Team Canada's Olympic Hockey Roster Announced

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Team Canada Olympic Roster Announced

After walking away surprised and disappointing with a seventh place finish in the 2006 Winter Olympics, Team Canada has emerged as the leading favorite to win the gold medal on home ice in 2010. There has been much fanfare surrounding the announcement of who will be named to Team Canada, especially with Steve Yzerman taking over as Executive Director. Can the Canadians live up to such lofty expectations?

Goaltenders

Roberto-luongo-martin-brodeur-canada_medium

Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, Marc-Andre Fleury

No surprises here, as all three goaltenders were most likely consensus picks. Expect Brodeur, who now holds nearly every single goaltending NHL record, to get the majority of the starts. Some claim that Canada possess the deepest goaltending group in the Olympics, and between Brodeur and Luongo there is considerable international experience. Unlike most countries, if Canada is forced to use their third goaltender (and they might against inferior opponents), then Fleury is just as capable of leading his team as any other netminder.

Of all the positions on all the teams, this was perhaps the easiest to predict as to who would make the team. 

Defensemen

Sneidermayer87_medium

Dan Boyle, Chris Pronger (Alternate Captain)Drew DoughtyDuncan KeithScott Niedermayer (Team Captain)Brent SeabrookShea Weber

The defense is perhaps the weakest aspect of Team Canada, with a combination of older, slower players combined with younger and talented blueliners who are not as experienced in international play. Only Pronger and Niedermayer return from the 2006 Olympic team, but it is thought that the fact that the hockey will be played on an NHL rink instead of an international-sized surface will play to their strengths. Weber and Doughty were interesting, but deserving additions, but some were surprised by the exclusion of Stephane Robidas who is enjoying a career season and is tied for the NHL lead in goal-scoring among all defensemen.

Forwards:

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Patrice BergeronSidney Crosby (Alternate Captain)Ryan GetzlafDany HeatleyJarome Iginla (Alternate Captain)Patrick MarleauBrenden MorrowRick NashCorey PerryMike RichardsEric StaalJoe ThorntonJonathan Toews

By far the deepest and most talented group of forwards in the Olympics, the Canadians have assembled a team that combines raw scoring power with considerable physical intimidation. Team Canada could have assembled three rosters worth of players and there would still be cries of unjust snubs, yet the most glaring omissions are Martin St. Louis, Shane Doan and Ryan Smyth.

It's obvious that Yzerman is looking to move Team Canada forward and not dwell on players that have spots based purely on past participation. This is a well-rounded group of forwards who have the ability to play as solid in their own zone as they are explosive on offense. Here is the early speculation on the line combinations:

Nash-Crosby-Bergeron

Staal-Getzlaf-Perry

Morrow-Toews-Iginla

Marleau-Thornton-Heatley

Richards

Team Canada is scary on paper and will easily be the favorites to win the gold. Yet they are beatable, especially on defense, and nothing is guaranteed in the Olympics. Yet with the world's best goaltending and a home crowd behind them, can anyone truly bet against Team Canada in 2010?

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