Both Team Canada and Team USA have, due to insurance purposes, admitted that their Olympic "evaluation camp" will be little more than a bonding exercise. Still, it is news when one of the best Canadian forwards available chooses to skip it out.
Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and (presumably) Team Canada will not be in attendance for the camp, which takes place Aug. 25-28 in Calgary. The camp comes just after Giroux had surgery to repair tendon damage in his finger. That happened at a charity golf tournament when a club shattered in his hands.
"Although there were no broken bones, there was some damage to his extensor tendons in his finger," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement last week. "He is expected to have a full recovery in 5-6 weeks."
Team Canada is making no plans, as of now, to replace Giroux in camp. The 25-year-old forward has put up excellent offensive seasons in each of the last three years, with his tops of 93 points in 2011-12, and figures to be a near lock to make the club. The 2014 Olympic hockey tournament in Sochi begins Feb. 12.