Team Canada announced the first 16 players on its World Cup of Hockey roster. Among those first 16 was a very handsome, very excellent goaltender you might know. His name is Braden Holtby. Katie Brown touched on this very topic earlier this week.
This is the first World Cup of Hockey in 12 years. The last WCH was in 2004 and was won by Canada. Unlike the IIHF World Championships, the World Cup of Hockey is organized by the NHL, with NHL rules, and is timed to not overlap with the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Is there a team Canada over 35 I can sign up for anywhere?Kidding aside those r 3 great and well deserving goalies. Canada in great hands 🇨🇦
— Strombone (@strombone1) March 2, 2016
TORONTO — Team Canada could be called Team Continuity at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Of the first 16 players named to Team Canada’s roster Wednesday, 12 not only were on the team that won gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but played very prominent roles.
The starting goaltender, top two pairings on defense and six of the top seven scoring Canadian forwards in Sochi were named to the team that will compete in the World Cup, which will be held Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 in Toronto.
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was named to the team despite missing all but 12 games this season because of a lower-body injury. He will be joined by two goaltenders who were not in Sochi,Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals and Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks. That leaves Price’s backup at the Olympics, Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo, off the roster.
The two other players named to the team Wednesday that weren’t on the Olympic team are forwardsTyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars and Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, though Stamkos was not in Sochi because of a broken leg that did not heal in time for him to play.
Canada’s leadership group from Sochi also returns intact, with captain Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and alternate captains Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators named to the team.
Weber was part of the top defense pairing in Sochi with Duncan Keith of the Blackhawks, while Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings formed the second pair with Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the San Jose Sharks.
Seven of the 13 skaters on Team Canada’s initial roster are in the top 25 in scoring in the NHL, but only three of them are in the top-10: Jamie Benn of the Stars, Seguin and Crosby.
As is the case when Canada names a tournament roster, it’s the names that are left out that often get more attention than the ones who make it. In this case, though, there are seven more players who will be named to the team June 1.
Among Canadians who are in the top-25 in NHL scoring but were not named to the team are San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, and forwards Joe Thornton of the Sharks, Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers.
Strength of team: Experience, chemistry and confidence that should carry over from the gold-medal performance in Sochi appear to be important qualities to Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong and his staff, and it was reflected in the first 16 players named.
Weakness of team: This is really nitpicking, but Canada is accustomed to having more of its players among the top-10 scorers in the NHL than the three named here, and scoring goals was an issue in Sochi in spite of all the talent on the team.
Biggest surprise: Jeff Carter. The Kings center was Canada’s top-scoring forward in Sochi with five points in six games, but his 42 points this season are tied for 66th in the NHL.
Biggest omission: Corey Perry. His Anaheim Ducks teammate Ryan Getzlaf got off to an incredibly slow start this season, picked it up recently and was named to the team. Perry managed to maintain his production early in the season when practically no other Ducks were, is tied for ninth in the NHL with 26 goals and didn’t get make it.
Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks, G
Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals, G
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens, G
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings, D
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks, D
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks, D
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators, D
Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars, F
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins, F
Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings, F
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins, F
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks, F
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars, F
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, F
John Tavares, New York Islanders, F
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks, F
Congrats to Holtby on a well-deserved honor. He joins Team Russia’s Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov; Team Sweden’s Nick Backstrom; and Team USA’s TJ Oshie and John Carlson as Caps players named to the World Cup of Hockey so far.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2016
The final rosters are due by June 1.
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