Ray Ferraro revealed his 2014 Team Canada roster this week. This roster has been the subject of much debate and discussion. We here at WGT couldn't help but join in. So, before we get started on our roster and the explanations for each line combo and the players involved in them, let's have a look at Ray's roster.
Eric Staal - Sidney Crosby - Corey Perry
Rick Nash - Claude Giroux - Steven Stamkos
John Tavares - Jonathan Toews - Tyler Seguin
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Mike Richards - Jordan Staal - Jordan Eberle
Depth Forwards: Patrick Sharp and Jamie Benn
Duncan Keith - Drew Doughty
Kris Letang - Shea Weber
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Dan Girardi - Alex Pietrangelo
Depth Defensemen: Marc Staal and Braydon Coburn
It's hard to find any problems with this roster really. Other than his selections in net. Not really on board with those picks. The thing is, Canada is so deep at every position that you could make about three or four solid teams. For conversations sake though, here is the WGT roster.
Rick Nash - Sidney Crosby - Steven Stamkos
John Tavares - Claude Giroux - Jordan Eberle
Eric Staal - Jonathan Toews - Jordan Staal
Patrick Sharp - Patrice Bergeron - Corey Perry
Depth Forwards: Joe Thornton and Mike Richards
Shea Weber - Drew Doughty
Kris Letang - Marc Staal
Alex Pietrangelo - Dan Hamhuis
Depth Defensemen: Duncan Keith and Dan Girardi
The WGT 2014 roster isn't a lot different than Ray Ferraro's, except where the lines themselves are concerned. Rick Nash is money in the Olympics. He just flies out there, and as such it makes sense to have him on a line with an amazing play maker like Sidney Crosby, and a sniper like Steven Stamkos. Nash will provide the screen in front, and open up space for those two to work their magic. The second is line is all offense. Eberle gets moved to the right side of Claude Giroux, with John Tavares playing left wing. Three elite play makers who aren't afraid to shoot the puck either. A defensemen's nightmare. The third line sees the Staal brothers being paired up with Jonathan Toews in between them. The Staal brothers are both extremely reliable in their own end, and have the size and physicality to wreak havoc on the forecheck. Jonathan Toews is no slouch either. The fourth line could very well be the most defensively responsible grouping of forwards the world has ever seen. Patrick Sharp has to be one of the most underrated players in the league. He is solid in his own end, can play winger or center and has a wicked wrist shot. Patrice Bergeron is a faceoff machine and has amazing speed, not to mention a Selke trophy. Now as for Corey Perry, I think it's safe to say as much as the league hates him, they would all love to have him on their team. He is a fierce competitor with a knack for getting under opposing player's skin. He has great size, is relentless on the forecheck and adds some offensive flare to the fourth line.
On defense we changed only two players from Ferraro's roster. The first unit has two returnees from the 2010 team in Shea Weber and Drew Doughty. As great as this duo is offensively, there defensive game isn't lacking either. A great two way pairing. The second pair has Marc Staal taking the painfully overrated Duncan Keith's spot with Kris Letang. Letang is a great offensive defensemen, but he isn't all that reliable in his own end. Not very physical either. This is why Marc Staal gets Keith's spot. He is a defensive specialist, with great shot blocking ability. With Marc Staal on this pairing Letang will have a little more freedom to do what he does best: put up points. The Final pairing has young stud Alex Pietrangelo paired with none other than Dan Hamhuis. Pietrangelo is a great two way defensemen with solid offensive instincts. Dan Hamhuis provides a calm and stabilizing presence, with just enough offensive flair to his game to keep up with Pietrangelo. Not overly physical, but does throw the body around when necessary.
In goal you have to go with Bobby Lu. Can not believe how little love he's getting from analysts in their 2014 roster predictions. He was amazing in 2010 and his play has done anything but regress since. Carey Price, who many have pegged as the starter, gets to backup Luongo. He is a great young goalie, with a bright future ahead of him. Maybe he can start for the 2018 team. Marc-Andre Fleury will be Canada's third option in net for the second straight Olympics. When he's on, good luck scoring on him. Consistency though, has been a problem for Fleury.
Well, there you have it. The WGT Team Canada roster and an explanation for the lineup to go with it. Leave a comment below with your thoughts. Who would you remove, who would you have lined up with who, maybe even your idea of an ideal roster.
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