Saturday, May 30, 2009

Team Canada 2010 (almost) set

It has been a fairly safe assumption for some time now that Canada's team for the 2010 Paralympics would include Jim Armstrong at skip and Darryl Neighbour at 3rd. Coach Wendy Morgan's confirmation that the team would include two women, left just one slot open for speculation.

High Performance Director Gerry Peckham confirmed last night that failing injury or unforeseen circumstance, or a catastrophic loss of form, Ina Forrest and Sonja Gaudet would join Jim and Darryl on the team.

"Their performance within the selection process over the past few years and their gold medal achievement at the 2009 World Wheelchair Championships has placed them in excellent stead to be selected to the 2010 Team," he said.

"We felt it made sense to let the athletes know their relative status as early as possible, to help each of them plan their year. We have added Jackie Roy, an accomplished curler, as a backup to Ina and Sonja, as we are committed to having two females on the team. Chris Sobkowicz, Bruno Yizek and Gerry Austgarden will compete for the remaining slot.

"The carded athletes for the yearly cycle beginning this July are the five members who won the 2009 Worlds, plus Bruno Yizek on a "D" (development) card. Cardings are always a lagging indicator, based on past performance. Bruno was carded as he was 6th on our depth chart, though with everyone so close, that doesn't imply he is favoured to make the team over Gerry and Chris."

The squad will play in Norway and Scotland between October 12 and 23, and Peckham says selection of the 2010 Paralympic team will occur that month.


Anonymous said...

Would it not make more sense to just ask who Jim wants and get on with it?

They need a hitter, and that does not describe Sonja, yet she is safe, and likely starting......Give Jim his choice, since he is likely coaching the team, anyway

Anonymous said...

Wow....Armstrong will actually see a dime out of the program.......

Anonymous said...

I would think Sonja got big approval rating th way she stepped up at Worlds. I am sure jim is now her biggest fan, and that would cement her spot.

Anonymous said...

The four above have fantastic chemistry and egos are a non issue. Who ever steps into the alternate position will be a key supporter and have game as well. The cca have done a great job with this program and the athletes.

Anonymous said...

"The four above have fantastic chemistry and egos are a non issue. Who ever steps into the alternate position will be a key supporter and have game as well. The cca have done a great job with this program and the athletes."

If the writers' comments are correct then that means there was a problem of chemistry and ego with one of the players on the team. If that was the case then CCA with all of their high priced help should have picked up on that before the Worlds and corrected it before the competition, not letting it become a problem at the most critical time. Therefore CCA didn't do such a "Great Job" after all.

Anonymous said...

Funny, how everyone forgets so easy that the process by which these members are selected only suits what Joe wants.

If Canada really wanted a hitter then why in god's name are they looking at the 3 people they have picked. Mind you Bruno can hit, I will give you that. but come on Austgarden (can you say breakdown under presurre and never hit the broom) and Roy. Yes, she has worked hard but truely the International game is way to far away from her to be any good to Canada.

The fact is Canada is looking in all the wrong places. They have gone to the bucket to many times... they kick out those who after ability and NEVER look at the new guys.

I mean, come on, look at Nationals. The coaches for TEAM CANADA never even show up to have a look at what "might be"

You have a ton of guys that could be lloked and including the guy we all love to hate "DAW"

This guy as much trouble as he has been know for in the pass could be a way better assest then Austgarden.

Look at Jack Smart or Mike Fitz. out of Nova Scotia. What about Canada taking a chance on developing one or 2 people who can carry on after 2010. Are we going to continue to have 60 + year old guys carry Canada for every or do we take the time to develop a few younger guys who can be around for more then 1 Paralympics. I mean Guadet is the only one on the team going that has any experience at that level and that alone is only 1 year.

What are we going to do after 2010, fail to quailify for Worlds or even the next Paralympics in 2014.

Remember people, a world does exist outside of 2010 and Jim Armstrong!

Anonymous said...

Daw didn't exactly shine at the Nationals he's had his day, Fitz is one of those 60 plus guys, Smart rode the wave creatd by his team. What about the people who made all of those great shots that made the skip(s) look good by givng them easy shots to make. One person does not make a team.

The sooner we get away from the selection process the better. Provincial teams works for everyone else. After the paralympics it is time to switch over and end the good ole boys club.

Anonymous said...

I still find it amazing how the CCA and more over Joe gets away with what ever he wants.

Canada got lucky at worlds and in my opion has give the world more then enough time to catch up and surpass them in Vancouver.

Canada peaked far to early and now everyone has the gage to surpass them. and LOOK FOR THEM TO DO JUST THAT.

As for a player, look for experience at the big show and the only one in the program that has it is Daw. I spoke with him and he is not the same guy. God he was almost humble.

I heard he is retiring and leaving the sport totally. What a loss.

I know why he left, I know why he is leaving the game, maybe people should speak to him and not about him for a change.

I am I a supporter, Yes and NO but can a guy who has given so much and taught so may not be given a second chance.

Jim, you should give the guy a call and see what he is dooing next want a hitter you got it in him.

Anonymous said...

Selection and will be part of this game until at least post 2014.

Chris Daw said...

You guy make me laugh

Anonymous said...

Well, I, fr one, don't see Team Canada as near peaked......remember Jim has only participated in only one major event, and by his own admission, went through a huge "learning curve". I believe Jim is going to much better prepared to dissect the opposition, and dissect he will. We have a HUGE advantage at skip, and it will only get better.

I agree, though, the program has to start looking post 2010, and start developing the next transition of people, particularly when someone like Jim can give on-ice coaching.

Anonymous said...

I disagree....I think there is lots of game Canada has not shown the world. Remember, Armstrong knows the able-bodied game inside out, and ha now worked his way through our sport.....he will make it as simple or as difficult as he decides he has to. No one else cand do that. Even Eric pointed our that Canada won the worlds, not by shot making, but by shot CALLING, and the Team's shot making is going to improve, and likely most significantly, with Jim, himself.

Look for more and improved, this season, and their fifth will have an interesting, free ride.

Anonymous said...

Don't quite see how anyone can argue with selection after this year's result.....All the team can do is win, and they did actually validated a pretty big cost, to date.

I would think there might have been some serious questions had there not been production this him or hate him, Jim has put us at the top of the international heap, and I do truly believe he will advocate for a qualification for Team Canada post 2010, probably because his position will remain solid for as long as he wants.

Anonymous said...

The comment above is very accurate. The selection program certainly hadn't look very good until this year....why do you think Peckham called Armstrong?

I would think they would have to have the program prove itself, for the money spent. And I, for one, don't buy into their story that they were gearing for so, they would have parked Jim until the start of this season, and got him lots of international experience leading into 2010.

What they were doing was buying time to cover off fruitless years of poor results.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you are right, but is it becuase of the athletes or the coaching/managment.

I for one think that Jim is a much better coach then Joe and that not the athletes is way the program turned around.

To bad for some of the athletes from the past that the coach did not change, because if Jim had come along 2 years before that, Canada would have been way better off.

Players like Cormack, Austgarden and even Daw would have been way better and maybe still involved in the program had Jim been the coach.

This program is better with Jim at the helm and should have happen long ago.

Coaching has ben the problem, not the players......

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing abour coaching being the problem, but I believe Joe and Jim share much the same philosophy. Is it Joe's attitude/interaction that you think is the issue, compared to Jim?

We all know that Jim had a far superior able-bodied career, but that does not necessarily equate to a better coach.

Has anyone discused Jim's coaching ability with Team Canada players?

It may also simply be a timing coincidence o im's arrival and the beginning of the maturing process of the program.

Anonymous said...

Naming Team Canada is really anti-climatic.

Jim Armstrong....hardly a shocker, once he was ruled eligible.

Darryl....former Team Canada skip, and now an Armstrong buddy.

Ina.....Armstrong has always been high on her for her hitting ability, as well as team dynamics.

Sonja.....proved huge at the worlds when Jim wass still getting in touc with the game, and for her performance and on ice attitude would have to be tough to replace.

That leaves one spot for this year, and Sobbie had his shot and blew up. Gerry has been there before, but seems to buckle under pressure. Bruno has the ability to hit if he has the chance, and has no baggage to sit as a fifth.

The rest of us, start lobbying for a real play-off for Team Canada, or at least a fresh look from selection starting right after Paralympics....coud be the right time to start transition while Jim still controls the on-ice team.

Anonymous said...

I think the program started to turn around the day Jim came on and was not allowed to play, but continued aa an "on-ice" consultant. Often wonder why he was not at least given a title of "coach", and now "player/coach".

He is charismatic, but very focused and comptitve, and I am sure all of Team Canada has learned a ton from him. He has the little things, like dealing with a loss, media management, intuitive understanding of the game.......One person who played with Jim and asked about strategy, and Jim told assured, I never call a shot, for turn, location, or weight without a reason relating to the outcome of the end.....and if we don't have time on ice, ask after, and I will go through the whole end to explain......can anyone else say that, AND MEAN IT?????

Eric had indicated some months ago that it was Jim's intention to stay with the program post 2010....perhaps then as a player/coach????

Anonymous said...


I heard that Norway is (well financed) and looking for a new coach, AND Jim Armstrong has been contacted....


Anonymous said...

Okay, so what is the story with Joe? Everyone knows that Daw and Joe had issues, but it seems to be suggested that the program is growing in spite of Joe.

As I recall, he has been with the program since it wa the Ontario show (2005?).

Is this guy, good, okay, or flat?????

Anonymous said...

Armstrong to coach? I recall that conversation before Jim was approved for play......maybe Jim could still act as a Player-coach? there seems to be NO team dynamic issues anymore....

Anonymous said...

Chris Daw is still young, and apparently with a much improved attitude. Bring him back as a fifth, and a student under Armstrong. Let's start to develop a Canadian dynasty

Anonymous said...

Corrine Jensen has e-mailed all in BC with the news that Team Canada will not play in 2010 will this opportunity lead to more participation, or will it be a trifler event without Armstrong/Neighbour et al?

I think there will be little interest, since the best of BC will not be there.......unless their could be a challenge of Team Canada by the National winner.......can it happen?????

Anonymous said...

How do we officially put our request to the CCA wanting a playoff between the Natonal winner and Team Canada?

Seems like a natural post 2010......Will Jim endorse such a suggestion?

Anonymous said...

Despite the likely efficiency, Armstrong does not run the program.

The program will remain the same and stagnate, since Armstrong will insure the success, and everyone will continue to enjoy their paycheques.

Armstrong would need some type of motivation to change the status quo, since Canada is now on the top of the heap, anyway.

Anonymous said...

So what is the story with Joe?

He now has a World Championship, with a guy (Jim) he has totally brought up by himself.

I think he is head cach for as long as he wants.

Anonymous said...

Armstrong's entry to the program, even though it insures ongoing success, extends the joke of the CCA selection process, since why would they change a "successful program" world championship in the bank, and who would not expect more success?

Anonymous said...

Daw is very young but I heard he has now left the game. Retired!!!!!

Everyone knows that Daw and Joe had problems, I undertsand that Daw left playing becuase he did not want to cause problems for the other players.

This guy get accused of a ton of stuff but people put some pieces together.

Daw still woks for the CCA as the development guy, which he does huge work in and a great great job. Since he has been in that role the program went from 4 team up to 10.

He keeps getting work fromt he CCA why?

My guess, they don't want him to go to far for after the older players or more over JOE leaves.

I think it is this....

Daw and Joe could not get along. Daw voices what we all wanted to and Joe gets pissed.

Joe is under contract so JOE legally has to stay until after 2010 (wink, wink) CCA has no choice to let Daw go even knowing he is right about a ton of things, alot of which has come forward now, including the problems with Joe. We know that Wendy was but in place to keep Joe under control.....not the players but Joe.

We know that Joe is more of a token face then anything else now becuase Jim runs the program on and off ice. I bet Joe is under a signed contract and can not go anywhere.

Putting the piece together DAW got caught in a legal fight and lost but CCA does not want him to go to far in case the program falls down (if Jim was inegiable) and for post 2010.

Why else would they keep a guy around they "is such a big problem"

Remember, people he is the one that got the TSX funding for the was $400000 plus which has help us all.

I think we need to give this guy a call, get the real story, see if the retirment thing is truely and if the attitude has change does he not get another chance.

I mean GOD guys who have drug suspensions get to come back, why not this guy!

Anonymous said...

I can possibly see his return post 201o, but who would take a chance at this point?

His best bet is to tie his sail to Jim, and hope Jim will become the official player /coach or coach.

I still don't quite understand if it is jut Joe and Daw that have issues, or if Joe has issues with other players.

Anyone actually know?

Anonymous said...

Joe is th eproblem not the players

There is a long list of players who have gone against Joe Rea and have been dropped or force out of the program.

Joe has always been a problem and never been leashed in since....the CCA answer to things is replace the players not the coach.

Canada could have been the density long before Jim if they had found the right coach for the onset.

I bet Daw would have even fallen in line if he was coached and not bitched at his whole time with Joe.

Anonymous said...

Would Daw perform under Jim?

Would the remaining players accept Daw, now that "life" is so easy?