New York Islanders defenceman Calvin de Han has been named to Canada’s 18-man roster for this year’s IIHF World Championship in France and Germany. You know, that other hockey tournament in the summer. And maybe that’s a good thing.
Calvin de Haan had a career year for the New York Islanders this season. Putting up 25 points in a full 82 game season. He’s been rewarded by a call-up to Canada’s 2017 IIHF World Championship squad.
Sure, a ton of players are still playing in the premier summer hockey tournament, the NHL playoffs. And others are sitting at home nursing bumps, bruises, or breaks they picked up during the course of an 82 game NHL regular season.
But it’s still an honor to be named to an international squad. Not to mention one that’s looking to make it three gold medals in a row.
New York Islanders
Why does this matter, aside from trying to find something positive from a season with little in that department?
At the moment the consensus on who the Isles will lose to the Vegas Golden Knights is all over the map. Some think it’s going to be Casey Cizikas, others think it’s going to be Cal Clutterbuck. Others still are hoping and praying that it’s Brock Nelson.
I know losing Brock Nelson in the expansion draft seems like a blessing in disguise for most fans. But losing a proven consistent 20 goal scorer for nothing isn’t good for a team with a glaring need.
Strategically, Brock is better served as trade bait for a top level winger or second line center. Losing a roster defender to Vegas immediately opens up a vacancy for the likes of Ryan Pulock or Adam Pelech. Or even Devon Toews if he has an absolutely perfect training camp.
Getting the nod from Team Canada might just be what it takes to sway George McPhee and his cohorts to take him on June 21st. Which could be a great thing for the Islanders.
Leaving de Haan exposed would allow the Isles the ability to protect the likes of: Tavares, Ladd, Lee, Bailey, Nelson, Strome, Cizikas, Boychuk, Leddy, Pulock, and Greiss as the goalie.
More importantly, de Haan’s departure would immediately open a vacancy in the middle of the Islanders defensive groupings. A perfect slot for the protected Ryan Pulock.
Sure Hickey is just as likely a candidate for the expansion draft. But with de Haan’s production and solid play this season not going unnoticed by Hockey Canada, I doubt it’ll go unnoticed by the Golden Knights.