In about 2 weeks, most countries will be announcing their rosters for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the early word is that there could be as many as seven Penguins picked to play. For Canada, Sid is a lock, Fleury has certainly played his way onto the squad, and Jordan Staal is a long shot. For Russia, Malkin and Gonchar are definites, and the USA could do a lot worse on defense than having both Orpik and Goligoski.
The big question is, do you really want your team’s players playing in the Olympics? Because of the Olympics, there is no All-Star game this year with the Olympic break serving as this year’s mid-Winter break, but because the league will be shut down for two weeks, the league has had to condense the schedule. This has caused there to be an inordinate number of back to backs and three-in-fours. Over the coarse of a season, this can really wear your players down making them more suceptible to injury. Wouldn’t you rather your team’s players ahve that two weeks off to rest up for the grind that always is the playoff stretch and the playoffs themselves?
Sure, it will make watching the Olympics more exciting if there are Pens to root for, but how would you feel, god forbid, if one of the guys suffered a season ending injury playing for his country. Sure, injuries can happen at any time, but I know I wouldn;t be as upset about it if one happened in a game against Philly as it happened in a meaningless game against Germany.
I’m sure for many of these younger players the chance to win a medal for their country is a big deal, but seriously, to most of us, will the US winning a gold medal in 2010 be anywhere near as exciting as the Miracle on Ice?
At this point, there is no way, Sid, Geno, Sarge and Flower will not make their squads, but hopefully, Brooks, Jordan and GoGo will get the 2 weeks rest.