What was supposed to be one of the best teams ever assembled is now officially something far, far less.
Hockey Canada has assembled a mix of old names with a few dashes of up-and-coming non-NHL talent with its roster for the men's Olympic hockey competition in Beijing.
Here's the full list:
Daniel Carr (Lugano, Swiss-A), Adam Cracknell (Bakersfield, AHL), David Desharnais (Fribourg-Gotteron, Swiss-A), Landon Ferraro (Cologne, DEL), Corban Knight (Omsk, KHL), Josh Ho-Sang (Toronto, AHL), Jack McBain (Boston College, NCAA), Mason McTavish (Hamilton, OHL), Eric O'Dell (Dynamo Moscow, KHL), Eric Staal (free agent), Ben Street (Munich, DEL), Adam Tambellini (Rogle, SweHL), Jordan Weal (Ak-Bars, KHL), Daniel Winnik (Geneve, Swiss-A).
Mark Barberio (Ak-Bars, KHL), Jason Demers (Ak-Bars, KHL), Brandon Gormley (Yaroslavl, KHL), Alex Grant (Jokerit, KHL), Maxim Noreau (Zurich, Swiss-A), Owen Power (Michigan, NCAA), Mat Robinson (St. Petersburg, KHL), Tyler Wotherspoon (Utica, KHL).
Devon Levi (Northeastern, NCAA), Edward Pasquale (Yaroslavl, KHL), Matt Tomkins (Frolunda, SweHL)
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) January 25, 2022
Leading the nostalgia is former Stanley Cup champion and current NHL free agent Eric Staal. He's the most successful of a team made up almost exclusively of former NHL players or former prospects now competing overseas.
Other familiar names include David Desharnais, Daniel Winnik, Jordan Weal, Adam Cracknell, Daniel Carr, Landon Ferraro, Brandon Gormley, Mark Barberio, and Jason Demers.
The most intriguing two selections are Owen Power and Mason McTavish. The No. 1 and No. 3 overall selections in last season's NHL Draft, respectively, both represented Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton before it was shut down. Kent Johnson was among other juniors believed to be in the mix, but only two wound up making the cut.
There are only three returnees from the bronze medal-winning team brought to PyeongChang in 2018. Forward Eric O'Dell and defencemen Maxim Noreau and Mat Robinson were also among Hockey Canada's best outside the NHL four years ago. O'Dell and Robinson are both with their fourth different KHL organizations since moving to Russia, playing for Dynamo Moscow and SKA St. Petersburg, respectively, while Noreau is in his fourth season for Zurich in Switzerland's top division.
One other interesting name is Josh Ho-Sang, who has been with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization this season. He's worked exclusively on a minor-league deal to this point, however, which offers him the sort of eligibility that many other American Hockey League-based players are without. In a strange way, failing to nail down a two-way deal and avoiding a promotion to the Maple Leafs despite having perhaps commanded it with his performances for the Toronto Marlies has provided him with this unique opportunity.
On the goaltending front, Devon Levi also stands out as a potential starter for Canada. He's put together incredible numbers for Northeastern University this season after starring for the juniors last winter at the 2021 tournament. The former Florida Panthers seventh-round selection was the key return asset for the Buffalo Sabres in the Sam Reinhart trade.
Levi will be competing for the starter's role withe Edward Pasquale and Matt Tomkins, who have left North America for Russia and Sweden, respectively.
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