While the goaltending situation for team Canada was fairly predictable, there were a few surprises when the rosters were announced on Wednesday.
The Blackhawks were expected to have Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews playing in Vancouver this February, but Keith’s partner on the blue line, Brent Seabrook, was supposedly on the bubble.
When Hockey Canada President Steve Yzerman announced the selected defensemen, there was some shock. Jay Bouwmeester and Dion Phaneuf did not make the roster, while Seabrook joined Keith. Perhaps the biggest surprise was 20-year old Drew Doughty of the LA Kings, but putting Seabrook on the roster with Keith is a strong indication that some of the most respected minds in the hockey world think a great deal of the Blackhawks defense.
Toews was expected to make the Canadian team, especially after a strong stretch of games in front of Yzerman. The Blackhawks 21-year old captain will indeed be a member of a loaded offensive group for Canada, which includes Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf and Joe Thornton at center. Patrick Sharp was considered a long shot for the team and did not end up making the final cut.
Toews, Keith and Seabrook join Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky as Olympians on the Blackhawks roster. The USA announces their roster before the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.
Other Team Canada members from the Central Division include defenseman Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators and Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Scott Neidermeyer of the Anaheim Ducks will be Canada’s captain, with Philadelphia’s Chris Pronger, Calgary’s Jerome Iginla and Crosby serving as the alternates.