After Canada had a disappointing showing in 2006 where they lost in the Quarterfinals. The Canadians have a power house roster as they will face some of the highest pressure the team will face in decades as the Canada team is expected to bring home a gold medal at home in Vancouver.
Press Release from the National Hockey League website's special Vancouver Olympic section.
Let the hype begin.
The most talked about roster prehaps in hockey history was released by Hockey Canada Excs. on Wednesday afternoon and Canadian Fans and, really hockey fans around the globe, have had two and a half months to dissect, critique and scrutinize the decision that were made by Team Canada Exc. Director Steve Yzerman.
With Doug Armstrong, Keith Lowe, Ken Holland and head coach Mike Babcock sitting to his left at dais in Saskatoon, Sask. Yzerman announced Canada's Roster for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. He selected players with Olympic Experience, but also went with a roster that has a strong flavor of youth.
Highlighting the group that is expected to compete for Gold in Vancouver are the obvious choices of Sydney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger and Martin Brodeur.
Niedermayer will be Canada's captain in Vancouver, and Pronger, Crosby, and Iginla will be his alternatives.
Niedermayer, Pronger, Iginla, and Brodeur are the remaining members of the team that won the gold 8 years ago in Salt Lake City 8 years ago. It was Canada's first Gold in 50 years. Crosby was not selected for the team that finished a disappointing 7th place.
"It's a big transition from the players that have played in 2002 and 2006 to what's going in 2010." Brodeur said. "Guys like Sidney Crosby, he's been like the top player since he got drafted, he's won a Stanley Cup now. This is a step to really est. himself. That's the beauty of our country-you'll see a lot of our young players really needed to take over. Before it was really rely on older players to do so. Now it's going to be different. In 2002, we had Mario Lemieux with us, Joe Sakic, Rob Blake, a lot of older guys. Now, transition, like with the game, it's a lot of younger players. It'll be nice to see how every one is when the games start."
For Brodeur, being selected to his 3rd Olympics is a family legacy.
"When I grew up, it was all about Team Canada because my dad (Denis) played in the Olympics," Brodeur said. "It wasn't the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens, it was Team Canada in 1956 because my dad played." It was always a special place in our household.
"This is a pretty special honor and obviously it's been something that has been talked about for a while now so there is a lot of anticipation and I'm pretty proud to be a part of that." Crosby told TSN.
Joining Crosby and Iginla up front will be Rick Nash, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Eric Staal, Jonathan Toews, Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau, Patrice Bergron, Brenden Morrow, and Mike Richards.
"I dont think any of us were 100% sure until we heard our names called this morning or until we got the phone call." Chicago's Towes said. "You hear a lot of talk and people will gossip and give their own opinion on who they think is going to be on the team. Once you heard your name mentioned it begins to sink in that you might have a chance, But I was pretty nervous this morning."
Niedermayer and Pronger will be joined on the back line by Shea Webber, Dan Boyle, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Drew Doughty, who at 20 is the youngest player on the roster.
"I'm just thrilled, i'm really honored," Seabrook said. "There's so many great players that weren't able to make the team. It's a dream come true and i'm really looking forward to it."
Keith Echoed his teammates comments.
"I'm extremly happy, Keith said. "My whole family was pretty excited this morning to get the news. To see your name listed there're so many great players to make the team. To be one of the guys lucky enough to make the team, your definitely feel honored to be a part of it and we'll do everything we can to make it a success.
Brodeur will face competition for playing time with Marc-Andre Fleury and Roberto Luongo, who was Brodeur in Torino four years ago.
"I'm dealing with the top goalies in Canada, so regardless if you think I'm going to be the #1, I still have to go out and prove it," Brodeur told the NHL Website. "Competition in that way will be healthy and you know what, you never know, it happens quick. Games are won and lost pretty quickly in the Olympics and you need guys that want to be there 100% of the time mentally. I'm looking forward to the challenge. I think that it keeps you accountable when you have people there to take your job."
"It's a big deal," Fleury said. "It's the Olympics. It's not only hockey, you want to do well for your country. You want to get the Gold Medal especially since it's in Canada. It should be fun."
Fleury said he raced to his cell phone after teammate Sidney Crosby had a voicemail from Yzerman early Wednesday morning.
"Sid checked his phone, and he had a voice mail," Fleury told Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. "I ran to check it out and I had a voice mail from Kevin Lowe.
"Pretty cool," Fleury cont. "Maybe we will all realize it more once we get there, but it's great news.
Fleury already is looking forward to partnering with Brodeur and Luongo.
"They're too amazing goalies, guys I look to and watch to play," he said. "It will be a pretty amazing chance to play with them."
The hype around the Olympics in Canada has been huge, and not lost on the players.
"All the pride you can think of is going to be in that building and around the country you're going to be able to feel it," Marleau told the NHL Website. "It's being pumped up pretty good, but with all good intentions. It's a center stage, basically."
Yzerman wound up leaving former Olympians like Vinny Lecavalier, Shane Doan, Ryan Smith, Brad Richards, Jay Bouwmeester, and Martin St. Louis off the roster. They played on Canada's disappointing team in 2006.
Mike Green and Jeff Carter were also getting serious consideration, but neither made the final cut.
Yzerman talked throughout this difficult process about how Team Canada would have a youthful appeal to it and he stayed true to his word. Twelve of the players on the 23 man roster are 25 or younger and 15 have never played in the Olympics.
However, he also selected enough veterans with Olympic Experience to guide the squad.
Brodeur and Pronger are headed to their fourth Olympic Games with Hockey Canada while Niedermayer, Nash, Iginla, Luongo, Heatley, and Thorton all have Olympic Experience.
Niedermayer had to withdraw due to injury back in 2006.
Team Canada Group Stage Schedule
2/16: VS. Norway 6:30 PM
2/18: VS. Switzerland 6:30 PM
2/21: VS. U.S.A. 6:45 PM
Team Canada Roster
30: Martin Brodeur 6'2" 215, Montreal, QC, New Jersey Devils (NHL)
29: Marc-Andre Fleury 6'2" 180, Sorel, QC, Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
1: Roberto Luongo 6'3" 217, Montreal, QC, Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
22: Dan Boyle 5'11" 190, Ottawa, ON, San Jose Sharks (NHL)
8: Dan Doughty 6'0" 211, London, ON, Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
2: Duncan Keith 6'1" 196, Winnipeg, MB, Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
27: Scott Niedermayer 6'1" 194, Edmonton, AB, Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
20: Chris Pronger 6'6" 214, Dryden, ON, Philadelphia Fyers (NHL)
7: Brent Seabrook 6'3" 218, Richmond, BC, Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
6: Shea Weber 6'4" 234, Sicamous, BC, Nashville Predators (NHL)
37: Patrice Bergeron 6'2" 194, Ancienne-Lorette QC, Boston Bruins (NHL)
87: Sidney Crosby 5'11" 200, Cole Harbour NS, Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
51: Ryan Getzlaf 6'4" 220, Regina SK, Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
15: Dany Heatley 6'4" 220, Freiburg Germany, San Jose Sharks (NHL)
12: Jarome Iginla 6'1" 207, Edmonton AB, Calgary Flames (NHL)
11: Patrick Marleau 6'2" 220, Aneroid SK, San Jose Sharks (NHL)
10: Brendan Morrow 6'0" 205, Carlye SK, Dallas Stars (NHL)
61: Rick Nash 6'4" 218, Brampton ON, Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL)
24: Corey Perry 6'3" 206, Peterborough ON, Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
18: Mike Richards 5'11" 195, Kenora ON, Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
21: Eric Staal 6'4" 205, Thunder Bay ON, Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)
18: Joe Thornton 6'4" 230, London ON, San Jose Sharks (NHL)
16: Jonathan Toews 6'2" 210, Winnipeg MB, Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
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