Coach’s Corner: Team Canada doesn’t need Subban, Letang

Don explains why PK Subban and Kris Letang were left off the Canadian roster for the World Cup of Hockey, and why Pittsburgh had such a good start against San Jose.

With the Stanley Cup final underway, Don Cherry and Ron MacLean turned their attention to the rosters for the World Cup of Hockey which were announced at the end of last week.

With such talent on the American and Canadian sides, there are always bound to be supremely talented players left off those teams. Kris Letang, P.K. Subban and Phil Kessel were just a few of those snubs, if that phrase can truly be used here.

“Subban won a Norris,” said Cherry Monday. “He is without a doubt one of the best defencemen in the league and everybody says, ‘Why isn’t he on the team?’

“First of all, Team Canada is so good, we could have a second team win the silver. [Team Canada doesn’t] want to take guys who take chances. Subban is a high-risk guy and that’s why he’s great, and Letang’s the same way. But they don’t need them. You can’t say [Subban’s] not a good defenceman.”

Among Canada’s defencemen named to the roster were Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Brent Burns, Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Shea Weber.

Subban was the seventh defenceman at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games when Canada won gold, though he did not see much ice time. Letang was not a member of the team.

Kessel, meanwhile, was left off of Team USA, similarly drawing criticism. Joe Thornton of the Sharks may not have been on many experts’ lists to make the Canadian World Cup team six months ago, but his play in the post-season could have had an impact on his selection. The same can’t be said of Kessel who is in the conversation to win the Conn Smythe Trophy should the Penguins win the Stanley Cup.

“I have no idea why they don’t want a 31-goal scorer,” said Cherry. “That’s a mystery…nobody’s giving the answer on that one.”

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