What will the Canadian men’s team look like in Beijing? | Olympic Games


Armstrong was one of the leadership groups that selected the Canadian rosters for the 2010 Games in Vancouver and 2014 in Sochi. And both times Canada won the gold medal.

Over the next year Armstrong will be assisted by Ken Holland. The latter will act as Associate DG. Ron Francis, Roberto Luongo, Don Sweeney and Hockey Canada’s vice-president of national teams, Scott Salmond, will complete the executive group as assistants to the general manager.

Many fans make the mistake of confusing the assembly of the Olympic team with the selection of an all-star team. However, it is not at all the same thing. The Olympic team’s mission is to win the most competitive hockey tournament in the world. Its formation must therefore be balanced and composed of players who will allow it to dominate in all facets of the game.

They are sitting on the ice with their medals around their necks.

The players of the Canadian hockey team after their victory in the final at the Olympic Games in Sochi

Photo: Getty Images / Bruce Bennett

For example, when talking about the last gold medal conquest in Sochi, many people forget that Team Canada was one of the best defensive teams ever assembled and that this formation, while being extremely mobile, practiced a patient, heavy and abrasive style of play.

In fact, even though Canada had a number of offensive stars, the team’s top three scorers were Drew Doughty, Shea Weber and Jeff Carter.

Before considering selecting their players, however, members of the management team will have to choose a group of coaches in the coming months.

Usually, Team Canada holds a pre-Games summer prep camp to establish their philosophy and the basics of their system. The identity of the head coach should therefore be known somewhere in the spring.

Over the past few weeks, Mike Babcock has taken the lead in announcing that he will not be back at the helm of the Canadian team.

Babcock has generously argues that other capable coaches deserve the privilege of leading Team Canada. However, he is not currently leading a team. And if we remember the crisis following his departure from the Toronto Maple Leafs, it would have been surprising to be given the reins of the team again.

He answers questions from the press during his presentation in Philadelphia as head coach of the Flyers.

Alain Vigneault

Photo: Associated Press / Matt Slocum

It will be extremely interesting to see who is chosen to lead the team.

One can easily imagine a quartet of coaches made up of Alain Vigneault, Barry Trotz, Claude Julien and Lindy Ruff, who have all already won a Jack-Adams trophy.

Vigneault’s teams are always efficient in defense without limiting their ardor in attack. Vigneault is dynamic behind the bench and extremely respected in the community. He would be my choice for the head coach position, while Trotz would get the title of associate coach.

In 2022, the task of Doug Armstrong and his assistants will also be complicated by the fact that the NHL has not allowed its players to participate in the Pyeongchang Games. The Canadian recipe for grafting a group of young people to an imposing nucleus of veterans who participated in the previous Games will therefore have to be changed.

For example, the Sochi Games team consisted of 11 players who won gold in Vancouver in 2010. A team culture was already established.

Still, five to seven gold medalists from Sochi could be part of the squad in Beijing. Ultimately, it will be up to the coaches to decide how many players aged 30 and over will be part of the Canadian squad. There were 8 out of 24 players in Sochi. There could be as many as 12 in Beijing.

For example, two of the members of the first Canadian trio in Sochi, Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron, will be respectively 34 and 36 years old next winter. If both regain their place, it will be necessary to adjust their level of responsibilities.

He is in a kneeling position on the ice.

Carey Price

Photo: Getty Images / Rich Lam

That said, let’s get down to business. Here is my preliminary selection for the 2022 Games. The age displayed is what players will be at the Olympic tournament, and the names in bold are those of the veterans of the Sochi team.

Goalies (3) : Carey Price (34), Carter Hart (23), Jordan Binnington (28).

It is important to be able to bet on a goalkeeper who has lived the Olympic experience. For his part, Hart could benefit from this experience before taking on the torch in 2026. Binnington won the Stanley Cup and can play an important role off the cuff.

Right-handed defenders (4) : Drew doughty (32 years old), Alex Pietrangelo (32), Cale Makar (23), Dougie Hamilton (28).

Dougie Hamilton instead of Ryan Ellis or Colton Parayko? It’s a question of choice. In addition to his physical presence, Hamilton generates offense and scores goals. He has been Canada’s leading defenseman scorer in recent years, ahead of Shea Weber. Cale Makar is a master of the power play and arguably a future Norris Trophy winner.

Left-handed defenders (4) : Morgan Rielly (27), Mark Giordano (38), Samuel Girard (23), Shea Theodore (26).

The left flank of the defense is not extremely rich on the Canadian side. Giordano will be 38, but still plays 24 minutes per game. Girard’s mobility and dynamism would bring an interesting dimension to Canadian defense.

Left wingers (5) : Connor McDavid (25), John tavares (31), Taylor Hall (30), Brad Marchand (33), Sean Couturier (29).

What other teams could bet on two Hart Trophy winners and one Selke Trophy on one of their flanks? There will be tough decisions for the coaches to make!

Centers (4) : Nathan MacKinnon (26), Brayden Point (25), Ryan O’Reilly (30), Sidney crosby (34 years old).

Three of those four players have been the number one center for a Stanley Cup winning team in recent years. And the other, MacKinnon, is one of the hardest-to-contain forwards in the NHL. A true force of nature.

Right wingers (5) : Mitch Marner (24), Mark Stone (29), Matthew Barzal (24), Patrice Bergeron (36), Mark Sheifele (28).

Scheifele is too good and too complete not to include him in the squad. He can do anything.

Tomorrow: the preliminary portrait of the women’s team.


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