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Thursday, December 31, 2009

A sign of things to come for the All Blacks? 

Canada just named its 23-man Olympic Men's Hockey Squad.

That's 23 guys who are likely to be holding a medal of some sort by the end of it all. Including no fewer than 3 goalies, at least one of whom may receive no ice time whatsoever, but is still eligible for the gong.

But I digress.

The interesting thing is that only 2/23 currently play for Canadian-based NHL teams. The remaining 21 turn out for US teams. All things being equal, you'd expect 20% of the players to be based in Canada (as 6/30 NHL teams are), but instead we have 9%. The two are Roberto Luongo (Vancouver Canucks) - probably the second-choice goalie - and Jerome Iginla (Calgary Flames).

Now this would hardly be unusual in, say, international football (it's long been noted that Brazil often fields teams without a single member in the Brazilian league). But surely it's just a matter of time before this applies to the All Blacks, too? With most members drawn from European leagues (where they can earn real currencies like Pounds and Euros), with the remainder scattered across Australia and perhaps South Africa?

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