In giving away the hat, Benoit Pouliot said “great job boys, way to battle back. Everyone looked great, Hanky was solid in his end but I have to go with my neighbor Marc Staal.”
At NHL.com , Dan Rosen looks at what could work in Marc Staal’s favor as he tries to make Team Canada for the 2014 Olympics.
Staal has noted that he is healthy and Rosen notes that the Rangers defenseman has “no doubts” he will be back to his old self when the season starts.
Rosen notes that Staal is a mobile/intelligent blue liner that could help Team Canada and more importantly he is a left handed shot where Canada is think.
For more on Staal and Team Canada, CLICK HERE.
2:05PM: Stephen Whyno of the CP has Nash as a “lock” and Staal is a “solid bet” to make the team.
11:27AM: TSN’s Panel predicted who would represent Canada at the 2014 Olympics and both Marc Staal and Rick Nash were included in their roster.
The choices were made based on the information that the panel, Bob McKenzie, Ray Ferraro, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun, have on how they Hockey Canada wants to construct the roster.
They include Nash as one of their locks for forward and to play on a line with Jonathan Toews and Eric Staal.
On Staal, Bob McKenzie said “he deserves a lot of consideration. The question is if he is healthy and if he can he get back to the top of his game. Can he get back to playing the kind of hockey he has played on the big ice in the world juniors because his reduced vision. It’s x-factor for Team Canada but assuming he is healthy and can get back to the top of his game…left shot shut down guy…he should be on the team.
Ferraro and LeBrun agreed while Dreger added, “he is progressing well according to the Rangers and those close to him”
They have Staal on the second pairing with Shea Weber.
At The Hockey News, Rory Boylen looks at 10 players who were snubbed by not getting invited to their respective Olympic orientation camps.
10th on the list is Dan Girardi and Boylen says that the surprising thing to him is that Marc Staal was picked over Girardi.
Boylen says that Staal’s injury issues and Girardi’s rise during that time, the two should be in opposite positions. He does say that Staal would also have been a snub had he not been invited.
Staal was invited to the orientation camp for the 2010 Olympics and has represented Canada in under-17 tournaments, under-18 tournaments, two World Juniors and the 2010 World Championships. He has won three Gold Medals with Canada (U-17 and two WJC) and was named the best defenseman at the 2005-06 WJC.
Girardi has never represented Canada at the international level.
Adam Rotter: It seems that prior international experience is a big factor when inviting players to the camp. Corey Crawford is the only member of Canada who hasn’t previously played for Canada but there are big questions with Canada’s goaltending and he just won the Stanley Cup. Girardi, who should have been invited, doesn’t have that experience but he has been excellent the past few seasons, an All-Star, and at times a legitimate Norris contender. Still, Staal, when healthy, is the Rangers top defenseman and if he is healthy next season he will likely have a spot on Team Canada’s final roster.
Hockey Canada has announced that 47 players have been invited to their pre-Olympic camp in August.
Two of those players are the Rangers Rick Nash and Marc Staal.
Defenseman Dan Girardi, thought to be a possible contender for a spot, was not invited.
Rangers trainer Jim Ramsay is also the trainer for Team Canada.
Nash is one of four players who played for Canada in 2006 and in 2010 at the Olympics.
10:33AM: TSN has Rick Nash and Dan Girardi making Team Canada.
10:24AM: At Sportsnet, their hockey panel predicts the roster for Canada at the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Russia.
Doug MacLean, Nick Kypreos, Brad May, Mike Keenan, Scott Morrison and Neil Smith all have Marc Staal on their team.
MacLean, Kypreos, Chris Johnston, Brad May, Mike Keenan, Scott Morrison, John Garrett, Neil Smith and John Shannon all have Rick Nash on their team. Most of them have Nash on the top line LW with Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos.
Garrett, the guy who complained loudly that John Tortorella had never played in the NHL, and then was all “buddy buddy” when Tortorella was interviewed on Sportsnet, has Brad Richards on his team as well.
At CBC, Tim Wharnsby assembled a panel of six people to vote on who they thought would be part of Team Canada’s Olympic team in 2014.
Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was put on four of six ballots and looked at as the sixth defenseman behind Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty, Brent Seabrook and Alex Pietrangelo.
Michael Del Zotto also received one vote.
As for forwards, Rick Nash was picked on five of six ballots to represent Canada for the third time in his career.
At Sportsnet, Mark Spector picks his roster and doesn’t include Marc Staal, but does include Michael Del Zotto.
Spector has Nash on the top line left wing with Sidney Crosby and James Neal.
On TSN, Ray Ferraro picked both Dan Girardi and Marc Staal to make Team Canada.
Ferraro has Nash on the second line with Claude Giroux and Steven Stamkos.
At USA Today, Kevin Allen picks Girardi, Staal and Nash (on a line with Stamkos and Marty St. Louis) to make Team Canada.
At ESPN.com, Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside pick their rosters for Team Canada.
Both have Rick Nash and Marc Staal on their rosters. Burnside has Michael Del Zotto making the team while LeBrun counts him as someone “on the radar.”
Allan Muir of SI has Dan Girardi making team Canada but not Marc Staal. He has Brent Seabrook with a slight edge over Staal.
He also does not have Nash on the team as he says Nash has underperformed in his last few international events.
At ESPN.com Craig Custance projects who will be on Team Canada in 2014 for the Olympics.
Custance lists Rick Nash as one of the players from 2010 who is a “lock” and thinks that there is a good chance he will end up on a line with Jonathan Toews and Mike Richards again.
Brad Richards and Marc Staal are looked at as potential Rangers who could be on Team Canada in 2014.
The Rangers had no representation on Team Canada in 2010.
The last Rangers to play for Team Canada in the Olympics were Theo Fleury and Eric Lindros in 2002. That team defeated Mike York, Brian Leetch and Mike Richter in the gold medal game.