lead Canada at the World Championships.
every year, for the rest of their careers.
Most fans know that the Canadian squad was assembled by Maple Leafs assistant general manager Dave Nonis. But not many of us understand the process that goes into picking a roster for this sort of event. How does a guy like Nonis make sure he has the right men for the job?
The answer, as it turns out, is pretty much the same as any other job: an application form, which all interested players must fill out before being considered. And I have a top secret copy of this year's form:
Dear Canadian hockey player,
Thank you for your interest in representing Canada at the 2011 World Championship. In order to help up select the best roster possible, please fill out the following application.
First name: ____________ Last name: ____________
Have you ever played in the World Championship tournament before?
( ) Yes
( ) No
( ) Not sure; nobody ever remembers what happened in this tournament in previous years.
Have you previously represented Canada at the World Junior Championships?
( ) Yes
( ) No
If so, what was the result?
( ) Won gold medal.
( ) Disgraced entire country.
Please describe your primary reason for wanting to play in this tournament.
( ) Ashamed to admit I somehow finished regular season with a couple of body parts still uninjured.
( ) Was drafted by the Islanders; have yet to play in a meaningful hockey game in my adult life.
( ) Am a Toronto Maple Leaf, and Brian Burke is standing behind me while I fill out this application gently tapping a baseball bat into the palm of his hand.
( ) Have a few knock-knock jokes prepared for Jason Spezza; want to find out if he actually laughs like that in real life
Please describe why you are currently available to play in this tournament instead of competing in the second round of the NHL playoffs.
( ) Team employed Brian Elliott at some point during the season.
( ) Lazy hometown fans failed to show support by throwing seafood at us.
( ) Despite playing in the league's biggest market, my NHL team never makes the playoffs thanks to an overrated front office staff that has no idea how to - wait, Dave Nonis isn't going to actually read these, is he?
( ) Am Rick Nash; did not realize NHL playoffs had a second round
Please describe why you are interested in travelling all the way to Slovakia to play in this tournament.
( ) To be honest, really just trying to get as far away as possible from the election coverage.
( ) Zdeno Chara told us that all the stanchions there are made of chocolate.
( ) Want to give friends back home a chance to watch me play in games that start at 6:00 a.m., as it will be good practice for future NBC telecasts.
( ) Hoping to spend a few last weeks in a modern civilization before my team announces its move to Winnipeg.
As part of this tournament, Team Canada will play several games against lesser hockey nations such as France and Switzerland. Please describe any experience you have had in comparable situations.
( ) Often play ball hockey in driveway against my toddler and his friends.
( ) Once played an entire game of NHL 11 against opponent who didn't realize they were holding the controller upside down.
( ) Had John Ferguson Jr. in my fantasy league this year
( ) My NHL team occasionally gets to play the Oilers.
The tournament will be played under international rules, which can differ from those of the NHL. Please describe any differences you are aware of:
( ) Ice surface is larger.
( ) No trapezoid behind the net.
( ) Automatic two minute penalty if any part of your uniform doesn't have an advertisement on it.
( ) Have some sort of weird "no punching each other repeatedly in the face" rule.
( ) European fans can use soccer chants without sounding completely ridiculous.
May we contact you about opportunities to play for Canada at other tournaments, such as the Spengler Cup?
( ) Yes
( ) No
( ) Hear about that tournament every year; still have absolutely no idea what it is.
Finally, will you by any chance be an unrestricted free agent at some point in the near future?
( ) Yes.
( ) No.
If you answered "yes", would you agree that Toronto is a fantastic place to live and raise a family?
( ) Of course!
( ) Definitely!
( ) Indisputably!
( ) Wait, what does this have to do with the World Championships?
Oh, nothing. Nudge nudge.
( ) …
( ) That's not even a question.
Thanks again for your interest! Mr. Nonis will be in touch… real soon.