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Already 11 locks for Olympic team, says Hockey Canada CEO

Aug 22, 2013, 12:16 PM EDT

Sidney Crosby #87 of Canada celebrates with his captain Scott Niedermayer #27 after scoring the matchwinning goal in overtime past Ryan Miller #39 of the United States during the ice hockey men's gold medal game between USA and Canada on day 17 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 28, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.
(February 27, 2010 - Source: Alex Livesey/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Canada will take 25 players to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia — and according to Hockey Canada CEO Bob Nicholson, 11 of those players are already on the team.

“By my count, I’m at 11,” Nicholson told Sportsnet. “It’s never been that low. The number has always been higher.”

Hockey Canada has invited 47 players to its upcoming Olympic orientation camp (see here), a star-studded list that left out the likes of Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, Patrick Marleau and Dan Girardi.

The depth of the Canadian roster means fewer guaranteed spots that ever.

“I’d say there are probably, conservatively, maybe 10 locks,” Canadian GM Steve Yzerman explained. “We’re taking 25 players. Ten may be a conservative number, sure, but half of this team is available for guys to make.

“At least half.”

Both Nicholson and Yzerman have stated the spots up for grabs will be decided by which players are playing well in November and December (final rosters are due on Dec. 31.) Nicholson also re-iterated that players outside the 47 invitees are still eligible to make the team.

  1. alicesrightfootesq - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    F: Crosby, Stamkos, Tavares, Toews, Bergeron, Getzlaf, Perry

    D: Weber, Keith, Pietrangelo, Doughty

    G: No locks

  2. bucrightoff - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Just to guess…

    Eric Stall

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      I’m a hawks fan, and based on their play last year, I’d say Keith should be, would not say the same for Seabrook.

      And no, while Buffalo does boarder a lake shared with Canada, you can’t have Patrick Kane;)

    • joey4id - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      Hmm! Can’t see Staal as a shoe in because of the knee injury he suffered courtesy of Edler attune 2013 Worlds. How he performs during the first three months of the will be the determining factor.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      Don’t see any reason for the thumbs down – at least you took the time adn effort to put a list forward. So I just up’d ya.

      • bucrightoff - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:50 PM

        Its all good. I can see why people disagree with Seabrook or Staal. But like Vancouver the ability for them to keep Keith and Seabrook together is incredibly appealing because they have chemistry and you don’t have to work on it. Staal will be on the team if he’s healthy without a doubt.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 22, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        Good point about the chemestry/familiarity. Good thing I gave you a thumbs uup before;)

  3. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Any mind readers out there?

  4. islesjb - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM


  5. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    I realize that this is somewhat off topic )at least it is about hockey’). While this would not be legal as a shootout move, it stil is pretty good

  6. spr41 - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Let’s save the suspense. “Locks” barring injury of course. They clearly consider the following 11 locks even if they don’t have a great start to the season they are still making it:

    F – S.Crosby, S.Stamkos, J.Tavares, C.Giroux, J. Toews, C. Perry

    D – S.Weber, D.Keith, D.Doughty, Subban (Norris trophy winner, great skater)

    G – Crawford the “11th” unless it totally craps the bed to start the season.

    Bergeron, Hall and Staal are not locks as they are injury prone. If they stay healthy they will be on the team.

    • dueman - Aug 22, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      Although Subban and Crawford will most likely make the team, neither one of them are “locks” especially Subban!

    • tdrusher225 - Aug 22, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      Yeah, Crawford is the 3rd goalie at best. Also, of course if they get injured they’re Staal is not a lock, and likely won’t make it because his skill set isn’t needed on this team. Bergeron is a lock, of course barring injury

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 22, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        Not sure why you’d project Cory C as #3 at best. Best stats during the regular season and playoffs last year. Next closest is Holtby, who maybe has a full season of games over 3 years.

        Smith? Well off his 2011-12 results, Hawks lit him up/chased him with 12 goals in 2 games.

        Luongo’s #s last year were quite “underwealming”

      • tdrusher225 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM

        I know what the stats say, but he’s playing behind probably the best puck possession, and overall, team in the NHL. If all you’re looking at is numbers, you’re going to pick the wrong players. He is not better than either Price or Luongo. I guess you could say maybe he’s slightly better than Smith or Holtby, but that’s not really saying much.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Aug 22, 2013 at 7:22 PM

        Crawford will probably make the team at the end of the day. Unless he has an atrocious start to the season. As the reigning goalie of the stanley cup winning team he has an advantage. I think that they’ll go Luongo and Crawford dressed (up in the air who starts), then put whomever is having the best season in that 3rd spot. Luongo and Crawford are the only 2 with high stakes game experience and they play in systems similar to what Team Canada will probably end up looking like.

      • tdrusher225 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:03 AM

        That’s probably true about him making the team, but there is no way he plays over Carey Price. Ability wins out over high stakes experience. Though it is nice to have both.

  7. tdrusher225 - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Crosby, Stamkos, Tavares, Nash, Getzlaf, Bergeron, Perry, Giroux, Keith, Weber, Doughty

  8. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Kind of puzzled that nobody has mentioned Kris Letang

    • bucrightoff - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      Shows you how freaking deep Canada is on the blueline. If only it was the same in goal…

    • chanceoffleury1 - Aug 22, 2013 at 7:07 PM

      I’ve seen a lot of people put him in a 7th/8th Dman spot, actually. or he just isn’t on the team at all. I think it really just depends on where Canada wants to take their team. Canada’s question marks in goal are obviously their most glaring weakness. So are they going to go out and try to just outscore their opponents and cross their fingers that their goalie shows up? or are they going to try and bulk up their blue line and hope their top forward lines go out and do all the offensive work? I think Letang is one of those guys that they’ll really want to see how he starts the season. He can be a shutdown defenseman or he can be a total defensive liability. I think if he has a strong start to the season he will have a great chance, but if he starts of shaky I could see him just missing the final roster.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:47 PM

        Going big was a problem last time they played on the international size rink. This year they are making skating a priority.

  9. chanceoffleury1 - Aug 22, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    I feel like I’m the only person unimpressed by Corey Perry. He’s good, and I think he’ll make the team, but a lock? E.Staal, St. Louis, Giroux, and Nash are probably all guys I’d take before Perry at this point. Yes, Giroux and E.Staal are centers, but I think both are talented enough to easily transition to a winger spot. Especially because Crosby, Stamkos, Bergeron, and Toews will probably end up being the 4 centers. Perry’s last two seasons have been pretty “eh” to me. 2 seasons ago he was a lock, but I think he needs to go into this season with the mindset he’s got something to prove. There shouldn’t be any “thanks!” spots for the guys from the 2010 team when you have a talent pool as deep as theirs is.

  10. pone27 - Aug 22, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Crosby, Toews, Stamkos, Perry, Tavares, Getzlaf

    Keith, Weber, Doughty, Pietrangelo

    Could be considered but not sure: Seabrook, Nash, Giroux, Bergeron

    Canada is just so deep in the middle.

  11. kaptaanamerica - Aug 22, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    On defense
    Weber, Doughty


    Bergeron, Giroux, Crosby, Nash, Stamkos, Tavares, E. Staal

  12. thibbledorfpwent - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Not sure about Nash, or Getzlaf, good players, but more of a “small ice” player (although they’ve got the experience internationally). Same with Bergeron, he’s a great two-way player, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not because of his skating, which is much more of a premium on the bigger Olympic rink. Also as pointed out he is somewhat injury prone – not a question of his toughness, still it’s a question mark never the less. Giroux I think has question marks because of his so-so season last year, and his off-season injuries/surgeries, not a question he can make the team, but he’s got to earn it. Same with Staal. As for Subban, well he’s a little… Erratic – is perhaps the nicest way to put it – on the ice, and in a short tournament his big personality may be a problem for team chemistry, something that will have to develop very quickly – which is probably the reason both Keith and Seabrook make it, even though individually they may have questions. So, locks;

    F) Crosby. Toews. Tavares. Stamkos. Couture. Perry.

    D) Seabrook. Keith. Weber. Pietrangelo.

    G) Luongo (face it he’s on the team, might never play a minute, but he’ll make it, like Ed Belfour in 2002)

  13. thibbledorfpwent - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Oops forgot Doughty, he’s probably a lock

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