Staal Headlines Team Canada For Beijing Olympics

Staal headlines Team Canada for Beijing Olympics

Los Angeles, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 26th Jan, 2022 ) :Eric Staal headlined the list of players named by Hockey Canada on Tuesday to represent the country in the men's hockey tournament at next month's Beijing Olympics.

Staal, who is the frontrunner to be named captain of Team Canada, will be joined for next month's Olympics by an eclectic mix of pros, college players and junior stars.

Staal is one of just a few who are members of the Triple Gold Club, which comprises players who have won an Olympic gold medal, a Stanley Cup and a World Championship title.

"We have a balance of some guys who played a lot of pro, some guys played college, some guys are just getting their feet wet," said Staal, who was one of 25 players announced Tuesday.

"I love the look of our lineup and the balance that we have. Obviously you have to get on the ice to get a feel of how it is all going to play out." The 37-year veteran went to the Stanley Cup finals with the Montreal Canadiens last season, where they lost in four games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

He won a gold medal with Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and gold at the 2007 World Championships in Moscow.

Staal played just four game this season in the American Hockey League and is hoping that a strong showing in Beijing will land him a spot with an NHL team once the Olympics are over.

Canada has won three of the last five Olympic gold medals in men's ice hockey.

Canada's lineup also includes 2021 first overall NHL draft pick Owen Power, third overall pick Mason McTavish and goaltender Devon Levi, who plays college hockey in the United States for Northeastern University.

Power, 19, became the first Canadian defenceman to score a hat trick in the World Junior Championships in December at Edmonton, Alberta.

He scored three goals against Czechia in the opening game before the tournament was shut down due to a series of Covid-19 outbreaks.

Twenty-year-old Levi is a standout with Northeastern, compiling a .948 save percentage in 24 games this season.

Forwards Josh Ho-Sang and David Desharnais are also heading to Beijing.

Ho-Sang played 53 games for the New York Islanders over three seasons and Desharnais is playing in the Swiss first division this season.

The NHL decided last month not to send its players to the Beijing Olympics because the owners wanted to use the break in the regular season to make up games postponed and rescheduled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Team Canada's first game of the Olympic tournament is February 10 against Germany.