by PuckStopsHere on 12/24/13 at 04:23 PM ET
Early in January the Olympic hockey teams for the Sochi Olympics will be announced. I am going to take this time to list the players i would pick for the teams if I was given the opportunity to select them. This is not necessarily the group of players I expect will be selected. It is my choices.
Roberto Luongo Vancouver Canucks
Carey Price Montreal Canadiens
Mike Smith Phoenix Coyotes
I would use Price as the number one man. Luongo should be a reliable number two. Mike Smith is a solid goalie who could be useful in a number three role if the depth is tested to that level.
Jay Bouwmeester St Louis Blues
Drew Doughty Los Angeles Kings
Duncan Keith Chicago Blackhawks
Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Pietrangelo St Louis Blues
Brent Seabrook Chicago Blackhawks
PK Subban Montreal Canadiens
Shea Weber Nashville Predators
I think Keith is a gimme and Seabrook is his logical partner. Doughty, Weber, Pietrangelo and Subban will be the remainder of the defencemen expected to carry the load. Kris Letang is not off to a great start this season, but he has been a dominant defenceman in the last couple of seasons and could be worthy of a shot. Jay Bouwmeester is a left shot who is having a good season, has significant international experience and works well with Pietrangelo, so he gets the final spot.
Patrice Bergeron Boston Bruins
Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins
Ryan Getzlaf Anaheim Ducks
Claude Giroux Philadelphia Flyers
Taylor Hall Edmonton Oilers
Chris Kunitz Pittsburgh Penguins
Corey Perry Anaheim Ducks
Mike Richards Los Angeles Kings
Martin St Louis Tampa Bay Lightning
Patrick Sharp Chicago Blackhawks
Steve Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning
John Tavares New York Islanders
Joe Thornton San Jose Sharks
Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks
Crosby and Toews are the automatics. Getzlaf, Perry, St Louis and Tavares come not too far behind that. Stamkos is a given as long as he is healthy and if he is skating in December, he should be fine in February. Kunitz works very well with Crosby and should get a shot. Bergeron and Richards are experienced internationally and have strong defensive abilities. Joe Thornton is the assist leader in the NHL right now and full of experience. Giroux is not off to the best start, but he has proven his worth in the last couple of years. Sharp and Hall are valuable spare pieces and both play naturally at left wing where some depth is needed.
What would you do different if it was your team?
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