Sidney Crosby will likely anchor Team Canada once camp invitations are released. [Richard Lautens/Getty Images]
By Allan Muir
UPDATE: Shortly after the NHL's Olympic participation was confirmed, Hockey Canada's Bob Nicholson told the Canadian Press that players invited to that country's orientation camp might not see any ice time.
“Insurance is a big issue,” Nicholson told CP on Friday. “We got some quotes yesterday that it would be over a million dollars to skate. So if it’s that type of dollars, it’d be very difficult for us to do that. But we’re just starting to look into that now with the [Olympic] agreement being done.”
A spokesman for USA Hockey confirmed players invited to their camp will not skate.
Nicholson expects Canada’s camp invites and the announcement of the coaching staff to happen in the coming days.
Now that an agreement has been reached to send the NHL's top players to Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Games, it's only a matter of time before Hockey Canada announces plans for a summer orientation camp to prep that country's best for their bid to defend the gold medal won in 2010 in Vancouver.
Back in August, 2009, Hockey Canada invited 46 players to a camp in Calgary. Five goalies, 16 defensemen and 25 forwards attended in hopes of making the cut in December.
While the number of invitees could vary, it's expected a similar camp will be held this August, also in Calgary. Look for Hockey Canada to lean heavily toward younger, faster players than it took to the last European games in Turin in 2006...and don't be surprised to see some long shots get a chance to make an impression.
With that in mind, here are the players we think will get the call:
Francois Beauchemin (Anaheim Ducks); Dan Boyle (San Jose Sharks); Brian Campbell (Florida Panthers); Brenden Dillon (Dallas Stars); Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings); Mike Green (Washington Capitals); Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks); Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins); Dion Phaneuf (Toronto Maple Leafs); Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis Blues); Luke Schenn (Philadelphia Flyers); Justin Schultz (Edmonton Oilers); Keith Seabrook (Chicago Blackhawks); Marc Staal (New York Rangers); PK Subban (Montreal Canadiens); Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)