Bolts GM in charge of The List

Steve Yzerman speaks to the media after being named the executive director of the Canadian national...

Steve Yzerman speaks to the media after being named the executive director of the Canadian national men's hockey team through 2014 in Calgary, Alta., March 5, 2012. (NICOLE SANTERRE/Special to QMI Agency)

ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:19 AM ET

CALGARY - It’s been more than two years since Canada’s national pastime was jotting down The List.

Long before the Vancouver Olympic hockey tourney began, millions of Canadians weighed in with their proposed Canadian team rosters.

Well … on Monday, Hockey Canada announced that for the second Olympic tourney in a row, the only man whose list really matters is Steve Yzerman’s.

And while on his way to Calgary for the announcement, Team Canada’s executive director admitted he officially got the ball rolling on two more years of 23-man debates.

“I flew in this morning with (Detroit Red Wings GM) Kenny (Holland) and quickly looked at the NHL rosters and wondered where the older guys would be in two years and the younger guys, too,” said Yzerman, who called Canada’s gold in Vancouver one of the greatest moments in his illustrious career.

“We kind of put together that initial long list, but it’s really early for that.”

So somewhere, there’s an Air Canada cocktail napkin with his early version of Canada’s next dream team on it?

“I don’t put anythig down on paper anymore — you never know whose hands it could get into,” said the Tampa Bay Lightning GM, with a smile

“It’s all in our minds.”

Indeed, the whole notion of an Olympic tourney with NHLers may, in fact, play out only in our minds as the the upcoming CBA negotiations will determine whether the 2014 Games in Sochi will include the likes of Sidney Crosby and his NHL brethren.

Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson acknowledged that very fact at Monday’s star-studded news conference at COP, which was preceded by calls to NHL boss Gary Bettman and NHLPA head Donald Fehr to let them know he was simply being proactive with hopes the very best will be available for the five-ring circus two years from now in Russia.

If not, Nicholson said he has a Plan B.

“Punt!” said Nicholson with a laugh, when asked what would become of Yzerman’s management group which includes Holland, St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong, Edmonton Oilers executive Kevin Lowe and Hockey Canada’s Brad Pascall.

“I hope we don’t have to get to that plan. But if so, they’ll help us build a plan. We’ll want to hear their opinions.”

With the help of Pascall, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and Toronto Maple Leafs assistant GM Dave Nonis, Lowe will be GM of Canada’s world championship team in Sweden/Finland, which will essentially be one of four tryouts for prospective Olympians.

“The two Stanley Cup playoffs between now and (the Olympics), as well as the two world championships, give players four chances to prove they can play when it matters most,” Nonis said.

Such a reality should help on the recruiting side of things, as players know a world championship rejection could affect their Olympic chances. What’s more, Canada is currently ranked fourth in the world, which puts increased pressure on Lowe’s world championship squad to improve that standing heading into the Olympics.

Yzerman said he won’t necessarily do things exactly the same way he did in 2010, acknowledging plenty of factors have changed, including the fact it’s a younger man’s game and concussions are a much bigger factor.

Yzerman said a healthy Sidney Crosby is guaranteed to be on his list but wouldn’t offer up any other peeks at his list.

“Me? I’ve always got a list,” said Nicholson with a laugh of an initial group of players he suggested might be 70 names long.

“I think the list may be as big as we’ve ever had because of all the great young players and all the veterans who have won before. That’s why these world championships are so important. I look at the young kids up in Edmonton and on the (New York) Islanders, for example. I know one thing — that list is going to change a lot.”

First things first, let’s hope such a list is needed at all.

ERIC FRANCIS'S LIST

Forwards:
Ryan Getzlaf
Rick Nash
Sidney Crosby
Jarome Iginla
Corey Perry
Jonathan Toews
Taylor Hall
Eric Staal
Steven Stamkos
Claude Giroux
John Tavares
Patrice Bergeron
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Defencemen:
Drew Doughty
Shea Weber
Duncan Keith
Alex Pietrangelo
Kris Letang
Brent Burns
Brent Seabrook

Goaltenders:
Marc-Andre Fleury
Carey Price
Roberto Luongo

Taxi Squad:
D Dan Boyle
F Mike Richards
F Jordan Eberle

RANDY SPORTAK'S LIST

Forwards:
Jonathan Toews
Sidney Crosby
Ryan Getzlaf
Eric Staal
Claude Giroux
Steven Stamkos
Tyler Seguin
Corey Perry
Rick Nash
Patrice Bergeron
John Tavares
Joe Thornton
Mike Richards
Defencemen:
Shea Weber
Drew Doughty
Tyler Myers
Marc Staal
Duncan Keith
Kris Letang
Alex Pietrangelo

Goaltenders:
Marc-Andre Fleury
Carey Price
Cam Ward

Taxi Squad:
D Michael Del Zotto
F Jamie Benn
F Jordan Eberle

WES GILBERTSON'S LIST

Forwards:
Sidney Crosby
Jordan Eberle
Ryan Getzlaf
Claude Giroux
Taylor Hall
Jarome Iginla
Milan Lucic
Rick Nash
Corey Perry
Mike Richards
Steven Stamkos
John Tavares
Jonathan Toews

Defencemen:
Brent Burns
Drew Doughty
Duncan Keith
Kris Letang
Brent Seabrook
Marc Staal
Shea Weber

Goaltenders:
Marc-Andre Fleury
Roberto Luongo
Carey Price

Taxi Squad:
F Jamie Benn
F Logan Couture
D Alex Pietrangelo

CHRIS STEVENSON

Forwards:
Sidney Crosby
Steven Stamkos
Eric Staal
Jeff Skinner
Rick Nash
Corey Perry
Ryan Getzlaf
Claude Giroux
John Tavares
Jonathan Toews
Patrice Bergeron
Jordan Eberle
James Neal

Defencemen:
Shea Weber
Kris Letang
Alex Pietrangelo
Drew Doughty
Duncan Keith
Marc Staal
Tyler Myers

Goaltenders:
Carey Price
Marc-Andre Fleury
Roberto Luongo

Taxi Squad:
D P.K. Subban
F Jordan Staal
F Jason Spezza
 


Videos

Photos