Nothing is ever guaranteed in Olympic hockey tournament

Canada's Olympic men's hockey brain trust, including (from left to right) Peter Chiarelli,...

Canada's Olympic men's hockey brain trust, including (from left to right) Peter Chiarelli, management, Bob Nicholson, Hockey Canada president and CEO, Steve Yzerman, executive director, announced the roster in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2013. (Ernest Doroszuk/QMI Agency)

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:31 PM ET

TORONTO - In the end, it won’t matter much that Patrick Marleau was chosen and Claude Giroux was not or that Martin St. Louis was again left standing at the hockey altar.

The naming of Canada’s Olympic hockey team has become part sport, part theatre, the home version of Hockey Canada, but really, any of the 30 or so likely candidates would have encompassed the deepest, strongest, most skilled hockey team at the Winter Olympics.

And that said, it guarantees nothing.

The players that other countries chose — Nikolai Kulemin for Russia, Tomas Kaberle for Czech Republic, Derek Stepan for the U.S.A. , Sami Salo for Finland — would never get a second look or any kind of consideration in Canada. But if anything has been evident in the four Olympic tournaments since National Hockey League players were brought to the Winter Games, it is this: the best players don’t always win.

The best team does.


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