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Steve Yzerman on Mike Green

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Pulled from a lengthy interview with Team Canada General Manager Steve Yzerman (h/t Kukla's Korner), the following:

Q: With the inclusion of character players like Brenden Morrow and Mike Richards, your picks speak to me more of an attention to team chemistry than to pure statistics. Is that the main lesson you derived from these past tournaments?

A: You have to be careful not to just pick up the paper, look at the stats and say, okay, there’s our four centremen right there among the top NHL scorers. A guy on a really good NHL team, for example, should have a much better plus-minus than a guy on a bad team. You have to consider that. You also have to think about where guys would fit in on an Olympic team, which is not necessarily the same as where they fit on their NHL team. The right guy may be someone whose numbers are lower, and that was the case a few times for us. A lot more goes into being a good player than just putting up points.

Q: Is that the explanation for your decision to exclude Mike Green of the Washington Capitals, who is currently the NHL’s top-scoring defenceman?

A: Mike Green’s a hell of a hockey player, a tremendous talent. I just think the defence we put together can generate offence almost to the same level as Mike, and yet be stronger in other areas. We just thought the seven that we chose are a better fit for us. I don’t want to go on at length criticizing Mike Green, but there are parts of his game that we’d need to see improved upon before he’s ready to play in the Olympics. That’s my decision. If we have injuries, Mike will certainly be one of the players in the mix to be a replacement.