The ink had not even dried on Wayne Gretzky's Men's Hockey roster for Team Canada's Turin bound Olympic team and it was caught up in all sorts of intrigue.
The Canadian Olympic Committee had to make sure its messy fingerprints were all over the final decision. For some inexplicable reason, all of Wednesday's feel good announcements were left to the background on Thursday as the bureaucrats at the Olympic Committee decided to hold a cross country conference call to decide if a few of the more controversial selections were truly of Olympic mettle.
What was supposed to be a simple and short press release turned into a day long soap opera as apparently the Olympic handlers wrung their hands over the names of Bertuzzi and Doan and maybe even Heatley.
Word leaked out in BC first that the Olympic Committee was particularly disturbed with the inclusion of Todd Bertuzzi to the 26 man roster, his misdeed in the Steve Moore incident in the NHL of a few years ago, still apparently resonates in the halls of the COC.
The drama played out on the sports talk stations of the country through the day, becoming the thing of farce later in the afternoon. As even more details began to filter out, suggesting that if the Gretzky chosen team was over ruled by the Olympic body, then Gretzky would walk away from the National team. An incident which would have sent a domino theory of happenings that could have ended up with a mess of Olympian proportions and no doubt become the most intriguing story in Canadian hockey history.
By days end it seemed it all ended as it began, the Canadian team roster would proceed as announced, the only change in the situation the embarrassment of a clueless Olympic committee that managed to shoot their own messenger in the foot while at the same time alarming the nation's hockey fans.
The simple question to ask this bureaucratic buffoons is this; why did they not address their concerns to Gretzky and Co. in the weeks leading up to the selection of the team. By handling this situation in such a ham handed manner, they not only cut the legs of their hand picked Hockey manager out from under him, they also could have potentially have sewn the seeds of a hockey rebellion at home that would have had major ramifications for Canada's international hockey reputation.
There are many that don't feel that Todd Bertuzzi should have been included on the Canadian roster, they have valid concerns but in the end one has to decide that if he's been re-instated in the NHL then he should be available to play in International events. And if he's not to be allowed it should not be decided after he's been named to the team.
All we can say is it's a good thing none of the Committee members actually play the game of hockey, a disorganized group such as this would have a hell of a time getting out of their own end of the rink!
The above post first appeared on my HockeyNation blog, for more items about hockey check it out!