Could the following Canadian Olympic men’s hockey team have some star power after all?
Team general manager Sean Burke said Tuesday that he is asked about the plans and possible access to long-time NHLers and present free agents Shane Doan and Jarome Iginla.
Burke, who is building the first Canadian Olympic roster without NHL players since 1994, indicated that both former Olympians would need to be playing somewhere if they were to be contemplated. He reached out to their representatives on Tuesday morning.
“we would like to check out all possibilities, but there needs to be a long-term strategy as it is going to very extreme (at the Olympics) and it is going to be great hockey and men will have to have a strategy for the entire year,” Burke said on a conference call, which also contained the team’s head coach Willie Desjardins.
Whether the two veterans are interested is another question.
“We really aren’t dealing with this issue as of today,” Don Meehan, Iginla’s representative, said in an email to The Canadian Press.
Canada just completed two championships in Russia with 45 players vying for spots on the Olympic squad in Pyongchang. That group included former NHLers such as Derek Roy, Mason Raymond, Max Talbot and Gilbert Brule.
Goaltending was divided between former Edmonton Oiler and Toronto Maple Leaf Ben Scrivens, Justin Peters, who played three games for the Arizona Coyotes this past year, and Kevin Poulin, who is totalled 50 games with the New York Islanders.
Doan recently finished his 21st season with the Coyotes, who announced earlier this off-season their long-time captain wouldn’t be re-signed. The soon-to-be 41-year-old represented Canada at the 2006 Olympics in Italy.
Iginla, who had 14 goals and 27 points playing for the Avalanche and Kings last season, has played three Canadian Olympic teams, such as gold medal-winning teams in 2002 and 2010.
Their participation in the 2018 Games would preclude a return to the NHL for the forthcoming season. The team decided against allowing its players to participate after five consecutive appearances, starting in 1998.
“We played games in August and the speed of those games and the intensity was very good and that is likely to rise as we move along so anyone that is going to play on this team, regardless of what their pedigree or what they have done previously, we are going to think about,” Burke said.
The Canadian GM, who played for Canada in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, said he expected to have the bones of a roster set into place by November when Canada participate in the Karjala Cup in Finland.
Courtesy: The Globe And Mail