On Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. ET, the wait will be over and we’ll finally know the 14 forwards, eight defensemen and three goalies that Hockey Canada and GM Steve Yzerman have selected to go for the gold in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Based on everything we’ve seen and heard, here are the final odds for the Team Canada selections. Check out Puck Daddy’s final roster selections here.
Forwards (9): Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche; Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks; Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks; Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks; Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning; John Tavares, New York Islanders; Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks.
Defense (6): Jay Bouwmeester, St. Louis Blues; Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks; Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues; Shea Weber, Nashville Predators.
Goalies (2): Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks; Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens.
Patrice Bergeron, C, Boston Bruins
The Selke-winning center was a 2010 Olympian for Yzerman, a clutch playoff performer and one of the best faceoff men in the world. Close to a lock.
Claude Giroux, F, Philadelphia Flyers
Rick Nash, LW, New York Rangers
TSN and Sportsnet both have him on the roster, so that edges him into near-lock range. But Team Canada has to be unfazed by his health and inconsistent season, with the hope that he hits his offensive stride as the Sochi Games arrive (not a bad wager, in fact).
Mike Smith, G, Phoenix Coyotes
The consensus third goalie choice for many, Smith appears like he’s headed for Sochi as the Goalie No One Hopes To See Play For Canada.
Marty St. Louis, RW, Tampa Bay Lightning
There’s still a chance Yzerman leaves St. Louis off the team; hell, he’s already done it once with the Vancouver 2010 roster. He’s challenging for a spot on a crowded right side, but his skating and his ability to mesh with nearly any linemate make him an asset. He’s carried the Bolts since Stamkos’s injury. That should be enough.
P.K. Subban, D, Montreal Canadiens
It’s been rumored that Subban’s spot is “50/50” headed into selection day, but it’s looking more and more that the Norris winner is going to make the cut. Which is, of course, a no-brainer, given his offensive spark and skating ability. Which is, of course, a bummer for headline writers ready with their “P.K. Snubban” bold-faced type.
Jamie Benn, F, Dallas Stars
The infamous Olympic camp snub played his way into the conversation this season, until his numbers fell off last month. He’s got better odds than teammate Tyler Seguin, and his coach is an assistant under Mike Babcock, but he’s still not a lock to make the final roster.
Chris Kunitz, LW, Pittsburgh Penguins
As Crosby’s linemate, and a former winger for Getzlaf and Perry, Kunitz obviously has a place in this lineup. But can you make the argument that he’s a more deserving candidate than the other forwards on the bubble? Or does his chemistry with the top line center trump all of that?
Eric Staal, F, Carolina Hurricanes
The Canes star was on the bubble for TSN and didn’t make the final cut for Sportsnet. It could come down to Staal vs. Nash as a big body on the wing, and the expectation is that Nash gets the nod. (He made the cut for both TSN and Sportsnet.) Staal’s injuries don’t help.
Marc Edouard Vlasic, D, San Jose Sharks
A left-handed shot and one that’s had an outstanding season and may have played his way onto the team. He brings some offense to a stout defensive game that’s taken the next step under assistant coach Larry Robinson.
Jeff Carter, F, Los Angeles Kings
He’s got Darryl Sutter’s vote and he’s had a strong goal-scoring season; the question is whether Carter can emerge from a pack of talented forwards to make the final cut.
Corey Crawford, G, Chicago Blackhawks
If it’s not Smith, it’ll be the Blackhawks Cup-winning goalie. Did his injury harm his chances to impress the Team Canada brass, or was the impression already made?
Mark Giordano, D, Calgary Flames
Oh, what could have been if the Flames captain had been healthy.
Patrick Marleau, F, San Jose Sharks
His speed would be an asset on international ice, and he had five points in seven games for the Canadians in Vancouver. But neither TSN nor Sportsnet had him in their final projections for Team Canada.
James Neal, F, Pittsburgh Penguins
Despite having the numbers and the support of his teammates, Neal hasn’t been in the conversation for Team Canada. Perhaps if Stamkos wasn’t on his way back he’d get a stronger look. But this still could be a surprise addition.
Brent Seabrook, D, Chicago Blackhawks
Would be the ideal partner for Keith and was an Yzerman selection in 2010, but he might need to be sacrificed for a left-handed shot on the blue line.
Marc Staal, D, New York Rangers
A left-handed shot the Canadians covet, but hasn’t had the season necessary to warrant inclusion.
Taylor Hall, LW, Edmonton Oilers
How do you leave that speed, that offensive skill back home if you’re Team Canada? Well, first, because you’re Team Canada, and there are a few options ahead of Hall on the depth chart. Plus, you know: Defense.
Dan Hamhuis, D, Vancouver Canucks
Another player on the radar because he’s a left-handed shot. Take a number, sir.
Kris Letang, D, Pittsburgh Penguins
A sub-par year submarined any shot at the roster.
Joe Thornton, C, San Jose Sharks
Depriving the world of a gold medal celebration that might require a black dot over his pants.
Including Milan Lucic, Mike Richards, Tyler Seguin, Marc-Andre Fleury et al.
Bobby Ryan, F, Ottawa Senators
We’ll assume he didn’t rush through a citizenship change in the hours after his Team USA snub, but you never know.
Colton Orr, F, Toronto Maple Leafs
Oh, right, Brian Burke’s with Team USA. Nevermind.