With the Olympic orientation camps wrapping up, there is no shortage of examinations of rosters and players. The Hockey News alone did an analysis of the San Jose Sharks (and Pittsburgh Penguins), projected Team Canada and came out with its top-50 NHL players for 2013-14 between Monday, Aug. 26 and Wednesday, Aug. 28.
It should be noted that they are only looking at the next season, not taking into account a future. Logan Couture finished 28th on the list, and was in the top dozen Canadian forwards. He was on the fourth line of Team Canada in their projection, and Dan Boyle made the third pair.
Both were described as iffy: Boyle a reserve that may be scratched more often than not and Couture on the bubble. There was no mention of Joe Thornton or Marc-Edouard Vlasic even as just missing the cut.
That may change by February when the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics begin, but their status is not a sleight but a result of fierce competition from a deep talent pool. As CSN Bay Area Insider Kevin Kurz pointed out Tuesday, Joe Pavelski is a near-lock for Team USA, but everyone else is in a battle for a spot at all. Even Vezina Trophy winner Antti Niemi will have to beat out all but two of an impressive list of goalies to make Team Finland: Pekka Rinne, Tuukka Rask, Niklas Backstrom and Kari Lehtonen.
Kurz made reference to the chip on Boyle's shoulder for having not been drafted flaring up when he was not drafted. There was also focus on his age, as the oldest player on the Canadian blue line. That probably also motivates the 37-year old.
So what is the likelihood that each player on the list of Sharks under consideration makes their nation's roster?