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2014 Winter Olympics

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Thornton might be left off Olympic roster

Joe Thornton
Joe Thornton
Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

On Tuesday morning in Toronto, Hockey Canada will announce the roster for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

In the past week, there is a growing belief that San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton of London, Ontario will not be one of the centers chosen by Canadian management despite leading the National Hockey League in assists with 43 and being third in the NHL in points with 48.

There are several reasons why Thornton could be on the outside looking in.

First, he has never been a huge playoff performer. In his career he has 97 points in 125 postseason games, and has failed to win a Stanley Cup in San Jose despite the fact the Sharks historically are a strong regular season team.

Second, his shots on goal totals throughout his career has been below par. There is no question that Thornton is a great playmaker, and pass first player, but I think many people would like to see him shoot the puck more. Last season he only had 85 shots on goal, which was 165th in the NHL.

Third, according to John Shannon of Sportsnet, Thornton was not included on the list of centers Team Canada was very high on in early December. He was below Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Getzlaf, John Tavares and Jonathan Toews on the depth chart.

Fourth, Thornton did not participate at the Orientation Camp because of a family illness. The reason was completely genuine, but the bottom line is his absence did not help his chances when he is presently on the bubble.

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