Team Canada unveils roster
TORONTO—Team Canada has announced its 25-man roster for the Sochi Olympics, and it’s built around key contributors from the team that won gold four years ago in Vancouver.
Sidney Crosby, who scored the game-winning goal over the U.S. in overtime, is back and likely will be named captain.
Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Patrice Bergeron also are among the Vancouver medallists named to the team.
Forwards Rick Nash and Patrick Marleau, along with defencemen Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, and Drew Doughty, also return four years later to try to defend gold.
Goalie Carey Price and forwards John Tavares and Steven Stamkos lead the group of newcomers, which is full of youth and speed.
That’s not only a reflection of Canada’s young talent but the bigger international-sized ice surface.
Other newcomers chosen by executive director Steve Yzerman and his management team include forwards Chris Kunitz and Matt Duchene, and defencemen Jay Bouwmeester, Alex Pietrangelo, and P.K. Subban, who was the subject of much debate leading up to today’s announcement.
“In the end, we’ve put together the best group of players we possibly can,” said head coach Mike Babcock.
“Now we have to become the best team we possibly can.”
Team Canada is hoping to cash in on Kunitz’s natural chemistry with his Penguins’ teammate Crosby.
“Chris Kunitz has been an outstanding player throughout his career, a Stanley Cup champion,” Yzerman told a news conference today at the Toronto Maple Leafs’ practice facility.
“He played for me at the 2008 world championship in Quebec and Halifax, and was a very good player on that team.”
Martin St. Louis, snubbed in 2010 by Yzerman, was cut again this time around.
Joe Thornton, Eric Staal, Claude Giroux, and Dan Boyle also were considered candidates who didn’t make the cut.
Yzerman said St. Louis, who plays in Tampa, was an especially hard decision.
Lightning forward Stamkos’ status for the tournament is unclear as he continues to recover from a broken leg.
Yzerman said his rehab is going well.
“If he’s healthy, he’s one of the best 25 players obviously in Canada and should be on that team,” Yzerman stressed.