Olympics: Canada sends out National Hockey League castaways to chase gold hat-trick


Despite the presence of former NHL veterans like Mason Raymond, Ben Scrivens, Max Lapierre and Chris Kelly Roy and others, those visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto Thursday afternoon were largely unfamiliar with the new Team Canada.

For a full look at the Team Canada men's hockey roster, check out Hockey Canada's website. And if things get greasy, it's good to know Canada's 32-year-old Swiss-league fixture Maxim Lapierre has played nearly as many NHL games (614) as he has compiled NHL penalty minutes (586).

When Desjardins was named head coach of Team Canada last summer, I argued that it was a great choice.

Hockey Canada used three global tournaments - the Karjala Cup, Channel One Cup and Spengler Cup - to evaluate potential players, and waited until the completion of the World Junior Championship to reveal the Olympics roster, which doesn't include a member of the gold medal-winning under-20 team.

Last spring, the league put out an official statement calling their Olympic ban a "closed matter" and claimed that all of their clubs were against sending players overseas. He was the lone non-NHL player on that gold medal-winning squad.

"I have to thank (Hockey Canada) for the geography lesson and the air miles", said Burke, joking at a press conference Thursday. They've stuck with it, they won't give up ...

The selection process was as thorough as it could be, with upwards of 100 players getting a look over the course of seven global tournaments and 14 months.

Thirteen players on KHL teams were chosen, along with players in Sweden and other European leagues. He has been with EHC München the last three seasons after playing for six American Hockey League teams from 2007-08 through 2014-15.

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As Kelly tried to come to terms with anything and everything about the Olympic experience, he pored over the names of his Canadian teammates. For some guys, that's the only reason they're playing this year.

Speaking at a well-attended team unveiling in Calgary about the emotional phone calls informing players of their Olympic fate, Desjardins echoed the clear sentiment this will mean everything to these players.

The Olympics will take place February 9-25.

"I think Canadians are going to get behind this team".

Borgen played on the Team USA National Junior Team that won a bronze medal in the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland.

Training camp starts January 28 in Latvia.

"But for the players that are going there, they're playing for their country and it's still going to be a huge tournament, a lot of people watching and I think it's going to be a great tournament, even if the National Hockey League is not there". "I think you've got to embrace it and run with it and thrive from it".