Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Team Canada, The forgotten ones

I recently picked up a copy of Canada On Ice - The World Hockey Championships, 1920-2008 by Dave Holland and have been somewhat surprised at some of the relative unknowns that have represented Canada in the past. Upon returning to the World Championships in 1977, there has always been a slight struggle to field the best team possible with players often declining invitations. This has lead to some slightly less than world-calibre names being selected to past squads.

Trevor Johansen, 1979
Defenseman, Trevor Johansen was a smallish (5' 9") first round selection of Toronto in 1977. A product of the Toronto Marlies system he never scored more than 39 points in a junior season but was a First Team All-Star in 1977. We was also added to the St.Catherines Fincups team that represented Canada in the 1977 World Junior Championships.
He notched 16 points in a full rookie season with the Leafs in 77/78 and was traded with Don Ashby to Colorado for Paul Gardner near the end of the following season. He got the call to Moscow for the 1979 Championships replacing injured Rockies teammate Barry Beck and scored 2 goals and an assist in 8 games as Canada finished a distant fourth.
David Shand, 1978 & 1979
Another first round selected defenseman from the Ontario Juniors, Shand was taken 8th overall by Atlanta in 1976. A solid stay-at-home defender, he would tally 25 and 26 points in his second and third years, each time registering a +23 rating. Shand helped Canada to a Bronze medal in Prague in 1978 playing all 10 games with 3 assists chipped in. The next year he went pointless in 7 matches.
Pat Ribble, 1978
A teammate of Shand in Atlanta and in Prague, Pat Ribble also played all 10 games in the 1978 tourney going scoreless. He had scored 17 points for the Flames and was traded to Chicago the next year in a blockbuster that also involved Tom Lysiak, Ivan Boldirev and Darcy Rota.
Phil Sykes, 1986
Sykes was a college sniper at the University of North Dakota and signed with the Kings as a free agent in 1982. After two fairly productive AHL years in New Haven he finally cracked the Kings with a 17 goal rookie year in 1984/85. After scoring 20 the next season he represented Canada at the Worlds in Moscow. He played 9 games without a point as Canada won a Bronze medal.

Paul Woods, 1979
A third rounder by Montreal in 1975 after a 119 point season with the Soo Greyhounds, Woods spent the next two years with Nova Scotia in the AHL unable to crack teh greatest team of all-time. He was claimed on waivers by Detroit in 1977 and scored 19 goals, 42 points as a rookie. After the next season he played for team Canada going pointless in 8 games.

Ed Staniowski, 1979
A second round pick by St.Louis in 1975 Staniowski had really only one NHL season as a team's number one goaltender. In 1981/82 he would play 45 games for Winnipeg with a sub-4.00 GAA. He had played for Canada in 1979 after going 9-25-3 for the Blues with a 3.82 average. Combined with Jim Rutherford in net, Canada was demolished in the medal round losing 5 of 6 games against the Soviets, Czechs and Swedes. Staniowski ended up with a 7.13 GAA over 160 minutes of playing time while Rutherford didn't fare much better going 1-5 with a 4.50 GAA.

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