I suppose there are two sides to any issue, but when a young hockey player and his university coach are at odds on a decision, you have to wonder what’s going to happen.
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Here’s what we have going on. Dylan Holloway had a great weekend playing for the University of Wisconsin Badgers against Notre Dame, scoring two goals in two games. Then he traveled to Red Deer, Alberta, to take part in Team Canada’s World Junior Championship training camp.
Playing for Team Canada wasn’t something Holloway was going to miss. On the other hand, his University of Wisconsin coach Tony Granato (former Los Angeles King star) is less than happy with the situation. (from “Self-isolation no holiday for Dylan Holloway at world junior camp, Terry Jones, Edmonton Journal, 17/11/20).
Coach Tony Granato’s Point of View
Granato, Holloway’s coach, wasn’t at all pleased that Hockey Canada took one of his best players to join Team Canada for the very start of camp in the first place. Being with the team in Red Deer means that Holloway won’t be able to play in 10 consecutive Big 10 games. One can see Granato’s point as a coach, but one also can’t see any other way for Holloway to play.
Granato believes that playing in NCAA games is better preparation for his young player than leaving to join Team Canada for the beginning of their camp – especially if they aren’t going to play and can only sit around.
Granato told the Wisconsin State Journal, “From my side of things, I don’t think it’s right. To get ready for a world junior tournament by playing games like we’re playing at Wisconsin is a heck of a lot better than scrimmaging with your teammates.”
Player Dylan Holloway’s Point of View
Holloway responded after he saw what his coach said, “I have a lot of respect for Tony. He’s super passionate. I saw what he said. I think he’s upset at the situation, but I don’t think he’s upset at anyone in particular.”
Holloway also noted, “COVID has taken a toll on everyone. But for me, playing in the world junior wasn’t an opportunity I was going to pass up. I’ve been looking forward to this since I was a little kid. It wasn’t an opportunity I could take a pass on. I’m really happy to be here.”
Why Holloway Had to Show Up So Early?
Obviously, the problem for Holloway and Granato centers around the problems that the COVID-19 pandemic brings to any issue in hockey these days. Holloway has shown up Team Canada’s selection camp, but he was sent to be in his room. For the protection of the other players, he needs to self-isolate before he can work with the team.
If his initial tests are negative for COVID, he’ll be free to skate for the next 14 days with other NCAA players who are in the same bubble after also crossing the border. Then, if he continues to test negative for the next two weeks, he’ll be able to join the main group of Team Canada players. Unfortunately, because he’s coming from the United States and not Canada, he’ll be forced to miss what are called the Red vs. White scrimmages because of his need to spend time in isolation.
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Just Shows How Important It Is for Young Players to Represent Their Countries
All this to prepare for the World Juniors? What it shows fans is just how important it is for these youngsters to represent their country in the upcoming World Junior tournament.
Good for Holloway for exerting his desire to play for his country. As a fan of both university-based hockey and representing one’s country, I just hope he’ll be able to return to the University of Wisconsin when his Team Canada experience has been completed.
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