It's December folks. And you know what that means. World Juniors.
Besides the usual exams (if you're a student like myself), crowded malls, egg nog (maybe add a little rum) and the holidays that come along with this time of year, it is almost time for our favourite, World Junior Hockey Championship. Doesn't matter what country you come from, or where in said country, if you're a hockey fan; you're damn excited right now.
Now for Team Canada, there is always a lot of hype. Who is gong to make the team? Who isn't? What can we expect from them? Just yesterday we saw 5 hopefuls (F Sean Monahan, F Francis Beauvillier, F Tyler Graovac, D Adam Pelech, and D Derrick Pouliot) get told they would not make this year's Canadian World Junior team. For these kids, they probably knew what their odds of making the team were but nonetheless it can only be what I imagine is a thrilling and nerve-wracking experience. A roller coaster of emotion for these young men. And undoubtedly it is extremely disappointing to not make the team no matter who you are.
So what does it mean to not make Team Canada?
Well today we had the ever colourful Don Cherry sent out a series of tweets in regards to yesterday's cuts that I think needs to be addressed.
Now I think Don has a fair point. It is an emotional experience for the guys that are good enough to get the invite. But that is the point. The guys who get the invite to camp are GOOD. Nothing about them in this context makes them a failure. Did they fail to make Team Canada? Yeah, they did. Does that make anyone who is cut a FAILURE? Absolutely not.
These guys all realize just how difficult it is to make this team and what it means to be invited to camp, let alone actually make the team. They should go back to their respective clubs with their heads held high just for being there. Let's be honest. It isn't easy to make the team. It isn't easy to get invited to the team even. This is an experience any hockey player would dream of getting and these guys were good enough to go.
Now, I know that Grapes doesn't necessarily make his own tweets but you know he must approve them at least. Hell, maybe he does tweet on his own. I don't really know. But I do know those were some very poorly worded tweets.
I'm sure that these tweets were just that; poorly worded. No doubt that Don Cherry didn't actually mean to refer to them as "failures" but he did. And like he said, it's an emotional time for them. Let's not kick them while they're down. Let's encourage hockey players to go back to their clubs and work hard so that maybe next year they can make the team.
As far as I am concerned, these guys certainly do not constitute a failure. Best of luck boys.