Call it a team of All-Canadian Monsters.
Tonight, on the NHL on TSN's pre-game show, hockey analyst Pierre McGuire will unveil the players that he thinks should make up the men's national team at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.
McGuire will be answering email about the Olympic Team during the first intermission. Click here to send your question or email email@example.com.
As usual, Canada has no shortage of talent available and McGuire will follow the same 23-player roster model that team executive director Steve Yzerman is expected to use - 13 forwards, seven defencemen and three goalies.
While McGuire's choices will be difficult, there are plenty of cornerstones to consider.
Just three years ago, Sidney Crosby was not a part of the squad that finished out of the medals at the Torino Games. That roster omission likely won't be repeated this time. Also, Torino returnees Jarome Iginla and Vincent Lecavalier could be considered locks to make McGuire's (and Yzerman's) roster.
That's the easy part. After that, it's anybody's guess.
The truth is, you could build a very strong version of Team Canada from just three NHL clubs: the San Jose Sharks (Joe Thornton, Ryan Clowe, Patrick Marleau, Devin Setoguchi and Marc-Edouard Vlasic), the Philadelphia Flyers (Mike Richards, Simon Gagne, Jeff Carter and Braydon Coburn) and the Anaheim Ducks (Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger and Jean-Sebastien Giguere).
And if that's not enough, the Chicago Blackhawks' foursome of Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews, Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith could all make a case to be on the team.
The battle to wear the maple leaf in goal will be hotly contested. Martin Brodeur has been a staple in the Canadian net since the 2002 Salt Lake City games, but he has missed most of this season because of injury. Canucks goalie and hometown favourite Roberto Luongo is also a prime candidate, but 2008-09 has been his most difficult season to date. Those factors might open the door for a darkhorse like rookie phenom Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets, who has emerged as a top contender for the Calder Trophy. Montreal's Carey Price is from B.C. and could emerge as one of the top goalies in NHL's Eastern Conference. And don't forget about Carolina's Cam Ward, who is just three years removed from winning the Stanley Cup.
Other players to consider include defenceman Dan Boyle and forwards Jason Spezza and Eric Staal (who were alternates for the Torino squad), and veterans Martin St. Louis and Ryan Smyth. They could be challenged by younger stars like Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Mike Cammalleri of the Calgary Flames. A young blueliner like Florida's Jay Bouwmeester could have a roster spot, along with Washington Capitals blueliner Mike Green.
The possibilities go on and on. Find out who Pierre McGuire likes on the NHL on TSN's pre-game show tonight at 7:30pm et/4:30 pm pt, before the Ottawa Senators face the Nashville Predators.