Email
Print
Email
Print

Steve Yzerman’s 10 Team Canada locks: Who are they?

Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font
Sidney Crosby at the Vancouver Olympics

Golden boy Sidney Crosby looks like a pretty safe bet to get a roster spot. (YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

On Sunday,  47 players will gather in Calgary for Team Canada’s Olympic orientation camp with 25 tickets to Sochi up for grabs — though none of those tickets will actually be won during the four days of meetings. (The players won’t even take the ice because of prohibitive insurance costs.) Officially, the competition is wide open. Unofficially, some spots are loudly spoken for.

“There are probably, conservatively, maybe 10 locks,” said Steve Yzerman, executive director of Team Canada. “We’re taking 25 players. Ten may be a conservative number, sure, but half of this team is available for guys to make. At least half.”

MUIR: Breaking down Team Canada’s invite list

Those are welcome words for the kids who have something to prove, including Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and P.K. Subban, and for the veterans, such as Martin St. Louis, who hope to show that they still have enough left in the tank to contribute to another gold-medal run. And it may be even better news for such players as Jason Spezza, Joffrey Lupul and others who didn’t earn an invite to camp, but who nevertheless hope to catch Yzerman’s eye with a hot start when the NHL season opens, just as Patrice Bergeron did back in 2009.

So who are the 10 locks? Here’s our best guess:

Sidney Crosby: The scorer of golden goals, he’s the best player in the world.

Steven Stamkos: He’s produced more goals and points than any other NHL player over the past three seasons.

Jonathan Toews: The Selke Trophy winner is Canada’s top two-way forward, and the favorite to earn the captain’s C in Sochi.

Patrice Bergeron: The game’s top face-off artist is an elite defensive presence and, as any Maple Leafs fan can attest, a clutch scorer.

Eric Staal: This big-bodied veteran of the international game can bring his size down the middle or comfortably slide to the wing.

Claude Giroux: A fiery competitor and top face-off man, he’s rehabbing a hand injury that required surgery so he’s not going to this weekend’s camp. That won’t hurt his chances. But once he’s healthy again, he’ll likely be forced to move to the wing.

John Tavares: Another center who’ll be pushed to the wing, but he has the shooting touch to adapt.

Shea Weber: He intimidates at one end with his physicality and at the other with one of the game’s hardest shots.

Duncan Keith: A smart, experienced two-way defender, he can play big minutes against top forwards.

Drew Doughty: He was arguably Canada’s top blueliner in Vancouver, then he was a big factor when the Kings won the Stanley Cup two years later. He’s money.

One (or more) of your favorites left off the list? Let us know in the comment section below.

  • Published On Aug 23, 2013
  • 6 comments
    JPBaker
    JPBaker

    Great list, but ... How about PK Subban?! I think he ended the season as the best defenseman in the league, period. He even stood up in the playoffs when all the rest of his team collapsed... For me, he'll be on the top 4 d-men of team Canada for sure.

    PhilipH
    PhilipH

    Team Canada's going to be tripping over some egos... .

    militant_god
    militant_god

     @FiRe666KiNg 


    Seabrook over Doughty. Are you insane? Doughty took Seabrook's spot with Keith at the last Olympics, Doughty is a much better overall player (both offensively and defensively), he's younger, was their best D-man in Vancouver, should've won the Conn Smyth two years (over Quick), and he has waaaaaaay more upside. 

    FiRe666KiNg
    FiRe666KiNg

    Pretty good list but I'd say Rick Nash and Brent Seabrook are locks over Doughty and maybe Bergeron if I had to remove two.  Keith and Seabrook just won their 2nd cup together, no reason to separate them.  Doughty didn't look that good this past season.  Bergeron is a great player but with Crosby, Toews and Staal at center he may be trumped out.  Nash is our only bonafide scoring winger, although Stamkos will probably end up on the wing.  I'd also say Luongo is a lock but I don't want to remove anyone else.

    me11ss
    me11ss

    @JPBakerThey only listed 3 D-men above...top four would mean Subban is next...:)