carey Price is the goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens. He appears to be the heir apparent to the Canadian goaltending throne, with Martin Brodeur aging out of the role and Roberto Luongo likely starting to slow down as well. If you ask Roland Melanson, his former coach, Price is nothing without him.
Nickname(s): Pricey, Bob Barker, Vanilla Price, Carey “Better than Blake” Price
My wife thinks he looks like: That one kid from The Sandlot.
Expect to hear: “Price should get the start next game.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Price should get the start next game… at forward.”
About: Mike Smith is the goaltender for the Phoenix Coyotes. He used to suck, but then he went to the University of Phoenix, and upgraded his diploma. Now he’s at the Olympics! Although he likely won’t play. He’s the third-stringer. Smith plays an aggressive style, leaving his net to play pucks (he scored a goal once), and initiating contact with the opposition’s forwards in hopes of drawing a call. It’s pretty much ridiculous, unless he’s on your team, and he is now, so did I say ridiculous? I meant reasonable and admirable.
Nickname(s): Mr. Smith, the Washingtonian, Floppy, Puckbutt
My wife thinks he looks like: When he has more hair, Carrot Top.
Expect to hear: “Get back in your net, Smith!”
Don’t expect to hear: “Mike Smith will play tonight.”
by Harrison Mooney and Daniel Wagner