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Who is on your Team Canada?
By Dean Belanger
HometownHockey.ca

Who is on your Team Canada?
Tomorrow morning is the big announcement for Hockey Canada. Every four years hockey fans in Canada argue for months about who should and shouldn't be on the team. This guy is too old, too slow, not a big game player, etc. etc. are thrown around. It will be interesting to see which way Steve Yzerman and company go but my guess is they make several "safe" picks and leave too much offence at home.
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Edmonton - January 6, 2014 - Tomorrow morning is the big announcement for Hockey Canada.

Every four years hockey fans in Canada argue for months about who should and shouldn't be on the team.

This guy is too old, too slow, not a big game player, etc. etc. are thrown around.

I have decided to pick MY Team Canada as opposed to predicting what I think will happen. (For that you can look at the Dreger roster, it will probably be close) Canada made several mistakes in 2006, choosing a roster that was older, slower, and safer.

It will be interesting to see if they learn from those mistakes. I'm going to vote "no" to that one and assume they will make several "safe" picks and leave too much offence at home.

I will start with goal because I believe that to be the easiest position to sort out:

Carey Price - starter Roberto Luongo - backup Corey Crawford - popcorn

Even before the recent Luongo injury, Price was my starter. If Luongo can't go, it would affect my Crawford pick because you need someone safer. In that case I would go with Mike Smith or even Cam Ward. Assuming he is healthy, I like Crawford for the "development" position. All the kid does is win. Also, I believe Price will push for the tournament MVP and restore Canada's position of having elite level goaltending.

The Defence has a couple of battles that seem to be based around PK Subban. He is easily in my top 6:

Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty, Shea Weber, Alex Pietrangelo, P.K. Subban, Jay Bouwmeester, Brent Seabrook, Marc-Edouard Vlasic

I'm leaving out Dan Boyle who I can see making it. Not sure the 8th player will play anyway but if he's named I wouldn't shake my head. I think Marc Staal had an inside track but injuries are going to rob him of an elite level career. I'm not interested in Dan Hamhuis for an tournament in Europe. Canada's top 3 could win the tournament for them and will play the lions share of minutes.

The forwards are where all the fights are going to be created. It is not a cliché to suggest Canada could name two teams. They have at least 18-20 elite level forwards:

Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Patrick Sharp, John Tavares, Patrice Bergeron, Claude Giroux, Jamie Benn, Logan Couture, Matt Duchene, Eric Staal, Taylor Hall, Steven Stamkos (if healthy) Martin St Louis (if he's not)

Taylor Hall will not be named to this team because of his two way game. It will be a decision that Hockey Canada will regret on Olympic sized ice. Insulate him with a Jonathan Toews and he would look great. Even if he is the 14th forward and doesn't play, the experience would be great for him. Guaranteed he would be in the top 14 four years from now. I'm leaving our Rick Nash because he has slowed considerably and has been injured. Patrick Marleau was a tough deletion for me and I have no love for Chris Kunitz. Jeff Carter and Mike Richards are still elite level talent, but I would exclude them from this tourney.

So, what say you? Who is on your team? In case you have been under a rock, the announcement tomorrow is at 10.00 am EST on all TSN platforms.

Follow Me on TwitterDean Belanger originally starting blogging at Hockey's Future way back in 2001. Born in Winnipeg, he was a Jets fan until 1995. He then became an Oilers fan about 1997/98. He then became a season ticket holder in 1999. Then the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg the day after his Birthday in 2011, things got confusing... If you have questions or wish to contact Dean, you can email him at dbelanger@ourhometown.ca







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