Originally written August 28, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Vancouver-canucks
The Maple Leaf Olympic fever is starting to kick in this week as Canada and the US kicked off their preliminary camps, offering fans their first glimpses of line combinations and roster speculation and those players on the bubble their first chance to make an impression on the brass. For the Canucks, most of those representing their countries are virtual locks. With the way Mike Babcock’s talking, it should be very surprising for Roberto Luongo to not find himself on the roster. Ryan Kesler, meanwhile, was the heart and soul of the 2010 American team. As long as he’s not hurt, he’ll be there. Then there’s Dan Hamhuis. He, along with Alex Burrows, are the representation of those Canadian talents that would find their way to Sochi with any other passport but instead find themselves buried by Canada’s amazing depth. Burrows couldn’t even find his way to Team Canada’s ball hockey orientation camp despite famously cutting his teeth on ball hockey back at the start of his career. Hamhuis, though, is getting a chance, paired at times with the Norris champion PK Subban. Strictly speaking, Hamhuis is not one of the top eight Canadian talents on the blueline, but his advantage lies in the fact that he plays the left side naturally and can complement defensively some of the higher-profile offensive talent. Olympic fever is starting to kick in this week as Canada There’s still a half season of hockey to play, neverminding some Team Canada practicing that involves actual ice, but Hamhuis will be part of the conversation. At the very least, it’ll add something extra to the first half of the season as various blueliners’ stock rise and fall or get injured entirely. Ray Ferraro believes he can do it, and so does Jason Botchford. There’s a lot to be said for taking a mistake-free rock like Hamhuis in a short tournament halfway around the world on an ice surface different than the comfortable confines of an NHL rink. Ask Roberto Luongo himself what taking Dan Hamhuis off his blueline did during the 2011 finals. There will be flashier choices sure, but few as reliable. Hamhuis, for his part, will have to go out and play his game come October and hope that a few breaks go his way. Hope that Torterella and Luongo walk the walk after talking the talk, and hope that some other rivals like Dion Phaneuf or Jay Bouwmeester fail to seize their opportunities. Whatever happens, it’s another big question for what should be a fascinating season of Canucks hockey. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

Donald Sterling’s wife called the cops on V. Stiviano

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

Aaron Rodgers says smoking gesture a tribute to Jay Cutler

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

Major League Baseball's 2014 All-Disappointment Team

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Scott: Kobe would not be a good coach

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.