May 3, 2012
Jones: Exclusive club beckons
By TERRY JONES, QMI AGENCY
HELSINKI, FINLAND - Normally the announcement of a new Captain Canada at the world hockey championships happens well before 9 p.m. the day before the tournament begins.
It was definitely late for the white smoke to be seen coming out of the chimney at the team hotel Thursday. But it just wouldn’t have been right to announce the new Captain Canada before he’d at least had a practice with the team and had a chance to meet some of the guys.
Ryan Getzlaf joined the team here as the last invited player to show up due to a family commitment. He had no idea, with over three weeks off from the end of the season, how he’d feel joining Canada for practice at the Hartwall Arena prior to the start of the event against Slovakia.
“It’s an honour. I came here knowing this was going to be a team with a lot of leaders. I wasn’t sure how coming in late would work out when it came to that,” said the guy who was chosen to wear the ‘C’ while Patrick Sharp and Dion Phaneuf were both given an ‘A’.
What he found out at 9 p.m. wasn’t the only thing that excited him. What he found out at 3 p.m. was good, too.
There are 25 members of the most exclusive club in hockey and there’s one with a chance to join them, with a list of credentials which would be beyond any of the others.
And that’s what really floored him. He didn’t have a clue he had come here with a chance to be the most exclusive member of the exclusive club.
It’s called The Triple Gold Club.
• Stanley Cup ring.
• Olympic gold medal
• World Championship gold medal.
If he gets the world championship gold here, Getzlaf would be overqualified.
He’d be the only player in the club who has the Stanley Cup, the Olympic gold and ...
• World junior gold medal.
• U-18 gold medal.
Nobody in hockey history has that complete collection. And it just came to the attention of the IIHF, and was passed along to your correspondent, here Thursday.
“I like it!” said Getzlaf.
“I was aware of the Triple Gold Club because of some presentations made at the Olympics,” said the member of the 2007 Stanley Cup champion Ducks who won his Olympic gold at Vancouver 2010.
“I’m definitely hoping to be in that gold medal game and have a chance for it. This is a great group of guys with a lot of talent. If we can come together as a team, we’ve got a chance.” said the Regina product who came close previously, winning silver at the 2008 Worlds.
He’s not alone in his quest to obtain membership to the Triple Gold Club. Three other players have a chance to do it this spring, Shae Weber would obtain membership in the unlikely event that the Nashville Predators win the Stanley Cup.
And two other members of this edition of Team Canada, Getzlaf’s Olympic teammates Duncan Keith of the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Black Hawks and his Anaheim Ducks linemate Corey Perry, could manage it.
“It would mean a lot,” said Perry.
“It was in the back of my mind. This is a good team. The opportunity is there to go out and get it.
“The world championship is the one thing I haven’t won,” said Perry, who would also be overqualified, adding a gold medal here to the Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal, the 2005 world junior playing for Brent Sutter in Grand Forks, N.D., and the Memorial Cup for Dale Hunter with the London Knights.
Keith, who also won a silver medal for Canada at the 2008 world championship, said he’s more than aware of the Triple Gold Club and went so far as to say it played a part in his accepting the invitation to join the team after the Blackhawks lost to the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round of the playoffs.
“I’m exited,” said the Winnipeg product.
“The opportunity is one of the big reasons I’m here. I want to win gold first and foremost for Canada, but it would be pretty special to be in that group. It’s an amazing list.”
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TRIPLE GOLD CLUB
Tomas Jonsson, Sweden, 1994
Mats Naslund, Sweden, 1994
Hakan Loob, Sweden, 1994
Valeri Kamensky, Russia, 1996
Peter Forsberg, Sweden, 1996
Viacheslav Fetisov, Russia, 1997
Igor Larionov, Russia, 1997
Alexander Mogilny, Russia, 2000
Vladimir Malakhov, Russia, 2000
Rob Blake, Canada, 2002
Joe Sacic, Canada, 2002
Brendan Shanahan, Canada, 2002
Scott Niedermayer, Canada, 2004
Jaromir Jagr, Czech Republic, 2005
Jiri Slegr, Czech Republic, 2005
Nicklas Lidstrom, Sweden, 2006
Fredrik Modin, Sweden, 2006
Chris Pronger, Canada, 2007
Niklas Kronwell, Sweden, 2008
Henrik Zetterberg, Sweden, 2008
Mikael Samuelsson, Sweden, 2008
Eric Staal, Canada, 2010
Jonathan Toews, Canada, 2010
Patrice Bergeron, Canada 2010
Mike Babcock, Canada 2010