Forty seven players were invited to Team Canada’s Olympic Orientation Camp. Forty six of those players attended, with Philadelphia Flyers captain and presumably Team Canada lock Claude Giroux being the lone exception.
Giroux is currently rehabbing from a surgery last week after a golfing accident. The surgery was on his finger, and he chose to skip the orientation camp to rehab that finger surgery.
For a player with a great shot, if not definitely penned in to be a member of the team, would it not behoove the centre/winger to go to camp despite the finger injury. Even if they were skating, which they are not, if I was Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock, I would expect him to be there. If it was a knee or an ankle where his ability to get around would be affected and missing important rehab exercises would affect his recovery, I would understand his begging out of the camp a little more.
It was a finger. Surely he could be given the list of exercises to perform on his own.
The camp is primarily a bonding exercise, but the coaching staff will also be going over a lot of systems that they will be employing for the Olympic tournament, and this week is really the only chance the players are going to have to get together between now and when the tournament begins in February. If it wasn’t an important step, then why would they spend the money to get 47 players, plus coaches and management to gather? Its not as if he was on the team in 2010 and is familiar with the system and the pressure involved with representing Team Canada at the Olympics, where an absence from someone like Sidney Crosby or Duncan Keith could be more acceptable in a similar situation.
Its not a do-or-die situation, and players that weren’t invited could still force their way onto the team with a tremendous start to the season. That is an unlikely occurrence, and in my opinion as a player who is more than likely going to be named to the team and expected to be a big part of it, he should have made his way to Calgary with his future teammates.