Around Boston, the surprising omission of Bruins center Marc Savard today from the list of players invited to Hockey Canada’s orientation camp for the 2010 Olympic team caused some outrage. But any doubt that the snub reverberated around the continent were eliminated today by Sports Illustrated Hall-of-Fame hockey writer Michael Farber in his SI.com column this afternoon.
In explaining why head coach Mike Babcock’s desire to have players who all play 200 feet but that Savard still should’ve been invited to camp, Farber writes:
“No, Savard is pretty much a one-trick pony, but it is really kind of a neat trick. He is a superb passer, perhaps the most gifted in the NHL. He helped linemate Phil Kessel to a 36-goal season. He made the Boston power play work. To borrow a basketball analogy, like the Pistons’ Vinnie Johnson, he is capable of microwaving an offense — at least with the man-advantage. Rather than a defensive role player like a (Rob) Zamuner, Savard might have been a quirky 13th forward, filling a role as a power-play specialist.”
Obviously, I agree. What really shocks me is that this is just an orientation camp — it’s not the team roster. To think that they didn’t want to give Savard a chance to at least show what he could do says something about how hard it must be for him to shake his pre-Boston reputation as a selfish, one-dimensional guy.