Originally posted on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 8/28/13
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!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rob Manfred isn’t a fan of tweaking playoff format

Matt Barnes opens up about Derek Fisher fight

Bennett: QBs make too much money, not enough left for OL

Frank Gore must step up vs. Texans with Andrew Luck out

Sean Rodriguez apologizes about outburst, including to water cooler

"Friday Night Lights" writer calls Chip Kelly a fraud


Gregg Popovich now resting himself by sitting out games

Knicks' sellout streak at Madison Square Garden halted at 201

Rex Ryan: Probably ‘a reach’ for Karlos Williams to play Sunday

Lions OC explains Golden Tate's limited role on offense

Dez Bryant doing light running as rehab from surgery continues

Report: Barnes punched Fisher, was begged by child to stop

Report: Chargers, Rams favored by NFL owners for LA

Brady or Rodgers? Sampling of NFL execs split on debate

Real reason for Sam Bradford's struggles is...his glutes?

Messi charged with tax fraud, could face prison time if convicted

Lamar Miller: Fantasy owners ‘stay tuned' for more carries

Examining the delicious unfairness of the wild card

Five questions about the Astros-Royals ALDS

Ahmad Brooks out against Giants after death of sister

Jessica Mendoza responds to sexist rant from Mike Bell

Gronk: Have to be ‘super smart’ to play Tight End for Patriots

Cruz ‘thoroughly convinced’ he’ll be making big plays in 2015

Roger Goodell taking a guarded approach on daily fantasy sites

Three reasons each AL team can win the pennant

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

"Friday Night Lights" writer calls Chip Kelly a fraud

Women in sports this week: Is this 2015 or 1965?

Three reasons each AL team can win the pennant

Garrett addresses Hardy's comments about Gisele

Five outrageous predictions for NFL Week 5

Rex makes players do push-ups in practice after penalty calls

Weeden compares QB situation to 'backing up Derek Jeter'

Pirates fan dresses as Steve Bartman, fails to curse Cubs

LeBron takes in-game selfie with fans in Cincinnati

MLB postseason power rankings

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker