Key players from 2010 to lead Canadian hockey team

The Canadian Press
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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 United States in overtime, is back and likely will be named captain.

CLICK HERE FOR A STORIFY OF REACTION TO THE TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT

Roberto Luongo, who was in net for the completion of the 2010 tournament, could get another chance next month as he’s back on the roster following some tumultuous times. Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Patrice Bergeron are also among the Vancouver medallists named to the team.

Forwards Rick Nash and Patrick Marleau, defencemen Shea Weber, Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty also return four years later to try to defend gold.

Goaltender 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 Tuesday’s announcement.

“In the end we’ve put together the best group of players we possibly can. Now we have to become the best team we possibly can,” head coach Mike Babcock said.

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 Tuesday 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.”

“He’s a skilled player,” Yzerman added. “Yes he plays with Sidney Crosby and he’s been a great contributor not only to that line but to his team.”

Martin St. Louis, snubbed in 2010 by Yzerman, was cut again this time around. Joe Thornton, Eric Staal, Claude Giroux and Dan Boyle were also considered candidates who didn’t make the cut.

Yzerman said St. Louis, who plays in Tampa, was an especially hard decision.

“He’s a tremendous hockey player who has played outstanding hockey for us in Tampa this year,” said Yzerman, who is the general manager of the Lightning. “Our team has a good record and he’s a big reason why our team is playing well.”

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,” said Yzerman.

Canada’s roster features two of the NHL’s top three scorers in Crosby (23 goals, 40 assists) and Getzlaf (20 goals and 28 assists). U.S. winger Patrick Kane (23 goals, 31 assists) is the other.

Canada beat the United States in overtime to win the gold medal in 2010 when Crosby beat Ryan Miller. It was Canada’s second gold medal since the NHL began sending its players at the 1998 Nagano Games.

Canada opens the Sochi Games Feb. 13 against Norway.

The full roster:

Goalies: Roberto Luongo; Carey Price; Mike Smith

Defencemen: Jay Bouwmeester; Drew Doughty; Dan Hamhuis; Duncan Keith; Alex Pietrangelo; P.K. Subban; Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Shea Weber

Forwards: Jamie Benn; Patrice Bergeron; Jeff Carter; Sidney Crosby; Matt Duchene; Ryan Getzlaf; Chris Kunitz; Patrick Marleau; Rick Nash; Corey Perry; Patrick Sharp; Steven Stamkos; John Tavares; Jonathan Toews

CLICK HERE FOR THE OLYMPIC SCHEDULE.

 

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