Projecting the Olympic rosters
Heck, I'll save him the call and lay it out here for all to see.
Honestly, I don't think Yzerman needs much help. Sure, injuries could (and probably will) throw a wrench into his (and my) best-laid plans, but at this point, the handwringing is limited to depth players. With less than three weeks to go, there probably are no more than four, maybe five, jobs still up for grabs.
The goaltenders are set in stone. The defense? It's likely six of the seven are decided upon. There's a bit more wiggle room up front, but it's a good bet that nine, possibly 10, of the spots already have been claimed.
So, who will get the call? Like Yzeman, who has said he'll be looking at a nucleus of 23-to-25-year-olds, I leaned heavily on players who debuted during the last 10 years. This team will be young, fast, and far more offensive-minded than the ham-fisted bunch that failed so miserably in Torino. And they're proven winners. All have earned gold for Canada at previous events.
Past performance in the NHL and on the international stage were the primary factors for inclusion, but when push came to shove, I gave the edge to players who are at the top of their game now. That made for tough calls, but it leaves Yzerman with some solid options in case anyone is lost between now and the February start of the Games.
Here's how I think Team Canada's final roster should play out, barring injuries, when it is revealed on Dec. 30. (Team USA follows below.)
Hope it helps, Steve.
And now for Team USA....
Burke will reveal his final decision on Jan. 1 during the Winter Classic. Barring injuries, here's who I see him bringing to Vancouver.