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Canadian Olympic Hockey Team Features Youth, Versatility, Controversy

Dec 30, 2009 – 12:13 PM
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Christopher Botta

Christopher Botta %BloggerTitle%

Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Shane Doan, Ryan Smyth and Mike Green are just some of the outstanding NHL players who could fill a second team if Canada was allowed two entries at the Olympics in Vancouver in February.

But alas, Canada cannot, so dozens of worthy players will have two weeks off in February.

To national fanfare, the Canadian Olympic Team was announced on February. Scott Niedermayer was named captain. Chris Pronger, Sidney Crosby and Jarome Iginla are the alternates. Here's the roster, along with a few notes.

Goalies

Martin Brodeur (New Jersey), Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh), Roberto Luongo (Vancouver)

Notes: Brodeur will get the first game, Luongo any game after Brodeur falters. This was a slam-dunk trio once Cam Ward suffered a deep laceration early in the season and Steve Mason's sophomore slump kicked in.

Defense

Dan Boyle (San Jose), Drew Doughty (Los Angeles), Duncan Keith (Chicago), Scott Niedermayer (Anaheim), Chris Pronger (Philadelphia), Brent Seabrook (Chicago), Shea Weber (Nashville)

Notes: Gutsy calls here by Yzerman and associate Kevin Lowe, who knows defense. Washington's Mike Green is the snub of all snubs. Calgary's overrated Jay Bouwmeester and over-hyped Dion Phaneuf were not worthy, but still Calgary fans will see a conspiracy in choices made by Edmonton rival Lowe. After the announcement, Yzerman sounded like the tandem of Blackhawks Keith and Seabrook would stay together in Vancouver. Doughty, the second overall pick in 2008 who just turned 20 earlier this month, has come a long way in short time.

Offense

Patrice Bergeron (Boston), Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh), Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim), Dany Heatley (San Jose), Jarome Iginla (Calgary), Patrick Marleau (San Jose), Brenden Morrow (Dallas), Rick Nash (Columbus), Corey Perry (Anaheim), Mike Richards (Philadelphia), Eric Staal (Carolina), Joe Thornton (San Jose), Jonathan Toews (Chicago)

Notes: Bergeron was not at Canada's evaluation camp in August, but has returned to form as a dynamic offensive force and faceoff specialist after overcoming a concussion. The exclusion of world-class talents such as Lecavalier and St. Louis and inclusion of the gritty veteran Morrow and the 21-year-old Toews is a result of Yzerman and his staff looking for the most well-rounded team.
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