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Deep Blue Sea: Olympic men’s hockey roster projections

Projecting Team USA and Canada Olympics rosters, plus COVID-19 news, Khudobin gets placed on waivers and more in today’s news and notes.

Patrice Bergeron #37, Sidney Crosby #87, Carey Price #31, Marc-Edouard Vlasic #44 and Jamie Benn #22 of Canada celebrate after defeating the United States 1-0 during the Men’s Ice Hockey Semifinal Playoff on Day 14 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

The Beijing Winter Olympics are fast approaching in February, and the buzz around who may or may not be selected for their country’s national team has already begun. Rudolfs Balcers is a lock for Latvia, and Timo Meier for Switzerland, but there’s plenty of top-end talent to choose from when it comes to the North American national teams.

In my heart, Jonathan Dahlen and Erik Karlsson make Sweden’s roster (the Swedish scout has been in attendance for at least one San Jose Sharks game), but part of the fun of the Olympics is speculating who will be called up to represent their country.

With COVID cases rising, the ever-present risk of injury and the NHL already falling behind schedule with postponed games, it’s still possible that the league changes their mind and forbids players from participating in the Olympics.

In fact, the NHL’s Board of Governors met on Dec. 9 and 10 to discuss NHL participation in the Olympics, among other docket items. For now, the league is still allowing players to report to their national teams, which means it’s the perfect time to flex my intuition and give my ideal rosters for the USA and Canada.

USA Projection

Forwards

Kyle Connor — Auston Matthews* — Blake Wheeler
Brady Tkachuk — Patrick Kane* — T.J. Oshie
Jason Robertson — Vincent Trochek — Matthew Tkachuk
Anders Lee — Jack Eichel — Joe Pavelski

Defenders

Seth Jones* — Adam Fox
Jaccob Slavin — Brett Pesce
Charlie McAvoy — Alec Martinez

Goaltenders

Jack Campbell
Thatcher Demko
Alex Nedeljkovic

Canada Projection

Forwards

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — Connor McDavid* — Mitch Marner
Jonathan Huberdeau — Sidney Crosby* — Nate Mackinnon
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Mark Stone
Zach Hyman — Steven Stamkos — Brendan Gallagher

Defenders

Cale Makar — Alex Pietrangelo*
Mackenzie Weegar — Shea Theodore
Mario Ferraro — Dougie Hamilton

Goaltenders

James Reimer
Jordan Binnington
Mackenzie Blackwood

*denotes confirmed players

Let us know in the comments what your Olympic roster projections are (and which Sharks players are on your teams).

News & Notes

Blood in the Water

  • NHLPA says lack of clarity about COVID-19 protocols has players uncertain about participating in Winter Olympics [ESPN]
  • Updated picks for Team USA’s Men’s hockey roster 2 months from the Olympics [Bleacher Report]
  • 2022 Winter Olympics: projecting Canada’s Men’s hockey roster in Beijing [NBC5 Chicago]
  • COVID-19 looms large over sporting world as NHL goes dark after Flames outbreak [Sportsnet]
  • Detroit Red Wings’ Tyler Bertuzzi: ‘Sucks missing games’ but still won’t get COVID-19 vaccine [USA Today]
  • Report: Multiple women being considered for vacant Canadiens GM job [Yahoo Sports]
  • Dallas Stars waive struggling veteran goalie Anton Khudobin [ESPN]

Scores & Recaps

No NHL games were scheduled for Dec. 13.

On the Schedule