NEW IceCaps Alumni Join Team Canada for Winter Olympics

Dean Simpson
January 12, 2018

When the Olympic men's hockey competition starts in Pyongchang, Canada will be represented by a group of former NHL'ers like Mason Raymond, Ben Scrivens and Derek Roy.

When USA Hockey announced its men's and women's Olympic teams at the NHL Winter Classic on January 1, it left two spots open on the men's team for additional goalies. Thirteen come from Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

"It's about guys that have received a "No" but found a way to make a 'Yes, '" said head coach Willie Desjardins.

And as unlikely as that might seem given the 25-man roster of European-based players Hockey Canada unveiled Thursday, Desjardins believes his crew will be armed with a work ethic capable of conquering all obstacles.

That changes this year as the NHL announced last April the league would not release its players or schedule a break in the season so its players could participate. The Russian team, competing under a neutral flag due to the ban on formal Russian participation imposed over doping violations, are considered favorites for the gold medal.

"I look at the picture of me in the hospital and can't help but cry", the 31-year-old winger said via social media. They've stuck with it, they won't give up... that's what our team is about.

"When I won the Olympics in '94, there were no National Hockey League players and for me it was one of the biggest tournaments I ever played, so I have that perspective of the tournament - it doesn't have to be the National Hockey League players", Forsberg said.

Andrew Ebbett, who appeared in 10 games with the Blackhawks during their Stanley Cup winning 2009-10 season, also made the squad, as did former Blackhawks farmhand Rob Klinkhammer, who appeared in one game for the team.

Brule was picked sixth overall in the 2005 National Hockey League draft and appeared in 299 regular season games from 2005 to 2014, notching 43 goals and 52 assists while playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers and Phoenix Coyotes.

Gragnani lasted 14 games in Vancouver in 2012, then played a season in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers, before heading to the KHL, then the Swiss league, then a brief return to North America with the New Jersey and Albany Devils, then made his way back to the KHL for the past two seasons.

Canada has won 13 men's hockey medals, including nine gold, since the first Olympic hockey tournament in Antwerp in 1920.

The 12-nation men's tournament goes from February 14-25 at the Gangneung Hockey Centre and the Kwandong Hockey Centre.

Training camp starts January 28 in Latvia. Many of them were part of the team that won the Spengler Cup hockey tournament in Davos, Switzerland over the holidays. I think that's pretty special. In 2017 he was second on the team with eight points and five assists, and was the team's Player of the Game against Latvia. "... These guys are both pros, they're both every experienced on the Europe ice, and they have the ability to keep their team in the game". "I think these players are going to be motivated to play the best hockey they can - to be seen on that stage".

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