TORONTO – When Team Canada announced its 25-man roster for the Sochi Olympics, a handful of notable players didn’t make the cut. Here’s a look at some of those players:
MARTIN ST. LOUIS
At 37 years old, St. Louis didn’t fit in with what general manager Steve Yzerman called “a transition to a much younger group.” St. Louis was left off the 2010 gold-medal team, but this one stung more for Yzerman because he’s now the GM with St. Louis’ team, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Flyers captain got caught up in a numbers game when it came to natural centres for Team Canada. Giroux, who had 12 goals and 19 assists in his past 27 games, could be an injury replacement if Steven Stamkos is unable to play.
Couture having surgery to repair what the Sharks called only an upper-body injury—reportedly his hand—could have cost the dynamic playmaker a spot in Sochi as he’s set to be out three-to-four weeks. Team Canada wanted natural wingers, too, so San Jose teammate Patrick Marleau might have benefited.
Like Couture, Staal was injured recently, though his lower-body ailment wouldn’t have affected his time at the Olympics. Instead, the big centre who was on the 2010 team has a slow start to the NHL season and Canada’s depth down the middle to blame for not making it.
With Canada stacked at centre, there was no room for the 34-year-old Thornton despite being tied for fourth in the league in points with 48. Thornton’s inability to move to wing hurt him, as did the bigger, international-sized ice surface.