He possesses a mobile, quiet game so well-rounded and reliable he could make Team Canada's Olympic defence. If you think that sounds like Dan Hamhuis, you're correct. But in this case, we're talking about San Jose Sharks' defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, whose game sometimes seems like a whisper that only hockey people can hear. “I guess it's better to be under-rated than over-rated,” Vlasic smiled Thursday morning, before tackling the Vancouver Canucks and his task, as it is most nights, of shutting down the opposition's top line. “But myself and Hamhuis, we were recognized by Team Canada coaching staff and got invited to the orientation camp (last summer). We play a similar game – quiet and simple and when the opportunity is there we join the rush. My name is out there.” A few more people have been noticing Vlasic this season, as his points are up the fall before the Winter Games in Russia. But he has been a National Hockey League regular since he was 19, since he was a key part of the Patrick Roy-coached Quebec Remparts junior team that won the 2006 Memorial Cup against, among others, the Vancouver Giants. At 26, Vlasic has already logged 535 NHL games. Picked 35th by the Sharks in the 2005 entry draft headlined by Sidney Crosby, only Los Angeles King Anze Kopitar has played more NHL games from that draft class. He is a candidate for Team Canada because, like the Canucks' Hamhuis, he plays the left side and has a safe but versatile game that seems well-suited to Olympic ice and a short tournament. “Every time I'm in Canada I hear about it, but here in the States a lot less,” Vlasic said. “Obviously, I want to make that team. I'm doing everything I can here to help this team win, but that team, obviously, it only comes around once every four years. I'll do everything I can to be part of that team.
Sharks' Marc-Edouard Vlasic quietly goes about business
Vancouver Sun | Nov 8