The Bruins are getting a well-deserved bye week. We here at Bruins Daily, however, don’t have that luxury. So, to make the most of the next few days, your’s truly and Tim Rosenthal came up with an idea to project the men’s hockey rosters for this year’s Winter Olympics if they included the talented players from the National Hockey League.
Yesterday we gave you Russia and Finland. Today, we wrap things up with Canada and the United States.
Unquestionably the powerhouse of international hockey, Canada has won back-to-back Olympic gold medals and most recently the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Winners of the last three major international tournaments, Canada would’ve had an even scarier team in 2018. With depth from top to bottom offensively, defensively and between the pipes, an NHL-heavy Team Canada would without a doubt be the gold medal favorites in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Here’s a look at how the Canadian roster would look had NHL players participated.
Forwards: Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Tyler Seguin, Jonathan Toews, Claude Giroux, Logan Couture, Taylor Hall, Nathan MacKinnon, Jamie Benn and Mark Scheifele.
Rationale: With so many talented centers on the roster, the options are endless. The mixing and matching the coaching staff would have to do would’ve been interesting. The most logical trio would undoubtedly be Marchand, Crosby and Bergeron. The line was Canada’s best in the World Cup and much of the same would be expected in the Olympics.
Six top overall selections are part of the forward core. That’s just another indication of the depth the Canadians would’ve possessed in Pyeongchang.
Defensemen: Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, P.K. Subban, Brent Burns, Shea Webber, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Alex Pietrangelo and Mark Giordano
Rationale: Six spots for eight stud defensemen. Another difficult decision for the coaching staff. A nice combination of youth and veterans would give Team Canada the best blueline in the tournament.
Goalies: Carey Price, Braden Holtby and Corey Crawford
Rationale: Price and Holtby are locks, but the third and final spot can go one of two ways. Either Crawford or two-time Stanley Cup Champion Matt Murray would’ve been a good selection.