Team Canada emphasizes new blood, not retreading 2010

12 Comments

Team Canada’s management team and coaching staff emphasized a variety of factors from dealing with a larger ice surface and learning from struggles in 2006. If there was one factor that towered over the rest, it was this: it’s about the present, not the past … even if it means leaving behind guys who were on that gold medal-winning team in 2010.

“What happened in 2010 … that’s over with. This is a new opportunity,” Head coach Mike Babcock said, via TSN’s Mark Masters. “We’ll be a younger group.”

Babcock noted the obvious on Sunday: that guys like Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger won’t be around this time. Even so, he (also somewhat obviously) expects the team to be loaded with championship-level players.

He did note that, like his Detroit Red Wings teams, he has no issues playing centers at the wing. Babcock insisted that he wants to get the best players out there.

One tie-breaker could very well be speed, however, as everyone from Babcock to Kevin Lowe and Ken Hitchcock emphasized how important it was to compile a team with a lot of skating ability.

Still, GM Steve Yzerman said that isn’t the only factor, as the team won’t just consist of the “14 fastest forwards and eight fastest defensemen,” as the Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno reports.