The phone rang for Brent Seabrook like it had for so many potential Team Canada hockey players on Tuesday morning.
The Team Canada brass was sure to call each player to let him know if he made the team, and that’s what Seabrook was hoping to hear, too. The brass, however, also called each player who was not selected. Unfortunately, that’s what Seabrook ended up hearing.
Neither Seabrook nor goaltender Corey Crawford was named to Team Canada when it was announced Tuesday morning. It was tough news for both to hear. Seabrook knows the Olympic feeling, having won gold in 2010 with his Chicago Blackhawks teammates Jonathan Toews and defensive partner Duncan Keith. Toews and Keith are headed there again, as is Patrick Sharp. Meanwhile, Seabrook and Crawford said they will deal with the tough news.
“I got a call, I got pretty excited, then I got the bad news,” Seabrook said. “It was a tough call…but you know Canada's got a lot of great players. You saw the team they're putting out there. It's going to be a good team.”
Crawford, who was not among the three goaltenders selected (Roberto Luongo, Carey Price and Mike Smith), was feeling the same.
“Yeah, it's pretty disappointing. It was definitely a goal of mine,” said Crawford, who will start Wednesday night when the Blackhawks host the New York Rangers. “I didn't make it, so you move on, focus on our team and winning hockey games here.”
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Selecting players for Team Canada is certainly no easy task. The country has an abundance of talent, and there is always going to be hurt feelings or the thought of, “Why not him?” when a great player doesn’t make the final cut. Seabrook has to be considered a surprise no-go, for no other reason than he was part of the 2010 group. But whether it’s because he didn’t have a great showing in that tournament or the brass looked at other just-as-worthy defensemen, Seabrook will be staying home.
Keith was disappointed his defensive partner wasn’t going.
“I think he was obviously right there,” he said. “There are a lot of good D-men. You know it’s tough. Obviously, he was there last time. He’s had a great season. I don’t think he could have done anything more. It is what it is. I’m sure they had a lot of tough decisions.”
Crawford’s great 2013 postseason helped get him Team Canada consideration. Why he wasn’t selected could come down to a few factors. The three who were chosen have been in the discussion for quite some time. Crawford has been solid this season, but has had some ups and downs. He also missed 10 games with a groin injury, although he returned with two strong performances since. Regardless of what factor(s) ultimately decided it, it doesn’t matter. So Crawford will focus on the Blackhawks, and on resting during that down time.
“Two weeks or two and a half weeks, it's a long time not to be playing hockey games,” he said. “I think the guys who are going over to Russia to play in the Olympics will definitely have an advantage with the playing time, but also the guys resting will have a little bit of an advantage. There are good parts and there are obviously disadvantages to having two weeks off.”
For every euphoric player who is named to an Olympic team, chances are he has a teammate feeling the opposite in not being selected. Seabrook and Crawford will deal with the bad news, get back to playing their best for the Blackhawks, and cheer on those teammates who get to wear the country’s colors.
“I'm happy for Sharpie; he worked really hard this season and played very well and I think he's very deserving of playing on the team,” Seabrook said. “You know, (Keith and Toews), we all knew they were going to be there. But it's pretty cool to see, and I'll get to watch them.”