Since the Parti Quebecois was elected as a minority government last year, discussions on the possible separation of Quebec have resurfaced. As a hockey fan, I decided to run a “what if” scenario, for the whole Quebec thing, but with a hockey twist. If this separation were to happen today, what would Quebec’s National Hockey Team look like?
I went through all the current NHL rosters and picked out all the Quebec-born players. I then selected what I considered to be the best lineup available out of these players. Here is what I came up with:
I’ll start of by admitting that I made a very rookie mistake of initially having Claude Giroux on my list, before realizing that he was born and raised in Ontario (wishful thinking, I guess). I double-checked the rest of my team, making sure I didn’t just pick players with french-sounding names. There were a few difficult decisions to make on this list, after having to cut Giroux. Quebec has a decent amount of depth and the center position, so I was forced to leave off players like Maxime Talbot, Antoine Vermette and up-and-comer Jonathan Huberdeau, to name a few. At the goaltender position, I think it’s noteworthy that these are the same three goalies that were picked for Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics, so it just goes to show the amount of depth and talent coming out of Quebec. Leaving off Corey Crawford was difficult, especially given the way he has played this year. I couldn’t decide between Luongo and Brodeur, because both have been playing quite well as of late. The only issue I have with Brodeur is his age, but he’s been proving me wrong all year.
The next question is: how would this team do when up against other national teams, like Team USA, Team Russia and a (Quebec-less) Team Canada. In my opinion, they would be considered the underdog. Comparing it to Team Canada, if you’re going up against top forwards like Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Toews, Claude Giroux (yes, he’s on the right list now), Ryan Getzlaf, and Eric Staal, combine with a defense stacked with Shea Weber, Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, any team would have hard time against them. Even in nets, Canada may have an edge over a very strong group of QUebec goalies. Team Canada can choose from Mike Smith, Carey Price and Cam Ward , which is a pretty solid goaltending core.
After looking at all this, I think that Quebec would have a tough time competing with other elite national teams. They would still be one of the better national teams, but they would not be a medal-favourite, in my opinion.
What would your team look like? How do you think they would do in the World Championships or Olympics?