Canada's coaches at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi

Canada’s coaches at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi: Hitchcock, Ruff, Babcock, Julien

The initial list of players invited to Canada’s Olympic orientation camp has been released, which means it’s time to scream and yell and pull our hair out. Here’s what Team Canada is working with, from theScore’s handy-dandy NHL section:

Hockey Canada has announced the 47 players who will make up their preliminary Olympic roster for the 2014 Games in Sochi.

The team will be coached by the Detroit Red Wings’ Mike Babcock.

He’s the best in the biz, so I love this.

The preliminary roster is as follows:

Goalies: Corey Crawford, Braden Holtby, Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, Mike Smith

* Braden Holtby with the nod. I suppose that’s not unreasonable.

* What, no James Reimer? (Ohhh, right, he was deemed not good enough to be a starter by the Leafs.)

* Also: the whole “Marc-Andre Fleury” thing is officially done, eh? I’m perfectly okay with this. Feel bad for the guy, but yeah…the majority of smart hockey minds are off that bandwagon. Funny, at one point it was all about him and Cam Ward.

* Martin Brodeur is definitely, definitely past where he’d need to be to be invited to this camp. But it’s still weird. He’s been a part of the program forever.

Defense: Karl Alzner, Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty, Mike Green, Dan Hamhuis, Travis Hamonic, Duncan Keith, Kris Letang, Marc Methot, Dion Phaneuf, Alex Pietrangelo, Brent Seabrook, Marc Staal, PK Subban, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Shea Weber

* This is a pretty deadly group. My “really?” group of interesting invitees includes Marc Methot, Karl Alzner and Travis Hamonic, but I suppose it’s not like they’ll make the team. Still, huge compliment to a guy like Hamonic to be a part of this group.

Oh, that’d be just lovely.

* Francois Beauchemin is a bit of a notable omission from this group. Who would possibly want Methot over him? Hell, I’d take Dan Girardi over Marc Methot. Playing with Erik Karlsson is good for your career, it seems.

Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Logan Couture, Sidney Crosby, Matt Duchene, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Getzlaf, Claude Giroux, Taylor Hall, Chris Kunitz, Andrew Ladd, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Rick Nash, James Neal, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Patrick Sharp, Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Joe Thornton, Jonathan Toews

* Couple interesting notes here, with “no Jamie Benn” being near the top of the list. Especially when you’re tossing in Chris Kunitz and Brad Marchand.

* You have to feel for Jarome Iginla here. I realize he might be in Camp Brodeur for players just too far along in their careers to provide much value, he’s just been a part of it all for so long, and did so much for Canada in international play. But…yeah. Here we are.

* Also notable: No Tyler Seguin, no Patrick Marleau, no Vincent Lecavalier, no Jason Spezza, no Evander Kane. I have a hunch some of this could change.

* I heart Matt Duchene and would love to see him on this team.

* I’ve heard some people making noise about Brent Burns. He’s a fine player. Take a look at the group above. That ain’t his level.

So, what are your thoughts? Any glaring omissions or surprises?

Comments (81)

  1. Jamie Benn’s a miss, for sure. Would’ve liked to see Dan Girardi there too.

  2. Lupul? When he’s healthy he’s been a force the last two years.

    • I think you answered your own question. Why add a health risk when there are plenty of better, non-risky players?

  3. Don’t any of the Staal brothers play goal?

  4. I am surprised at Benn being excluded for sure. But how is his overall skating? This will be on the big ice not the NHL like last Oly’s so I am sure that is a major consideration.

    Which is most likely why Beauchemin isn’t on the list. Solid NHL dman but his foot speed is suspect at best

    • Benn is fast but not particularly smooth-looking. But he can out-accelerate guys, plus he’s got big long legs that help him cover ground well. I’d peg him as faster than average for a big guy, very maneuverable, but not a speedster.

      He’s significantly faster than, say, Thornton and Neal IMO, just to pick a couple guys on that list of relatively comparable size.

  5. I thought Holtby in and Benn out were the biggest surprises for the camp. Nothing against Holtby but I thought someone else like Ward or even Elliott would have been getting the nod over him, but there’s also no guarantee he’s on the team. I think it’ll be an obvious statement but Benn has more scoring talent than Marchand and belongs on here over him, but hey there’s a reason I’m not involved with this.

  6. My thoughts are that the coaching staff looks super happy and excited in that picture.

  7. No David Clarkson?

  8. Oh my God, is Lindy okay?!

    • That’s his “generally happy” face.

      Also his “meh” face, his “thoughtful” face, his “wistful” face, his “I need coffee” face….

  9. Andrew Ladd>Spezza? Marchand>Benn? Chris Kunitz>Evander Kane? Not that any of them would even make the team, but weird omissions regardless.

    • Also Jeff Carter>Marleau? At least on big ice is also super strange

      • Carter’s a weird case: he had a great, and unsustainable, shooting percentage this year, but he makes everyone around him better.

    • I don’t think there’s any question that Spezza is a better player than Ladd, but it’s hockey and you need role players, grit, etc.

  10. “* Also notable: No Tyler Seguin, no Patrick Marleau, no Vincent Lecavalier, no Jason Spezza, no Evander Kane. I have a hunch some of this could change.”

    I don’t think anyone can be added. I vaguely remember that Andy Greene was garnering interest for the 2010 games based on his early season performance. But he was unable to join team USA because he was not part of the continuous IOC drug testing program.

    • That is a very interesting question/point and Bee asked it below as well. I was always under the impression they could add/delete however they wanted right up to the final roster submission which is right before the games start.

      I would hate to see some good player have a great start to the season and get passed over if they could help the team win.. especially in net.

      Does anyone have any info/links to any facts on this??

    • From what I remember, Patrice Bergeron played himself onto Team Canada for 2010 despite not being invited to the summer orientation camp. So it must be at least possible.

      • Good point. I wonder what the reasoning was for Bergeron being able to be added and Greene not. If only there was a member of the hockey media with connections that could answer this question.

  11. I’m a total newbie to all things hockey, so this might be a silly question, but: what about the people who weren’t invited to this camp? I assume they have about zero chance of making the final squad (unless, say, Benn or Seguin play an absolute blinder of a first half next season)?

  12. Hmmm, how many games did Methot play with Karlsson??

    • Methot played 47 and Karlsson played 11 so Methot earned this spot on his own merit, will he make team though? Negative.

      • Ya, I think you picked up my sarcasm. Methot earned this by himself. He may end up surprising and making the team as he is a left hand shot – but doubtful. Bourne is really subpar as a blogger when it comes to knowing / appreciating players that spent most/all of their careers in small market teams. Unless they are the big pt producing types.

  13. Methot was a rock on the Senators top D pairing, and was their most consistent player on the back end with AND without Karlsson. I’m glad he has received the recognition he deserves whether he makes the team or not.

  14. Okay I understand a lot of people do not like spezza but i watch him on a regular basis this guy is dominant, DOMINANT almost every night. He was fifth in points last healthy season with greening and michalek on his wings. With ryan this year he will torch the league and this will be stamkos and st louis 2.0 when spezza is top 5 or 10 in scoring and not on the team because of some perceived turnover issues or whatever, although he doesnt turn it over as much and all skill guys do. If i was making team Canada no gaunratee hed make it but hes sure as heck be at my camp. Also everyone loves eberle but he is the most overrated player in the NHL, and leaving marleau (so fast) benn and seguin and kane of astounds me there guys are all lights out quick aside from benn who si average and were on big ice. I dont get it i know they have perceived issues are soft or whatever, but honestly lucic cant skate well enough marchand isnt skilled enough, i swear sometimes people fall in love with grinders and less skilled players and just over think things, take the best players its big ice too not vancouver. These selections worry me and if its true they cant be brought in once not being invited then they are all the more perplexing

    • Almost every night that he isn’t on LTIR…

    • and Spezza has also been out for a whole season effectively. As you said “last healthy season”. I would have picked him too but that might have been a consideration of the GM group in this case.

      • Yea I just think with so many invitees you can gamble on truly elite players, i mean lucic and eberle are non factors for this team, maybe marchand hes fast, gritty and can score but still, ladd too these guys cant play on this big ice, why not take a flyer on spezza but I get that they are concerned about his back, their fine down the middle anyway he and thornton are essentially the same player anyway

    • “lucic cant skate well enough marchand isnt skilled enough,”

      You forgot to get a shot in at Bergeron.

  15. if i have to pick from this the fwds would be

    Hall – Crosby – E. Stall (going to score and score some more, scoring line 2)
    St. Louis – Thornton – Stamkos (top o-line, get cushy zone starts weak comp, big points)
    Duchene – Tavares – Giroux (play in all situations all are 200 ft palyers)
    Toews – Bergeron – Nash (is ovie, sedins, kovie, datsyuk, gaborik, hossa, kopitar, etc.. on the ice great so is this line have fun scoring)
    Spares: M. Rich + Carter, both crazy versatile and i love carter on big ice can fly and has a rocket
    —> the guy i hated leaving off was couture, really id prolly take him over m.Rich or even duchene but ugh, hard choices i like duchences speed on big ice

    Kieth – Doughty
    Subban – Weber
    Hamhuis – Peiterangelo
    spare: boyle, this is pretty well a lock him and stlouis and prolly thornton will be the old gaurd
    –> People forget how tough subbans minutes are, he is a stud and all 3 of those lines are tough to play against

    • “People forget how tough subbans minutes are”

      QoC: -0.024, 106th among D (Hamhuis is 48th at .021)
      Corsi Rel QoC: 0.026, 109th among D (Hamhuis is 36th at .819)
      Off Zone Start: 53.6%, 41st easiest among D (Hamhuis is 80th at 49.7%)

      How are those hard minutes? I threw Hamhuis in since he is generally considered the weakest of the 6 you listed. Subban’s difficult minutes were comparable to the soft minutes seen by the stars like Corvo, Murray and Ference.

      • if you wanna talk QoC, take a look at phaneufs numbers. you might find a spot for him on the backend after.

  16. I’m surprised that Phaneuf even made the prelims. He isnt a very good defensemen. I would’ve much preferred Girardi who’s a tough as nails solid D man. May not be much offensively but with all the other defensemen who have tons of offensive power he would be a great balance.

    My roster:

    G – Smith, Crawford and Lu (Im a habs fan but Price just is too inconsistent in playoffs/big games)

    D – Pietriangelo, Letang, Subban, Boyle, Doughty, Weber, Keith, Seabrook

    F- Toews, Crosby, Giroux, Bergeron, Sharp (Fantastic all around player), Stamkos, Thornton, Tavares, Getzlaf, Perry, Couture and Eberle

    Spares: Nash, St.Louis and Richards

    Hall I don’t feel he can do it quite yet, Lucic is a physical player but in the Olympics its more about skill (therefore same thoughts on Marchand). The rest are great but not in the same class as the starters

    • Phaneuf is a very good defenseman and much better than Girardi.

    • How do you leave off Jeff Carter? He’ll be such an asset on the larger ice surface. He just finished a season where he led the west in goal-scoring.

  17. Very limited hockey knowledge as Ive just started following in the last 2-3 years so take this in that context.

    Due to the limited amount of time these guys will have to train together before the Olympics, is it possible that some teammates were selected because they would be familiar with their potential linemates. This may explain Bergeron-Lucic-Marchand, Crosby-Neal-Kunitz, the Staals.

    Just a thought.

    • and a good thought too. Chemistry is important. We have seen before where putting together the 3 “best” players doesn’t always give us anywhere near the “best” line.

      • Of course, the counterpoint is stuff like the 2006 team, where it looks like they picked chemistry first and skill second. That… didn’t work.

      • The original line combos for Canada were:
        Richards-Crosby-Nash
        Heatley-Thornton-Marleau
        Staal-Getzlaf-Perry
        Bergeron-Toews-Iginla

        But as the tournament progressed I know they cot shuffled (Toews got moved up a few lines I think). Anyone have the final line combos at the start of the gold medal game? I searched all over the google machine but no joy.

        • my memory (which is getting old) is that the original lines for the norwegian game were:
          nash crosby bergeron
          stall getzlaf perry
          heatley thornton marleau
          richards toews iginla
          with Morrow as the 13th forward

          this changed very quickly after the 1st US game as Iginla moved to play with crosby
          from the Russian game on the lines were mostly

          Stall Crosby Iginla
          Morrow Getzlaf Perry
          Heatly Thorton Marleau
          Richards Toews Nash
          with Bergeron as the 13th forward ..think he was still showing side affects from his concussion and was not able to keep up with the pace.

    • Jeff (comment posted @ 4:54 on July 22nd),

      I also wonder about the chemistry piece. What about the Coach’s relationship with the proposed players? Dan Bylsma brought along his assistant coach, Tony Granato, and the Penguins’ GM is the assistant GM for team U.S.A. The Penguins’ “shut down pair” of Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin has also been added.
      Bylsma also included Beau Bennett as a potential forward (he won’t make the team, of course). That’s kinda odd since Bylsma is a huge fan of not having Bennett play during the regular season, despite there being a gaping hole since Kunitz was removed from Malkin’s line of 2011-2012.
      I will also keep an eye on the coaching, namely Bylsma and Granato’s interaction with the Peter Laviolette. Who can forget that shouting match between the benches during a Penguins/Flyers game from 2011-2012?! Granato and Laviolette working together = good times!

      I see that team Canada does not have any of Babcock’s Wings. Then again, his team is chock full of non-Canadians.

  18. what crap the the great Steve Yzerman has done it again just like in 2010 instead of picking mike green who had 76 ponits and was a plus 39 pick lead foot chris pronger who has never done any good at internatonal games or old man Scott Niedermayer who look very out class he has done it again just these time it is the golies like how stupid do you have to be not to pick James Reimer how was the only reason the a crap team like the leafs even got in the playoff and should have won the vesna because he got a team with the worst d in the league and still played great and where is cam ward he is the only reasson the cans even got clost to the playoffs and he was the only reason the won to

    • “or old man Scott Niedermayer who look very out class ”

      Um… SN and Doughty were the best D pair in the tournament, and it wasn’t even close.

      Although Neidermayer did nearly give away the game in OT.

    • Reimer should have won Vezina? Whoa man… lay off the pipe and take the homer glasses off.

    • Poor brendan, I think all the punctuation fell off of his keyboard.

    • …..,,,,

      You dropped these. Sprinkle them in as necessary.

    • “the great Steve Yzerman has done it again just like in 2010″

      Google “2010 ice hockey medal result” and then tell me why youre so mad that he would do what he did in 2010

  19. Dion Phaneuf and Jay Bouwmeester this two slugs where not even good enough to make the flames and with out reimer to save captian can heads Phaneuf from scoring on his own net or taking out his own players or being on the ice for every goal bosten scored i do not see him being any thing but bad for canada and then jay Bouwmeester has been a player that can not help but get scored on as well carey price has never been able to handle a high steacks game and Montreal Canadiens did better when they puyt halck in as well as if the gold medal game was in the u.s last time Roberto Luongo would have pissed his pants and we would have lost just like the bosten vancover final

  20. are you dum how why how was he not the best goile Sergei Bobrovsky won the vezina for play good and almost got in the playoffs and reimer with worst d got in the playoffs and almost beat bosten by him self

    • Always great when you try to call someone dumb, all while misspelling the word dumb. Impressive.

      If you can’t understand the difference between 2.00/.932 and 2.46/.924 then you simply don’t understand hockey.

    • on behalf of hockey fans everywhere I am almost embarrassed for you

  21. Cam Ward is probably the 2nd best Canadian goalie behind Carey Price, that is the only glaring omission i see. Man our quality of goal-tending has really dropped; gone are the days of Roy, Brodeur, Belfour and Cujo.

  22. doh your just some ass kisser that also thinks Brian Burke is the best thing that ever in the world and dion block head Phaneuf and phil all the time on for goals kessel are like god

    • So the fact that I don’t think Reimer is deserving of Vezina consideration means I am a Leafs fan? Interesting viewpoint.

      Thanks for Tuukka, Dougie and Loui.

  23. i hate the leafs there the worst team in the world and those trades are half the reason why there so bad but as some one who saw reimer make 40 or more saves a night and not to win is just dumb as well no other goalie had to make such a bad team and get them to the playoffs

  24. and dougie got a nice warm seat on the press box in the final

  25. Stamkos-Crosby-Tavares
    Eberle-E.Staal-Perry
    Bergeron-Toews-Nash
    Carter-Richards-Getzlaf/Giroux

    Doughty-Weber
    Subban-Letang
    Keith-Pietrangelo/Seabrook/Hamhuis

    Luongo-Price-Crawford

    Canada is stacked as always, spots are going to be very hard to get

  26. I thought Alex Burrows would get an invite, with a very long shot chance of making it as a 4th liner and penalty killer. His goals (yes scored with the Sedins, but keep in mind he does not play the powerplay) for the past five seasons are: 28/35/26/28/13 (the last in 47 games) – pretty solid and consistent.

    But I guess Brad Marchand is a younger, better version in the pest-who-can-score role and so maybe Burrows was considered redundant?

    • Burrows saw almost 3 minutes a game on the PP last season…

      • Your username is what I said out loud when I read your comment. You’re totally right. Was just thinking of 1st PP unit time based on the games I watched last year, and didn’t even think to check the ice time totals or, really, about the second unit at all

        His PP goals are still low: 1 last year, 3 in 2011-12, 1 in 2010-11 – which was my point in mentioning it, i.e. his goal totals aren’t significantly padded by PP goals.

  27. Seabrook has to be one of the most overrated defensemen in the NHL.

  28. nu-gent hop-kins
    (clap clap, clap-clap-clap)

  29. hey rs those two guys Luongo and Price are the worst two players under pressure ive ever seen the only other player that i know of that is worst in must win games is mats sundin if team canada goes with Luongo or Price team canada has no chance of getting any wins in the games at all and a real team canada is
    nash sid crosby Bergeron weber Doughty
    martin st louis claude grioux steve Stamkos keith seabrook
    perry towes Getzlaf letang subban green or Ladd Lucic Marchand boyle
    crawford smith holtby or call cam ward and james reimer

  30. I really really hope Hamhuis makes the final cut. He’s such a quiet, unassuming guy…he doesn’t like to draw attention to himself. But he’s a great defenseman and would be a nice “safe” complement to one of the flashier, offensively minded guys. It would be nice to see such a modest guy get recognition.

    #HamhuisforSochi

  31. Completely disagree on Methot, as an unbiased habs fan I can honestly say he easily cracks my top 8. For the exact reason you said (although you said it sarcastically). He has proven to be an absolute rock paired with a risky, right handed offensive defenseman in karlsson. And if anyone hasn’t noticed, subban letang pietrangelo boyle green doughty are all offensive defensemen with right handed shots. Three of those guys will make the team, and if we truly want a team as opposed to an allstar team, methot should get a hard look.

  32. Idk if this is far fetched or not but I truly believe Iginla deserves to be on this team. Not only did he set up Crosby on the “golden goal” but we are in dire need of legit right wingers. We need a few players that are there for leadership and I think he’s the go to guy for said position. Even if he only rocks the 3rd or 4th line I think he has done his due part and deserves a spot on this team. Yah or nah fellow Canadians?

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