Already 11 locks for Olympic team, says Hockey Canada CEO

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Canada will take 25 players to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia — and according to Hockey Canada CEO Bob Nicholson, 11 of those players are already on the team.

“By my count, I’m at 11,” Nicholson told Sportsnet. “It’s never been that low. The number has always been higher.”

Hockey Canada has invited 47 players to its upcoming Olympic orientation camp (see here), a star-studded list that left out the likes of Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, Patrick Marleau and Dan Girardi.

The depth of the Canadian roster means fewer guaranteed spots that ever.

“I’d say there are probably, conservatively, maybe 10 locks,” Canadian GM Steve Yzerman explained. “We’re taking 25 players. Ten may be a conservative number, sure, but half of this team is available for guys to make.

“At least half.”

Both Nicholson and Yzerman have stated the spots up for grabs will be decided by which players are playing well in November and December (final rosters are due on Dec. 31.) Nicholson also re-iterated that players outside the 47 invitees are still eligible to make the team.