Crosby, Toews, Stamkos named to men's Olympic hockey team
Andrea Janus, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, January 7, 2014 11:27AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 7, 2014 2:31PM EST
The 25 players who will defend Canada’s men’s Olympic hockey title include a number of gold medallists from the Vancouver Games, including NHL points leader Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Patrice Bergeron.
Team Canada’s management staff unveiled the team at a news conference in Toronto Tuesday morning.
“On behalf of the entire men’s Olympic hockey team, what an honour it is for all of us to be part of the Canadian Olympic team in general,” Team Canada General Manager Steve Yzerman told reporters. “We are hoping to be part of a very successful Canadian Olympic team and build off the success that we had in Vancouver in 2010.”
Other members of the 2010 Olympic team headed to Sochi are Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Rick Nash, Drew Doughty, Patrick Marleau, Duncan Keith and Shea Weber, as well as goalie Roberto Luongo.
Injured Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos was also named to the team, but Yzerman said his status for the tournament remains uncertain.
Stamkos has been out since breaking his leg on Nov. 11.
“We’re going to take it one step at a time as far as what our decision will be,” Yzerman told reporters, adding that the deadline to name the 25-man roster was today.
“If he’s healthy, he’s one of the 25 best players in Canada and should be on the team,” Yzerman said.
Until the Olympics, Yzerman can add and drop players due to injury.
“All I can tell you is his rehab and his recovery are going very well,” he said. “The doctors are pleased with how he looks on X-ray.”
The full roster is as follows:
- Roberto Luongo
- Carey Price
- Mike Smith
- Jay Bouwmeester
- Drew Doughty
- Dan Hamuis
- Duncan Keith
- Alex Pietrangelo
- PK Subban
- Marc-Edouard Vlasic
- Shea Weber
- 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
“We’re very proud to announce our team today and we’re very excited to get to Sochi and get on the ice," Yzerman said after the announcement, which was open to the public.
Fans quickly broke into a chant of “Go Canada, Go!”
Head coach Mike Babcock said it is a “special” experience to represent Canada at the Olympics and to be a part of the larger Olympic team.
“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,” Babcock said.
“We’ll make you proud,” he added.
Notable players left off the roster include Lightning forward Martin St. Louis, who Yzerman also left off the 2010 squad. St. Louis leads the Lightning with 38 points.
Yzerman said it was a “very difficult” decision to leave St. Louis off the team, and would have been even if he was not the Lightning GM.
“He’s a tremendous hockey player who’s played outstanding hockey for us in Tampa this year,” Yzerman said. “Our team has a good record and our team is playing well, and he’s a big reason our team is playing well.”
Others who were passed over include Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux and San Jose’s Joe Thornton, who leads the NHL in assists and is fifth overall in points.
Yzerman said several factors go into the decision to name a player, down to whether he’s a left or right shot. But experience “is a real factor.”
Canada beat the United States for gold in 2010 on an overtime goal from Crosby. When asked which country Yzerman is most concerned about heading into the Sochi Games, he replied: “Everyone.”
“These countries are all improving,” Yzerman said.
“Honestly, I’m nervous about them all and you can’t overlook any opponent anymore, particularly in these tournaments when it’s one-game elimination.”
Canada begins defending its Olympic title when it opens the tournament on Feb. 13 against Norway.