The Vancouver Canucks are sending two players to Sochi on board Canada’s Olympic men’s hockey team: goaltender Roberto Luongo and Dan Hamhuis.
They joined 23 other players on the 2014 roster, which was announced by a collection of Hockey Canada executives, coaches, and personnel on Tuesday morning from Toronto, Ontario.
Other B.C. players who made the team include Anahim Lake’s Carey Price, Penticton’s Duncan Keith, Sicamous’s Shea Weber, and Victoria’s Jamie Benn.
Hamhuis is also from Smithers, B.C.
The full roster is as follows…
Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, Mike Smith
Jay Bouwmeester, Drew Doughty, Dan Hamhuis, Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, PK Subban, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Shea Weber
Jamie Benn, Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby, Matt Duchene, Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Patrick Sharp, Steven Stamkos, John Travares, Jonathan Toews
Notable exceptions include 2010 gold medalists Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle, and Eric Staal, Tampa Bay Lightning forward and the NHL’s reigning Art Ross Trophiy winner Martin St. Louis, San Jose’s Logan Couture (currently injured), Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux, and Pittsburgh Penguins players Kris Letang, Marc-Andre Fleury, and James Neal.
Also not making the team were Tsawwassen’s Brent Seabrook – who won a gold medal with Canada in 2010 and has won two Stanley Cups – and East Vancouver’s Milan Lucic, who won a Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Boston Bruins and is an everyday linemate of returning Olympian Patrice Bergeron.
Stamkos was named to Team Canada, despite suffering a broken leg in early November. Stamkos is slated to return in late January and has begun skating.
St. Louis – who was not selected – also plays his National Hockey League puck for Steve Yzerman, who was in charge of selecting Canada’s Olympic roster and is the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“He’s an outstanding hockey player, a high-character person, and for mer personally, yeah that’s a difficult decision,” Yzerman said on Tuesday morning.
Canada’s first game will be against Team Norway on Feb. 13, 2014 in Sochi. They will also play Austria and Finland their Pool B preliminary action.
Quotes on today’s announcement from Canada’s Olympic roster (Sportsnet):
“It’s just a great honour. Being able to represent your country. I’ve been lucky enough to do it in the past and I’ll be excited to do it again.”
“I just tried to focus on what I could control – playing hard, playing with speed, and just trying to help my team (the San Jose Sharks) win. Obviously, they like what they say and I’m fortunate enough to make the team.”
“The motivation (this season) was to be on that team and I know the talent in Canada is always pressing, so it’s not like you could ever just relax and be a part of that team without playing well. We knew we had to get off to a good start and our team (Anaheim) has and that was the main focus.”
“I’d be happy to play with any of the guys they named to this team.”
“I was actually at the rink this morning and Kevin Lowe gave me a call and gave me the good news… I had (my phone) on me all this morning. I was pretty anxious to see if I was going to get a call or not.”
“I think all three of us (goalies) want to be the guy that starts. We all want that opportunity to win a gold medal and we have to take it step-by-step from here on out… Just trying to be consistent right up until the tournament and have a good feeling about your game going into it.”
“The best way to approach (Canadian pressure) is seeing it as an opportunity. It is a glorious opportunity to win. I think it’s all in the mindset that you go towards it. You can’t take the mindset that you’re playing not to lose.”
“There’s always doubt. You never know. You always try to play the best game you can and try to bring everything you can to the table every night to help your team, first of all, win. And hopefully that’s enough to make the team. But we all know there are so many great players that are Canadian and it’s a very hard lineup to make. I’m very happy and very excited.”
“My two-way game is probably one of the main reasons I’m on that team.”
Quotes from players who didn’t make Canada’s Olympic roster (Sportsnet):
“Not really (disappointed) to be honest with ya… Canada’s really stacked. I’ve had the privilege of playing with Olympics, World Cups. It’s a hard team to make and I hope they win the gold.”
“It is such a hard team to make. They have s many good players to choose from. What can I say? I hope they rbing back the gold.”
“I’m super excited for him (Marc-Edouard Vlasic). And he gets to go with Patty (Marleau), too, so gets to share the experience with a teammate and it’s a little bit more special when you can go with your teammate, so… I’m super happy for Pickles and I’m sure he’s going to do great.
“Not easy, obviously getting the news that I didn’t make the team. I thought I put myself in a good spot to make the team but it’s a tough team to make.”
On whether his injury had anything to do with not making Team Canada…
“I was told, No.”