Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks and Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche must now be considered for Team Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. (Reuters)
In Denver, they claimed Matt Duchene was no longer fit.
In Vancouver, they claimed Roberto Luongo was no longer a good fit.
Such was the depth of the criticism targeting these two enigmatic players at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season.
Claiming he was out of shape, Avs fans wondered where Duchene’s head was at.
Claiming his days in Vancouver were over in favour of young Cory Schneider, Canuck fans asked where Luongo would be playing in 2012-13.
Almost a year later, no two players in the NHL have undergone more complete makeovers than Duchene and Luongo. In on-ice performance. In off-ice image. In almost every way.
And with the Sochi Games less than a year away, both Duchene and Luongo, probably considered nothing more than microscopic blips on the Olympic radar not so long ago, have certainly worked their way into the Team Canada conversation.