After winning the 2010 Winter Olympics on their home soil, the Canadian National Team will look to steal another gold medal next month in Sochi. The roster has been officially announced this week, and while there are certainly some players who feel as though they have been snubbed, they will go to Russia with 25 top-level players.
Leading the way is perhaps the best individual player in the world, Sidney Crosby. The star for the Pittsburgh Penguins is the favorite to take home the Hart Trophy at this point in the NHL season, and he has the fantasy hockey numbers to back it up.
Crosby will not have to carry the offensive load though, as the team has six of the top 10 scorers in the NHL right now. Look for them to tinker with the lines a bit prior to the start of the Olympics, with teammates in the NHL allowed to play with each other. For example, since Crosby and Chris Kunitz have made it work in fantasy hockey this season, they will probably be on the ice at the same time in the Olympics.
In goal, there could be a little bit of an issue with depth. Roberto Luongo is solid, but they will really need to have Carey Price live up to expectations. Mike Smith is the third goalie on the roster, but Canada is probably hoping that he is just insurance more than anything for them during the tournament.
As for the snubs, there have been about four consistent names that are coming up around hockey. Claude Giroux, Martin St. Louis, Joe Thornton and Logan Couture all could easily be on this roster, but for one reason or another they have been left off. Couture’s surgery on his hand ruined his chances, but the other three are all healthy enough to contribute in Sochi.
On paper, Team Canada is somewhat of a fantasy hockey team one could only dream of putting together in real life. They are hoping that their depth will allow them to hold off the United States, Sweden and Russia, who are considered their top challengers.