Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Doan debacle

I think this is just about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard:
Hockey Canada officials are being summoned by a parliamentary committee to explain their choice of Shane Doan as captain of the national team at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.

The Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP supported a Bloc Quebecois motion that demands officials from Hockey Canada and Sport Canada appear before the House of Commons' Official Languages Committee.
And leaders wonder why much of this country is disillusioned with the political process.



At 7:27 p.m., May 01, 2007, Anonymous Lyle Richardson said...

Amen, James. Those dingbats are only hoping to score a cheap political point from Quebec voters, most of whom probably have no clue who Doan is or what he was alleged to have done 17 months ago, for which the league exonerated him.

In the words of the late, great Hunter S. Thompson: "In politics, the scum also rises".

At 8:30 p.m., May 01, 2007, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

The Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP supported a Bloc Quebecois motion that demands officials from Hockey Canada and Sport Canada appear before the House of Commons' Official Languages Committee.
This would be funny if we were reading about the Kremlin demanding answers from the Russian Hockey Federation, but Canada? Is Sheila Copps somehow involved?

At 9:06 p.m., May 01, 2007, Blogger Michael said...

May I suggest an alternate title?

"Your Tax Dollars at Work."

At 11:56 p.m., May 01, 2007, Blogger Shane Giroux said...

Bowing down to the Quebecois again it appears. It's unfortunate that the government spends time attacking the chosen captain of our team on unfounded comments as opposed to trying to run this country.

Considering our legal system, with laws drawn up by these folks, has the "innocent until proven guilty" basis to it, this is all the more laughable.

Are they going to ask the players who refused to play for team Canada to appear before them as well on grounds of being unpatriotic? That might cap this off nicely.

At 1:51 a.m., May 02, 2007, Anonymous Baroque said...

Someone needs to fund this reality TV show: "Survivor:Politics."

Concept: Selected politicians of various parties are marooned on a deserted island or empty piece of tundra or remote area of rain forest...or Antarctica. They are left there with plenty of food and water and clothes, but no means of communication with the outside world.

Then all maps to their location are burned and their salaries are used for something useful.

At 2:51 p.m., May 02, 2007, Blogger Kel said...

Just a waste of time and money. The Hockey Canada officials would just say that Doan is the captain of the Phoenix Coyotes and one of the most experienced players on the roster.

About the allegation of racial slurs against Francophone, Hockey Canada would claim that the NHL investigation cleared Doan of any wrongdoing. The alleged incident happened at a time when Curtis Joseph confirmed that Doan was speaking with him, and there was no witness for the case except the original accuser. None of the other 3 Francophone officials heard anything offensive

At 1:14 p.m., May 03, 2007, Anonymous Robert said...

Hmmmm, let's take a look at Team Canada's roster. Surprise, surprise, only one player who was born in Quebec - Matthew Lombardi - an Italian Canadian. Also, all of the non Quebec players are anglophones, none are francophones from New Brunswick or Manitoba etc..

This seems rather strange doesn't it since Quebec accounts for over 27% of Canada's population and probably an even greater percentage of Canadian professional hockey players.

Now did all of the Quebecois players turn Yzerman down because they were unpatriotic, as Don Cherry would have us beleive, or is it that they perceive an anti Quebec bias within Hockey Canada, as well as Doan being made captain.

Let's look at the upper echolons of Hockey Canada and go beyond the Shane Doan issue. With the exception of Jacques Martin, Hockey Canada is an almost exclusive english Canadian organization.

Can you imagine the uproar there would be in the US if a national team had no or little Black American representation. In the US its all about race - in Canada its all about language.

Finally, can anyone explain to me why we now have an American (Steve Yzerman) running team Canada when there are plenty of Canadians who can do the job.

Yes boys and girls, Steve Yzerman is an American. He took out his US citizenship several years ago. I remember the press covering the big party he had in Detroit when he became an American and how he was quoted as being so proud to be an American citizen.

Now lets be clear here, this is not a Canadian living in the US on a visa or green card. This is someone who renounced his Canadian citizenship to become an American.

Yes, in Canada, our laws allow him to retain his Canadian citizenship- and hold dual citizenship - but in the US he must renounce his Canadian citizenship. In fact when he received his citizenship papers he had to swear before a US judge that he "renounced any allegences to his previous country".

Now tell me, why did the media in this country get all excited about Michelle Jean and Stephan Dion holding dual citizenship but never raised this about Steve Yzerman when he played for Team Canada or now when he manages it.

Both Dion and Jean had dual citizenship because of reasons of birth. They did not chose to become a citizen of another country, and never renounced allegence to Canada.

James, why has the Globe and Mail never questioned Yzerman about how he "squares" his renunciation of Canada with being manager of Team Canada. And why has the Globe and Mail not questioned Hockey Canada on why it chose an American to heasd up Team Canada.

At least Wayne Gretzky, while he lives full time in the US, has still not taken out American citizenship - or maybe he has and we haven't heard about it.

At 1:36 p.m., May 03, 2007, Blogger Kel said...


Tell me which Francophone players from non-playoffs teams that you feel should have been invited? It appears that this year almost all of the best players from Quebec played in the playoffs, and it's always the case that very few players from teams out of the playoffs join their national team for World Championship.

As for Yzerman, yes, to be naturalized as US citizenship one has to take an oath to "renounce any foreign allegiance and/or foreign title". But nobody in Canada cared when Yzerman represented Canada in the Olympics, so nobody cares about his being GM of Team Canada in a not-so-important competition. By the way, I wonder if there are rules after GM selection. Generally restrictions on nationality are imposed only on athletes, not the management. It's very common in other sports to see foreigner coaches for teams or individuals competing in international competitions.

At 2:50 p.m., May 03, 2007, Anonymous Robert said...

Kel, some veteran star players who did not make the playoffs, or who were eliminated in the first round include Savard and Bergeron of Boston, St. Louis and Lecavalier of Tampa, Simone Gagne of Philly, and Phillipe Boucher of Dallas. Since Yzerman wanted to go young, some up and comers could have included Ouellet from Pittsburgh and Pierre - Marc Bouchard from Minnesota.

As for no one caring about Yzerman being an American when playing for Team Canada I would attribute this to two factors. One, the press never raised it, and secondly everyone wanted Canada to win that gold medal so badly we were ready to turn a blind eye to this issue in order to have Yzerman's great skill, ability and experience on the team.

However, now that Yzerman is assuming a very prominent role in Hockey Canada leadership I believe the issue needs to be raised. How can one be a leader of Team Canada and at the same time have publically "renounced allegance to Canada". How does one "square" that circle?

At 5:42 p.m., May 03, 2007, Anonymous Orange Orangutan said...

How can one compare the percentage of French Canadians in the overall population of Canada and the number of French Canadian players not on Team Canada? If all of those players mentioned had accepted the invitation to play on the team, what would the ratio of English to French players be then? So it's not as simple as pointing to the Team Canada roster and concluding that there's ample evidence of some kind if bias because of the absence of certain players.

The exact reasons why the French Canadian players declined to play will never be known by anyone other than the players themselves. Maybe the fact that several of them played in the first round of the playoffs had something to do with it? Or maybe many of them have naggin injuries?

What about the eligible English players that aren't on the team (for whatever reason) Crosby, Smyth, Sakic, Whitney, Kariya, Richards, Iginla, Souray, Legwand, Horton, Boyle, McCabe, Arnott, Tucker, Bouwmeester.

If Yzerman (or whoever was running the show) had actually decided not to include any one of those French Canadian players solely because they are French Canadian, they should be flogged on the spot. But I hardly think that's the case. For whatever reason, they declined to play - as did a good number of English Canadian players.

I just think there's wayyyyyyyy too much being made out of absolutely nothing.


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