As it stands, the Calgary Flames are in an interesting predicament. This is something we hear every time the Olympics rears its head - How will it impact the players who play and their specific regular season teams? The reason why I single out the Flames more than anyone else is for two reasons: First, the Flames are the team I am interested in and see the Olympics as a serious threat to the success of the franchise this year. Second, no other team, as it now stands, has the potential to have such an effect on one Olympic team position (defense) as the Flames.
With Jay Bouwmeester and Robyn Regehr as likely starters and Dion Phaneuf a good bet, team Canada could have half of their top 6 defensive group manned by current Calgary Flames. Now, don't get me wrong, Olympic hockey is exciting hockey, I love watching it and certainly cheering the boys in Red and White. My concern is this: injuries and fatigue.
Beginning Monday, Camp Canada is under way. With questions already circulating the internet on the respective health of both Phaneuf and Regehr do Flames fans have reason to be concerned? Add to this, Jay Bouwmeester , Jarome Iginla and, perhaps somewhat less likely, Miikka Kiprusoff as candidates to play some intense mid-season tournament hockey, does the Flames franchise stand the most to lose by participating in the Olympics?
Considering the NHL regular season schedule is interrupted just prior to the stretch drive to the playoffs and the NHL trade deadline, the games following the Olympic break could make for some interesting personnel changes and team health concerns. So, while we all cross our fingers and hope for a good Olympic camp showing by our Flames contingent, lets hope the guys, at the very least, come to our training camp no worse for wear. And let's also hope that luck extends right through to the closing ceremonies. Go team Calgary...er, Canada.