Ice Hockey - Men's Gold Medal Game - Day 17

Here is your 2014 Canada men’s Olympic roster


Hockey Canada has announced its roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Without further ado, here it is:

Forwards (14): 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 Tavares, Jonathan Toews

Defense (8): Jay Bouwmeester, Drew Doughty, Dan Hamhuis, Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, P.K. Subban, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Shea Weber

Goalies (3): Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, Mike Smith

UPDATE: Despite his best efforts, Steven Stamkos won’t be joining Team Canada due to a broken tibia. His Tampa Bay Lightning teammate, Martin St. Louis, was selected to fill the void.

Just a few quick thoughts (same as we did for the Americans’ roster announcement):

— Canada is the clear-cut favorite to defend its gold medal. On paper, this team shouldn’t have trouble with much of anything. Goaltending will be the one area that’s questioned, and if there’s going to be a downfall, that may well be it. But both Luongo and Price are enjoying solid NHL seasons and could just as easily be spectacular in Sochi. Remember that Luongo already got it done in 2010, and that was despite the immense pressure of playing at home in Vancouver, and Price is right there in the conversation for the Vezina Trophy in 2013-14.

— Canada boasts three of the top four scorers in the NHL (Crosby, Tavares, Getzlaf) and didn’t have room for Joe Thornton (5th), not to mention Martin St. Louis and Claude Giroux. But the Canadian forwards do more than score — in Toews and Bergeron, the two last Selke Trophy winners, Canada can deploy two of the premier 200-foot players in the game. That’s going to be important if they ever go up against the host Russians, whose overwhelming strength is in their top-six forwards.

— Last but certainly not least, the defense. Only Sweden comes close to matching the “depth of talent” (one of executive director Steve Yzerman’s favorite phrases) on Canada’s blue line. Keith and Doughty are recent Stanley Cup-winners who should see plenty of ice time, just like they did paired together in Vancouver. Weber provides a physical presence and a booming shot. Bouwmeester can skate for miles, likely paired with St. Louis teammate Pietrangelo. And Vlasic and Hamhuis are about as reliable as it gets. As for Subban, it’s telling that the defending Norris Trophy winner was no lock to make the team. At this point, it’s unclear how much coach Mike Babcock will play the 24-year-old, or even if he’ll dress for all the games.

DiMaio named Blues’ director of player personnel

via St. Louis Blues
Leave a comment

The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.

He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.

He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).

In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.

No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?

Hitchcock going to more aggressive attack for Blues

Ken Hitchcock

ST. LOUIS (AP) After three straight first-round playoff exits, the St. Louis Blues have learned to temper expectations.

They have been consistently among the NHL’s best in the regular season and realize it is past time to build something for the long haul. The sting still lingers from the latest failure, against the Minnesota Wild last spring.

“We’re all disappointed, everybody can agree on that,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “It’s never easy to kind of think about your failures, but we grow every time it happens.”

Management isn’t ready to tear it all down yet.

“We play, in my opinion, one of the toughest if not the toughest division in the NHL, and we’ve finished first or second in the last four years,” forward Alexander Steen said. “So we have an extremely powerful team.”

Maybe a change in strategy will be enough: Coach Ken Hitchcock is back with a mandate for a more aggressive, even reckless, style of play from a roster that hasn’t changed appreciably.

“We’re coming hard from the back and we’re coming hard to see how close we can get to the attack,” Hitchcock said. “I think it’s where the game’s at; I think it’s where the game’s going to go.”

The 63-year-old Hitchcock is pushing forward, too, unwilling to dwell on the flameouts. Coach and players agree that would be “wasted energy.”

“My opinion is when you sit and think about the past, you do yourself no good,” Hitchcock said. “If you learn from the past, that’s when you do yourself a whole bunch of good.”

There were only two major roster casualties. Forward Troy Brouwer came from Washington in a trade for fan favorite T.J. Oshie. Defenseman Barret Jackman, the franchise career leader in games, wasn’t re-signed.

“If you were expecting 23 new faces to be on the roster this year, I don’t think that was realistic,” captain David Backes said. “We’re going to miss those guys in the room and on the ice, but there has been some changeover and I think it’s pretty significant.”

Things to watch for with the Blues:

GOALIE SHUFFLE: Just like last year, there’s no true No. 1 with Brian Elliott and Jake Allen sharing duties. The 25-year-old Allen missed a chance to seize the job last spring when he failed to raise his level in the playoffs.

TOP THREAT: Vladimir Tarasenko had a breakout season with 37 goals and was rewarded with an eight-year, $60 million contract. The 23-year-old winger is by far the Blues’ most dangerous scoring option and said he won’t let the money affect his play. “I never worry about it,” Tarasenko said. “If you play good, you play good.”

NEW FACES: Brouwer and center Kyle Brodziak add a physical element that was perhaps lacking a bit last season. Brouwer has three 20-plus goal seasons and Brodziak, acquired from Minnesota, fills a checking role. Veteran forward Scottie Upshall got a one-year, two-way deal after being coming to camp as a tryout. Rookie forward Robby Fabbri, a first-round pick last year, will get an early look. Another promising youngster, forward Ty Rattie, begins the year at Chicago of the AHL.

RECOVERY WARD: Forward Jori Lehteri bounced back quickly from ankle surgery and opens the season without restrictions. Another forward, Patrik Berglund, could miss half of the season following shoulder surgery.

TRACK RECORD: The Blues won the Central Division last season and Hitchcock, fourth on the career list with 708 regular-season wins, has consistently had the team near the top of the standings. “He is our coach, tough cookies if you don’t like it,” Backes said. “From my experience, he puts together one heck of a game plan.”