Canada Announces Training Camp Invites
Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils),
Roberto Luongo (Vancouver Canucks)
Marc-André Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Steve Mason (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Cam Ward (Carolina Hurricanes)
Defence Jay Bouwmeester (Calgary Flames)
Dan Boyle (San Jose Sharks)
Scott Niedermayer (Anaheim Ducks)
Chris Pronger (Philadelphia Flyers)
Robyn Regehr (Calgary Flames)
Dion Phaneuf (Calgary Flames)
Marc Staal (New York Rangers)
Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)
François Beauchemin (Anaheim Ducks)
Brent Burns (Minnesota Wild)
Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings)
Stéphane Robidas (Dallas Stars)
Mike Green (Washington Capitals)
Dan Hamhuis (Nashville Predators)
Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks)
Brent Seabrook (Chicago Blackhawks)
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Shane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes)
Simon Gagné (Philadelphia Flyers)
Dany Heatley (Ottawa Senators)
Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames)
Rick Nash (Columbusn Blue Jackets)
Joe Sakic (Colorado Avalanche)
Martin St-Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes)
Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks)
Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Jeff Carter (Philadelphia Flyers)
Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks)
Milan Lucic (Boston Bruins)
Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks)
Andy McDonald (St. Louis Blues)
Brenden Morrow (Dallas Stars)
Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks)
Michael Richards (Philadelphia Flyers)
Derek Roy (Buffalo Sabres)
Patrick Sharp (Chicago Blackhawks)
Ryan Smyth (Colorado Avalanche)
Jordan Staal (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
Dan Cleary (Detroit Red Wings)
There were some surprise names. Dan Cleary for one. But its likely his two way ability, championship experience and grit were a factor.
Joe Sakic, still undecided on where he will play is another surprise. As is his fellow Avs teammate Ryan Smyth who had a not so great season last year.
Andy McDonald is a mild surprise. With the depth up the middle, his chances are slim.
On D, Robidas is the big surprise there. But he was an allstar last year and can play big minutes.
And finally, Dany Heatley is a mild surprise. Basically the events these past few weeks have really tarnished his reputation. Greedy, selfish, malcontents who are only out for themselves will not be included on this team.
Of this group, here is a potential roster:
With the games being played at GM Place, an NHL sized venue, the Canadians will have a distinct advantage, even if several of the other countries are filled with NHLers.
The small ice is an advantage because the Canadians have the size and willingness to play physical that is easier to do on the smaller ice. They will thus likely build a team that is big and tough but one that will have a ton of skill.
Luongo is a great pick to be the starter since he is a Canuck, knows the nuances of GM Place and is ready to take over and lead the team this time around, after being a backup in 2006. but Brodeur just wont give away the job.
Niedermayer and Pronger along with Keith and Bouwmeester will likely be leaned upon to play against the other team’s best. Phaneuf, Green and Weber will be offensive catalysts. 3 big shooters at the point should help the PP get going. Nieds, Green and Keith are all terrific skaters.
Up front, its Crosby who will lead this group. But the key will be the warriors like Doan, Richards, Morrow. They will be entrusted to play that key shutdown role against the likes of Parise, Ovechkin, Zetterberg among others. With so many centres likely to make the team, they will have to either shift to the wing or accept a more backseat role behind Crosby. But a word to describe the team’s depth? Sick.
As for the captaincy, it will likely go to Niedermayer. The BC native would be the perfect calming influence for this relatively young squad. Players like Pronger, Crosby, Iginla and Gagne will likely rotate the A’s
All in all, Canada is the favorite and with home advantage have the means to bring home gold.