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.
Today in Calgary, Hockey Canada is going through a walkthrough on boarded up ice to go through some systems.
Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun note that Rick Nash is on a line with Johnathon Toews at center and Eric Staal on LW.
Marc Staal is with Drew Doughty.
To read more of this story, click here
9:07AM: Michael Russo notes that USA GM David Poile has told his coaching staff that the USA leadership group consists of Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Dustin Brown, David Backes and Ryan Callahan.
8:27AM: Craig Custance notes that former Rangers captain Chris Drury is at the camp to help out.
Drury was a member of the 2010 Silver Medal team.
8:33AM: At SI, Allain Muir looks at every player invited to the Team USA Olympic Camp this week.
On Ryan McDonagh, Muir says that McDonagh is the kind of player who will do whatever is needed to pick up the win. He says that McDonagh can start making his plans for Sochi.
Muir describes Ryan Callahan as someone who is “miserable” to play against and always has his motor set to high.
He says that Derek Stepan is a “lock” to make Team USA bu the big question will be how Dan Bylsma chooses to use him. Based on a lack of other options though, Stepan could end up being the number one center for Team USA.
Muir has Stepan centering the top line for Team USA with Zach Parise on his left and Patrick Kane on his right. He has Ryan Callahan on the third line with Max Pacioretty and Joe Pavelski.
Ryan McDonagh is on the third pair with Keith Yandle.
For more on the Olympics, CLICK HERE.
During the Hockey Canada Olympic Press Conference, Pierre LeBrun asked Rick Nash about his experiences with Team Canada on the big ice surface in Europe.
Nash said, “I like the big ice. I find it’s not to much of a difference. Playing for Canada. we have had success at both. Like Sid said, it’s little things like angles. I have played a lot on the big ice and I enjoy it.
Nash spent part of the lockout season playing in Switzerland and played the entire 2004-05 season in Switzerland.
Nash has been looked as a likely candidate to make Canada’s team.
Other topics Nash touched on during the press conference:
- He knows former Oilers coach Ralph Krueger from his time in Switzerland. Krueger is an adviser to the Canada coaching staff due to his history coaching in Europe.
In his look at the players invited to Team Canada for this week’s Olympic Camp, Allan Muir writes at SI that Rick Nash is lucky he even got an invitation to the camp and that the value of his name brings more to the table than his game does now.
Muir says that Nash has always been looked at as a top-six forward for Canada but that he doesn’t do enough anymore.
On Marc Staal, Muir says that if there is any issue whatsoever with his eye, Staal won’t be part of Team Canada. If he is healthy though, the depth he can provide as well as his strength and reliability will put him in the mix for Canada’s defense.
At USA Today, Kevin Allen writes that Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh are “locks” to make Team USA in 2014.
Allen says that Callahan’s ability to score and play a physical game will be needed and that McDonagh is part of a group with Ryan Suter and Jack Johnson who will form the core of Team USA’s defense.
He adds that Derek Stepan is one of four centers who will battle to center the top line for Team USA, along with Ryan Kesler, Paul Stastny and David Backes.
At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters writes that McDonagh could be an even better player on the bigger ice, that Stepan may get shifted to wing and that Callahan would have to play himself out of a spot to not make the team.
Peters adds that McDonagh’s elite skating and closing speed will be very important for Team USA on the big ice.
David Poile, the GM of Team USA, said on a media conference call Ryan probably wasn’t known as well in 2010 and he might be the type of guy who fit the mold of what we were looking for in Vancouver. He has gotten better and better and now he is the captain of the Rangers and I am sure a big part of our team in Sochi.”
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that Dan Girardi may be typecast in the eyes of many, including Team Canada decision makers, as someone who stands in one place on the ice and blocks shots and wouldn’t be mobile enough to play on the larger ice surface.
Brooks notes that people may see Girardi as a product of John Tortorella’s defensive system.
He notes that Girardi will have a few months to show that he can do more than just block shots and make a run at a spot on Team Canada before the final roster is decided.
The Hockey News describes Girardi as a “big-minute shutdown defenseman.”
Girardi has been considered one of the top snubs for players who didn’t get invited to Team Canada’s orientation camp.
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.
6/14/13: According to Hockey Sverige, the Swedish Ice Hockey Council has announced their roster for their Olympic orientation camp in August.
Three Rangers were invited:
- Henrik Lundqvist
- Oscar Lindberg
- Carl Hagelin
Lundqvist has been the starting goalie for Sweden in the past two Olympics. He won gold with Sweden in 2006.
Yesterday, Hockey Canada released the list of players who have been invited to their Olympic orientation camp in August.
Rick Nash and Marc Staal are the only two Rangers who were invited to the orientation camp.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal said he was surprised to see that Dan Girardi wasn’t invited to the orientation camp and Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail listed Brad Richards as one of the centers who got snubbed.
At Backhand Shelf, Daniel Wagner came up with a roster of players who weren’t invited to Team Canada’s camp.
The fourth line center of the snubbed team is the Rangers Brad Richards, centering Alex Burrows and Chris Stewart, with Wagner saying that Richards can be useful as a two-way fourth line center on a team like this.
On defense, Dan Girardi is on the top pair with Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin and Michael Del Zotto is one of the spare defensemen.
Girardi has never represented Canada in an international event. Del Zotto played for Canada in 2010 at the World Championships and Richards played for Canada in the WJC in 2000, 2001 World Championships, 2004 World Cup and 2006 Olympics.