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Patrick Roy: ‘I’d be very surprised’ if Duchene not on Canada’s Olympic team

Jan 6, 2014, 11:50 PM EDT

Matt Duchene Getty Images

Among the hopefuls that could make Canada’s Olympic team is Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche.

Now in his fifth season with the Avalanche, the team that drafted him third overall in the 2009 NHL Draft, Duchene is producing at a point-per-game clip – he’s not yet been able to reach this mark over a full season in his NHL career – and could be one of the players called Tuesday, when Hockey Canada’s Olympic brass announces its roster for the Sochi Games next month.

His appointment may come with the task of being moved to the wing, particularly with Canada stacked up the middle with centers like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Ryan Getzlaf, who are returning from the gold medal winning squad and all expected to be named to the 2014 team.

“I’d be very surprised if he’s not on the team,” says Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy, as per the Calgary Herald.

“He’s speed will be an important asset on the bigger-sized rink. When I spoke to Steve Yzerman they had some points they wanted to talk about. I’m not saying (points) they wanted me to work on . . . but I explained to Duchy that’s what they’re going to look at.

“If you’re good defensively, if you’re capable of moving the puck more, stuff like that. And that’s what he’s doing.”

Duchene had four points in three games prior to Monday’s contest against the Calgary Flames, when he was held off the score sheet with only two shots on goal.

  1. canucks30 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:05 AM

    I’d be more inclined to select a natural winger as the inclusion of too many centres my be counter productive.

    Then again, having lots of faceoff options and players who are used to playing both ends of the ice can’t hurt either.

    • 19to77 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:24 AM

      And also, he’s one of the fastest skaters in the League. That’s a strong asset on the big ice. His style is well-suited to international play.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      Canada is just so deep at centre I don’t think you can leave them all at home, you’re going to have to ask some players to play out of position on a wing. You’re going to have guys who are used to playing first line minutes on their team playing fourth line or extra forward roles in Sochi, I’m sure players more willing to accept other roles will be selected over guys who are determined to be the guy.

  2. atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    I’m not a fan of the TSN projected team, I hope they’re just guessing and wrong and not reporting what they’ve actually been told by Hockey Canada.

  3. canada2014gold - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:45 AM

    I don’t think he should make it unless he’s got experience on the wing. Anyone know if he does?

  4. benrob99 - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:23 AM

    I’m so tired of hearing about the “big ice” it’s not like they are playing on a frozen football field or something.

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