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article imageThe Canadian Men's 2014 Olympic hockey team has a few surprises

By Marcus Hondro     Jan 7, 2014 in Sports
Sidney Crosby made the team, so did Drew Doughty, Roberto Luongo and Jonathan Toews, all players you knew would. In a country ripe with hockey players the picking could not have been easy but the results, announced today, look...Golden?
The announcement in Toronto started with a disjointed, overlong talk from Marcel Aubut, president of the Canadian Olympics Committee, including an awkward attempt to get the few dozen in attendance to cheer 'Go, Canada, Go'. That didn't work so well but it's expected the team, laden with superstars, should work much better.
There were shorter speeches from other dignitaries, in both languages, before, some 20 minutes after it all began, team GM Steve Yzerman was at the podium and the naming of the 25 players finally got underway. Yzerman and others members of his selection committee shared the announcing, taking turns calling out 3 or 4 names each.
Team Canada 25 man roster
The goalies were named first and no surprises there: Luongo, Carey Price and Mike Smith. They were announced alphabetically and the order suggests how they are likely viewed: the incumbent Luongo as the number one, the newcomer Price ready to step in, and Smith there in case of injury. Corey Crawford may have been close to making it, instead of Smith, and given his Stanley Cup last season, and Smith's slightly off-season this year, there is an argument Crawford should be the number 3.
It is on defence big surprises came, notably no Dan Boyle, no Brent Seabrook and no Marc Staal. The Vancouver Canucks Dan Hamhuis made it, as did PK Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, the subject of much speculation, as was the San Jose Sharks' Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who may be a bit unknown to some Canadians. Joining Hamhuis, Subban and Vlasic are those you had to expect: Jay Bouwmeester, Doughty, Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Weber.
Up front there is no James Neal and no Logan Couture, no Claude Giroux, no Milan Lucic, no Taylor Hall, no Eric Staal, no Joe Thornton and no Martin St. Louis. Those who made it who were on the bubble were Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, Chris Kunitz, Crosby's linemate in Pittsburgh, and Patrick Marleau of the Sharks.
The other 12 forwards, and most of these players were shoo-ins, are Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Crosby, Matt Duchene, Ryan Getzlaf, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Patrick Sharp, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares and Toews. Nash isn't having a great season but was one of the best Canadians in 2010 and few power forwards can change a game like Nash so the selection committee likely felt he had to be included.
Yzerman: Calls Tampa forward Martin St. Louis
Yzerman, himself a gold medalist from the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning where St. Louis plays, told media later it was a tough choice to leave his player off. It's the second Olympic disappointment for St. Louis, 38, who was also left off the 2010 team that won gold in Vancouver. He was on the 2006 team that finished 7th in Turin, Italy. Yzerman said he made the phone call to St. Louis to tell him he wasn't selected but declined to reveal the details of that call.
There will be time to replace any injured players so there's still a chance for those who did not make the cut. Steven Stamkos, one of the country's best players, is recovering from a broken leg and it's uncertain if he'll be ready to go. However, his recovery is reported to be going well and he is back on skates.
The 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, open on Feb. 7. The Canadian men's hockey team is in Group B with Austria, Finland and Norway and their first game is against the Austrians on Thursday, Feb. 13.
More about Hockey canada, Sidney crosby, Roberto luongo, carey price, drew doughty
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