Should Turin 06 Mark the Changing of the Guard for Canada

Everyone is making the early opinion on how the season is going to go. So I figured I would start the debate for who could be playing for team Canada in Turin, Italy. I am going to limit my selection to younger players, cause I feel that this is the Olympics where we leave behind the likes of Lemieux, Sakic, Yzerman, Blake. Take a younger team and show the world that we will continue to dominate our sport for years to come.


Is there a pair of Canadians out there that are playing better together than Heatley, and Spezza? With Alfredsson on the top line in Ottawa, it looks like Heatley will be playing on the left wing this year. Which is good cause we can leave him there fo the Olympics, hence giving us a top line of Heatley, Spezza, and Iginla.

For the second line, how about someone that has really been lighting the lamp this year, I’m talking about Simone Gagne. In 4 games Gagne has 6 goals, 9 pionts, and a 31.6 shooting percentage. Yes I know it’s only 4 games, but I believe he will be one of the top forwards this year. How about puting him with the youngster Sidney Crosby and to be honest I’m really not sure who to put on the right wing here. I was thinking perhaps Glen Murray of the Bruins.

On the third line you want good two-way players, you want them to chip in on the offense, but you need them to play well in their own end as well. Here I have to start with “Captain Canada” himself Ryan Symth, the guy has been there for us through thick and thin, it would be wrong not to take him. How about putting him with Selke finalist Alyn McCauley, and Joffrey Lupul of the Mighty Ducks.

For the fourth line or as some like to call it the “energy line”. You want three players you can send out there to play good two-way hockey, but can go out there and crash bodies. Here I would have to put Brenden Morrow, Joe Thornton, and Shane Doan.

So here are the forward lines:

Heatley______Spezza_______Iginla

Gagne_______Crosby_______Murray (maybe?)

Symth_______McCauly______Lupul

Morrow______Thornton______Doan

On defense you want your top 4 to be offensive threats without losing anything in the defensive zone. Canada’s top four should be Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Wade Redden, and Ed Jovanovski. The final pairing should be your stay at home shut down the best the other team has type of defensemen. Here I would put Robyn Regehr of the Flames and Cory Sarich of the Lightning.

So the defensive pairings are:

Niedermayer________Pronger

Jovanovski__________Redden

Regehr_____________Sarich

Now for goaltending, this is the year for Brodeur to pass the torch to the next great Canadian goalie, Roberto Luongo. Luongo should start with Brodeur backing him up. Which leaves Theodore, Turco, and what appears to be the old J.S. Giguere that lead Anahiem to game 7 of the Stanley cup finals. I have to say I am happy that Giguere is coming back, cause he is going to push Luongo, Theodore, and Turco going into 2010 in Vancouver.

Now before you completely tear it apart, let me explain myself. Is it important to win in Turin 06. You better believe it, but NOT as important to win in 2010. The older players I did not name will not be there in 2010. I put this team together to show the world that Canada will be a dominant force for years to come, regardless of who we bring because we are that deep in talent. It is very easy to just name all the most talented players, but I had a purpoose for the lines, I used the players as examples.

However if the same dinosaurs are going to be in charge. We all know they will pick their friends. Before you all go but they won the last time, remember this. They didn’t have to see the Swedes, the Czechs, or the Russians in the knockout phase. Tommy Salo will not be there to screw up. There also might not be a judging scandal that pissed the Russians off to the point where the federation threatened to pull out all the athletes right before Russia played the U.S.

With all that being said Canada will need to make a changing of the guard sooner or later. We can either bring a well balanced team that will control both ends of the ice, or we can bring a bunch of superstars that can’t do nothing in their own end and hope our goalie saves us again and again.

Either way……….GO CANADA GO!!!!!!!