My Team Canada Roster selections may seem a little vanilla, but they’ve been selected to play out various situations. Penalty killing, power play and balance on all the forward units took precedent over sheer offensive/defensive ability.
My Team Canada Roster:
C: Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Joe Thornton, Mike Richards
RW: Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Cory Perry, Shane Doan
LW: Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla, Eric Staal, Brad Richards
Alternates: Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier, Jonathan Toews
Honorable Mentions: Nathan Horton, Mike Fisher, Michael Cammalleri, Ryan Smyth, Brendon Morrow, Marc Savard, Jeff Carter
With all the available firepower up front, it’s a matter of balance for the forward units. As such, Shane Doan and Ryan Smyth should be included. Doan’s offensive skills aren’t as desired as his leadership, ability to calm down nervousness – a trait used many times on a young Phoenix squad – and lower forward roster depth. Smyth uses his veteran presence to deal with adversity that is sure to pop up throughout the tournament, and due to his committment to the Canadian teams in the World Championships, he’s deserving to wear the Canadian Leafs on his chest.
It was very difficult to leave off Brendan Morrow off this list, but the choice is Morrow or Doan, and the Coyotes captain gets the slight nod for his defensive presence and ability to kill penalties.
Despite the excellent first half of the season, Mike Fisher doesn’t make my team. Michael Cammalleri was another sniper that was on the bubble. With the likes of Perry, Nash, Heatley, Staal and Iginla, there is plenty of goal scoring.
Dan Boyle, Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, Shea Weber, Dion Phaneuf, Brent Seabrook, Jay Bouwmeester
Honorable Mentions: Stephane Robidas, Brian Campbell, Mike Green, Duncan Keith, Robyn Regehr, Drew Doughty
The back end was a lot more difficult to pinpoint overall because of two reasons, a) There’s a lot of offensive ability throughout the Canadian squad, and b) many players can play a mulit-faceted defensive game. Pronger and Seabrook should be the shutdown pairing, while many have left off Dion Phaneuf, he adds physicality with a big point shot.
I felt Team Canada didn’t get a lot of support from the back end in Turin and this group should be able to open up some space when other squads respect their ability to launch bombs from the point. There is a complimentary element opening space down low for the talented forwards.
Honorable Mentions: None .. this is the one position where all goaltenders can be number ones, and are interchangeable. Brodeur is my automatic starter, and perhaps his last
Olympics, while Roberto Luongo takes steps to take over the reigns from the most winningest goaltender in NHL history.