The Olympics are approximately three months away. Team Canada's roster will be announced on December 31st. That gives Olympic hopefuls only six or seven more weeks to show what they can bring to help Canada recapture their 2002 form after a horrendous showing at the 2006 games in Turin, Italy. This is the final version that I will put together, and the theme for this roster is "duos." Instead of the prototypical scoring line/checking line/energy line format, I have put together four duos and then included four players that can rotate between the pairings depending on things like chemistry, health, and strategy.
Here are the previous Team Canada rosters that I put together:
From June 2008 – click here.
From February 2009 – click here.
Here are the four forward duos:
- Sidney Crosby – Rick Nash
- Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
- Joe Thornton – Dany Heatley
- Steven Stamkos – Martin St. Louis
Crosby and Nash have clicked in the past. They are arguably Canada's two most skilled forwards. Anyone could excel on the other wing – the obvious candidates are Jarome Iginla, Marty St. Louis, and Dany Heatley.
On the second line, I'm keeping the Ducks dynamic duo of Getzlaf and Perry together. Both are big, incredibly skilled, and aggressive. Both are also strong on the forecheck, which would open up some space for a sniper, perhaps a Jeff Carter or a Steven Stamkos? Both are natural centers, but are more finishers than playmakers. Getzlaf and Perry can both also finish as well but could just as easily play the role(s) of playmaker for a sniper on the line.
On the next line, I am sticking with the team theme, keeping San Jose's Thornton and Heatley together. Like the two ahead of them, both are big, incredibly skilled, but they are not as aggressive. Thornton has proven he can play that role in past international competitions, and Heatley is arguably Canada's most accomplished forward in the world right now. I think a forechecking presence on this line would work – someone who could retrieve loose pucks and let Thornton work his magic, while also opening up space for Heatley in the slot and a