Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

Winter Olympics 2018: Hockey Canada unveils team it will send to Pyeongchang

WBS Pens player Christian Thomas named to Canadian Olympic team Vernon's Andrew Ebbett named to Canadian men's Olympic hockey team
Betsy Taylor | 12 January, 2018, 06:21

The last time the Olympic ice hockey tournament was played without NHL players was at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Games where Canada lost to Sweden in the final.

Leggio is also a former Buffalo Sabres' prospect and spent five years in the AHL with a few teams from 2010 to 2015. With the NHL refusing to release its players for these Games, the Team Canada roster is made up of 25 players from seven different leagues across North America and Europe.

The team is made up mainly of Canadian players based in Europe after the National Hockey League bowed out of competing in South Korea. He has played in that country for parts of the last four seasons.

Team Canada announced its 25-man roster on Thursday morning, and three former Blackhawks players will don the Maple Leaf sweater in PyeongChang.

"A lot like other Canadians, they've managed to battle it and fight back".

"I have to thank (Hockey Canada) for the geography lesson and the air miles", said Burke, joking at a press conference Thursday. "There'll be a gold-medal effort and there won't be one guy that puts on that jersey that this isn't the highlight of their hockey career and the highlight of their family's career".


Willie Desjardins, who coached the Vancouver Canucks for three seasons (2014-17), will be Canada's coach.

The 2018 Olympics take place February 9-25. Canada opens play in a group with the Czech Republic, Switzerland and host South Korea. Not the best of the best, but all major hockey nations dealing with the best of the rest, & the minnows with more of a fighting chance than usual...

Two other players on the team will be familiar to Saskatchewan WHL fans as former Saskatoon Blades defenceman Stefan Elliott and Moose Jaw Warriors forward Quinton Howden will be on the squad trying to defend as Olympic champions.

It could be an incredible story for these players; they could be Canada's heroes in this tournament and in this Olympics.

Gracenote has been increasingly bullish on Canada's medal prospects in Pyeongchang, predicting 29 a year ago and upping that to 31 in November.

While Canadians continue to try getting over the disappointment of not having NHLers defending the gold medal Canada has won three of the last four Games, the thrill of representing their country on the grandest of stages will be a strong motivator for the National Hockey League castoffs making up the roster.

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