Team Canada announced the first 16 players selected to participate in September’s World Cup of Hockey this week and Don Cherry has opinions on who wasn’t named to the initial roster.
The omission of Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban dominated hockey headlines for much of the past few days. On this week’s edition of “Coach’s Corner” on Hockey Night in Canada Cherry discussed the 26-year-old’s absence from the list of 16 Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong submitted on Wednesday.
“I’ll tell you about P.K. Subban. First of all he’s never going to play for [Mike] Babcock. If he’s not going to play before when he won the Norris and he goes over there [2014 Sochi Olympics], same as [Martin] St. Louis he went over there and didn’t play either…he doesn’t fit into his plans,” Cherry said.
“Not that P.K. isn’t a good defenceman, he just doesn’t fit into the plans.”
Subban played in one game at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.
Subban has six goals and leads the Canadiens with 50 points in 65 games this season.
The first four defencemen named to Team Canada were Los Angeles Kings' Drew Doughty, Chicago Blackhawks' Duncan Keith, San Jose Sharks' Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Nashville Predators' Shea Weber. Cherry noted Brent Burns of the Sharks and Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook as two defencemen who should receive consideration to make the final roster in June.
"My guy that they don't even mention is Seabrook. He's got 13 goals...he's a guy that when something is really going on the guys go to Seabrook. He's not even mentioned. Unbelievable." Cherry said.
Cherry believes the difficult decision Team Canada brass faces in roster selection is a good problem to have heading into an international tournament.
"What I'm trying to say is it's going to be a piece of cake. Look at the guys they're leaving off. Should be a piece of cake."