It is often said that when an international hockey event is held, Canada could put two teams in the tournament and each would have a shot at winning.
Such is the depth of Canada’s talent pool.
But what about the 2016 World Cup of Hockey? What about the fact Canada has a team, but also has half-stocked Team North America made up of Canadian and American players 23-and-under?
Is there enough talent left to put another team in play?
Here is my Team Canada II:
Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks: Emerged as a solid and capable starter with the Sharks last season after playing parts of two seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. Has 13 shutouts in 99 games.
Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins: Lost his job to young gun Matt Murray last season, but that doesn’t mean the 31-year-old Fleury is headed for the scrap heap. There are plenty of big saves left in his game.
Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild: After bouncing around the NHL for a bit, Dubnyk has settled in as a trusted stopper with the Wild. He has registered back-to-back five shutout seasons in Minny.
P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators: If Team Canada doesn’t want the flamboyant defender, we’ll take him in a heartbeat.
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins: The NHL’s third leading scorer on defence (16 goals and 67 points in 76 games) is a welcome addition on Team Canada II.
Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames: The Flames captain was tied for second amongst defencemen in goals (21) and placed sixth in points (56) last season. The fact he is solid and dependable in his own zone is the icing on the cake.
Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks: This guy rarely gets the credit he deserves for being one of the best two-way defenders in the NHL.
Ryan Ellis, Nashville Predators: A big game player who continues to assert himself at both ends of the rink as a pro following a wonderfully successful junior career.
Dion Phaneuf, Ottawa Senators: Yes, Dion Phaneuf! As a bottom pair defender Phaneuf has the experience to succeed against bottom six forwards and would not look out of place on the second power play unit.
Brian Campbell, Chicago Blackhawks: There is still enough gas in the tank for this skilled veteran to make an impact in a short tournament setting.
Jarome Iginla, Colorado Avalanche: Every team needs a captain and Iginla, who can still come through in the crunch, is Team Canada II’s leader.
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks: Can’t quite figure out why he’s not on the main team, but veteran Perry is a welcome addition to Team Canada II.
Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Canadiens: He’ll be our answer to Team Canada’s Brad Marchand; a pesky energy player who can score. His enthusiasm is infectious, too.
Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils: The odd man out in the Edmonton Oilers rebuild is a highly skilled and motivated scorer. You just know after being traded, Hall is determined to prove the Oilers made a mistake moving him.
Jason Spezza, Dallas Stars: Spezza is an excellent No. 2 center who rarely gets credit for his improved defensive play. Being strong in the faceoff circle is an added bonus.
Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers: The gritty Simmonds is one of the most determined and had-to-play-against forwards in the NHL.
Max Domi, Arizona Coyotes: His enthusiasm, speed and offensive input, not to mention his ability to lead a team to a championship, are valuable assets.
Brayden Schenn, Philadelphia Flyers: The scrappy left winger would be a perfect third or fourth line winger who can move up the depth chart comfortably if needed.
Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes: Played a full season for the Hurricanes and led them in scoring last season. Skinner is a scoring threat every time he has the puck.
Justin Williams, Washington Capitals: There is something to be said for guys who are at their best in critical games and Williams, 34, is a difference maker when the game is on the line.
Tyler Toffoli, Los Angeles Kings: The 24-year-old Toffoli is on an upward trajectory and continues to become more and more important to the Kings. He has gone from 12 to 23 to 31 goals in the past three seasons.
Jordan Staal, Carolina Hurricanes: Staal is a valuable penalty-killer whose offensive potential continues to be alluring.
Patrick Sharp, Dallas Stars: The veteran left winger has settled into a secondary role with the Stars at 34 years old, but is still capable of lighting it up when pressed into a more demanding role.
Mike Keenan. In a short tournament setting a coach must be able to quickly get the attention of his players and get them to fall into line. Iron Mike is the man for the job and no, I do not believe he has softened with age. When the game is on the line, Keenan still rules with an iron fist.