A week after USA Hockey revealed its men's Olympic hockey roster, Hockey Canada announced the team it will be sending to Sochi. At an event in Toronto, Executive Director (and Tampa Bay Lightning GM) Steve Yzerman and head coach Mike Babcock (who's also behind the bench for the Detroit Red Wings) joined a panel of Hockey Canada executives, VIPs, politicians, and fans to introduce the 2013 Olympic squad.
In general, no great surprises here: Sidney Crosby, the hero of the 2010 tournament, is back, along with goalie Roberto Luongo and eight other members of that gold-medal winning team. Among the newcomers are Islanders captain John Tavares and Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos — which is a little surprising considering he hasn't returned from a broken leg he suffered in mid-November. His Bolts teammate, Martin St. Louis, was left off the roster, while Crosby's Penguins linemate Chris Kunitz (who is having a monster season playing on a line with the Kid) is on the team.
We'll have to wait until Team Canada takes the ice for its first game on February 13 — a preliminary match against Norway — to see how this team gels. There's a ton of talent and leadership on the roster, and the key for the coaching staff now is to get them to work well together to bring home back-to-back golds.
"It’s a special group, and obviously if you’re able to be a part of it it’s one heck of an opportunity, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we hope to take advantage of it," Tavares told SI Kids after a Hockey Canada camp last summer.
Check out the full 2014 Canada Men's Hockey roster below. The players with a star next to their name played in the 2010 Games.
*Roberto Luongo Carey Price Mike Smith
Vancouver Canucks Montreal Canadiens Phoenix Coyotes
Jay Bouwmeester *Drew Doughty Dan Hamhuis
St. Louis Blues Los Angeles Kings Vancouver Canucks
*Duncan Keith Alex Pietrangelo PK Subban
Chicago Blackhawks St. Louis Blues Montreal Canadiens
Marc-Édouard Vlasic *Shea Weber
San Jose Sharks Nashville Predators
Jamie Benn *Patrice Bergeron Jeff Carter
Dallas Stars Boston Bruins Los Angeles Kings
*Sidney Crosby Matt Duchene *Ryan Getzlaf
Pittsburgh Penguins Colorado Avalanche Anaheim Ducks
Chris Kunitz *Patrick Marleau *Rick Nash
Pittsburgh Penguins San Jose Sharks New York Rangers
*Corey Perry Patrick Sharp Steven Stamkos
Anaheim Ducks Chicago Blackhawks Tampa Bay Lightning
John Tavares *Jonathan Toews
New York Islanders Chicago Blackhawks
What do you think of the Canadian roster? Can the team win back-to-back gold medals? Share your opinions in the comments section below!
Photos: Abelimages/Getty Images (Yzerman and Babcock), Hockey Canada (players)