Insider Trading: Canada's Olympic team projection

TSN.ca Staff
1/6/2014 10:19:31 AM
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On Sunday, TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie revealed their projected list of players who will be named to the Canadian Olympic hockey team on Tuesday based on information that they have right now.

The pair also spoke to how P.K. Subban might deal with a reduced role on the team, the make-up of the Canadian defence and whether or not players currently on the fringes - like forwards Chris Kunitz and Martin St. Louis will make the squad.

Hockey Canada announces its men's team for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games on Tuesday. You can catch full coverage live on TSN, TSN Radio and TSN.ca at 10am et/7am pt.


Carey Price, Roberto Luongo and Mike Smith


(Left) - (Right)

Duncan Keith - Drew Doughty

Jay Bouwmeester - Shea Weber

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Alex Pietrangelo

Dan Boyle (R) - P.K. Subban


(Left Wing - Centre - Right Wing)

Logan Couture - Sidney Crosby - Steven Stamkos

Jamie Benn - Jonathan Toews - Corey Perry

Matt Duchene - Ryan Getzlaf - Claude Giroux

Patrick Sharp - John Tavares - Rick Nash

Patrice Bergeron - Martin St. Louis


Fighting for Positions:

Forwards: Eric Staal, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Marleau and Jeff Carter

Defence: Mark Giordano, Dan Hamhuis, Marc Staal and Brent Seabrook

Considering the minutes he logs and the role he plays for the Montreal Canadiens, can P.K. Subban be a seventh or eighth defenceman for Canada?

Dreger: If you ask P.K. Subban, he'll say absolutely - "Just name me to the team and I'll worry about where I fit in when we get to Russia and we start competing in the Games." But from a management or coaching perspective, Team Canada has to ask the question. You're a big minute guy for the Montreal Canadiens - are you okay with being a bit player - if you will - not playing in games and being used sparingly if all the defencemen on Team Canada remain healthy? Again, I believe that the answer is yes. P.K. just wants to make this team.

Back in the summer, Team Canada coach Mike Babcock said he'd like four right defencemen and four left defencemen. Do you think it will end up that way?

McKenzie: I think it's likely that it's going to be four lefts and four rights and that might be problematic for P.K. Subban or Brent Seabrook or Dan Boyle, one of the very good right defencemen. But I think this is what Mike Babcock wants. Now in the final analysis, do they maybe change their minds and go with two rights and go with Subban and Seabrook as your seventh and eighth defencemen? I suppose that's a possibility, but I don't think there's any question that Mike Babcock would prefer four lefts and four rights.

Chris Kunitz is having a great year alongside Sidney Crosby and he's listed as "fighting for a position." Can he win over the decision makers?

Dreger: I think he can, but it's going to be a really difficult decision and the next round of decisions will be made on Monday. And don't be surprised if Kunitz becomes one of those players who is a final decision leading up to the announcement as late as Tuesday morning. That's what it's going to come down to.

Statistically, he's made a very strong case. Is he better than Patrick Sharp? Is he better than Matt Duchene or Jamie Benn? And what happens, God forbid, if Sidney Crosby goes down? Can Chris Kunitz be as effective without No. 87?

Steve Yzerman did not pick Martin St. Louis for the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, but now he's the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Louis has been a superstar for him. Is there any way he can't pick St. Louis?

McKenzie: I can't imagine that Martin St. Louis is not going to be on this team and when I look at that right wing position and you see St. Louis competing for a spot, I can see possibly four guys ahead of him - Steven Stamkos, Claude Giroux, Corey Perry and Rick Nash. I believe that those four guys will be on the team, but I also think in the final analysis, with Stamkos out and St. Louis absolutely carrying the Tampa Bay Lightning, I can't imagine that Steve Yzerman can do anything but make St. Louis one of the 14 forwards. If that's the case and there are five guys on the right, then you've got seven guys - Logan Couture, Jamie Benn, Matt Duchene, Patrick Marleau, Patrick Sharp, Eric Staal and Chris Kunitz - with only four who can make it. That's the kind of difficult decision that people will have to make.

Hockey Canada announces its men's team for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games on Tuesday. You can catch full coverage live on TSN, TSN Radio and TSN.ca at 10am et/7am pt.

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