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Former Oilers are all over the Team Canada pre-Olympic tournament rosters

Team Canada has named its rosters for the upcoming 2017 Sochi Open and the Tournament of Nikolai Puchkov which both will take place in August. 

Heading into the Olympic year, Team Canada will play in two exhibition tournaments in August to give the brass a better look at what they could have heading into Pyeongchang. The Sochi Open, which will take happen between August 6-9th in Russia. The tourney will mark the first pre-Olympic games for Team Canada as GM Sean Burke looks to build a roster that will bring home Canada’s third straight gold medal.

From there, Canada will then play in the Tournament of Nikolai Puchkov in St. Petersburg with a second roster that was released yesterday. Both rosters are made up of many ghosts former NHLers that are currently playing in and around Europe, and it will be up to Sean Burke to put together the best possible team that he can. The thing that really stuck out to me was seeing just how many ex-Oilers (bolded) will be filling roles on these teams, and some of the names may surprise you.

From TSN:

2017 Sochi Hockey Open

Forwards: Justin Azevedo, Gilbert Brulé, Brandon Buck, Kevin Clark, Andrew Ebbett, Bud Holloway, Rob Klinkhammer, Brandon Kozun, Ben Maxwell, Brandon McMillan, Eric O’Dell, Daniel Paille, Mason Raymond, Max Talbot, Linden Vey

Defence: Chay Genoway, Geoff Kinrade, Patrick McNeill, Maxim Noreau, Mat Robinson, Jonathan Sigalet, Karl Stollery

Goaltenders: Justin Peters, Kevin Poulin

2017 Tournament of Nikolai Puchkov

Forwards: Taylor Beck, Sean Collins, Cory Emmerton, Ryan Garbutt, Andrew Gordon, David McIntyre, Jacob Micflikier, Trevor Parkes, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Derek Roy, Greg Scott, Paul Szczechura, James Wright

Defence: Cam Barker, Carlo Colaiacovo, Stefan Elliott, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Kevin Klein, Shawn Lalonde, Craig Schira

Goaltenders: Kevin Poulin, Ben Scrivens

THE WRAP

After seeing the guys that could potentially be representing Canada in the Olympics I can’t help but think that this tournament could be a lot funnier than I initially expected. I don’t know if Canada will have a chance at the threepeat with this talent pool to choose from, but it will definitely keep things interesting. I’m predicting a lot of waist-high breakout passes and weak goals on the glove side which means that the games will likely be a lot more wide open than in Olympics past.

Closer to home, this list highlights just how bad the Oilers have been over the past 10 years when you consider how many of the guys played prominent roles on the team and have since been banished to Europe. Looking at the rosters above, do you think Canada has a chance for its third straight gold medal? Do you even care? What say you, Nation?

  • ET

    I for one am looking forward to an Olympics without the NHL. Even though we didn’t win much I always felt way more patriotic watching guys like Wally Schreiber compete for Canada. I still hold to the old ideal that the Olympics are for amateurs. Ya I know that the Russians and other European eastern bloc countries always cheated but that just made it even sweeter when we did kick their butt! My take may not be popular but that’s fine by me.

    • crabman

      But most if not all these players are playing pro in Europe pro leagues. Just because they are not in the NHL doesn’t mean they don’t get paid to play the game of hockey for a living. The KHL is the 2nd best league in the world and they will still be sending players.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      Like crabman says – plenty of paid athletes will be playing hockey in South Korea this February. Some even for Canada!

      And that point about us kicking eastern bloc countries butt…when did this happen? Closest we came to beating a Soviet/Russian bloc team before 2010’s 7-3 beat down was in 1992 in the Gold medal game.

      …and we still lost. Even with soon to be highly paid pros like Joe Juneau, Eric Lindros and Sean Burke.

  • Jagrbaum

    If someone could Photoshop all of the Ex-Oilers on this picture, that would be swell.

    Link: https://image.tmdb.org/t/p/w1280/vEP7hFY4C2y7SjMm2JUmP6zj4Wp.jpg

    Also the idea of sending basically “The Replacements” to the Olympics actually seems kind of entertaining. Russia with the KHL crew (Kovalchuk, Datsyuk & Co) with the potential of some NHLers (Ovi, Malkin) would make them a favorite right off the bat. If our “C-squad” could make it to the gold medal game against them, I think that might become one of the most epic Winter Olympic story lines of all time!

  • Glencontrolurstik

    Of course we do have a chance, when you can add Shane Doan & Iggy to that list…
    I am probably the only person that thinks this tourny will be fantastic…
    Even competition in the playing field… Even more reason to watch.
    It should be a more exciting game for Canada & a real test.
    I am all for it, especially with Doan & Iggy in the fray…
    Hey, maybe even Wendle Clark & Orr can lace them up…
    They look like they could still play, right?
    We already have a capable back-up goaltender coaching.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      I know.

      For a league trying to grow its brand it sure seems counterproductive to replace a popular product with one that has been considerably less so. I wonder how many guys would have played in the WCoH had they known it wasn’t a dress rehearsal for the Olympics?

      For all the negativity Bob Goodenow’s NHLPA got from ’94-’04 the NHL seems content to follow their lead and be the least likeable of the two now.

      • Serious Gord

        Yes because the brand has grown hugely in Japan since Nagano and in Italy since Turin…

        It is a waste of effort for the return it earns the league and players. Stars get their jollies while 80 percent of the players and thirty one teams don’t make any money for two weeks.

        • gr8haluschak

          I know you are full of it most of the time but time to call out some BS here, the players and teams do not all of a sudden lose two weeks worth of money, they still play 82 games a year – players still get paid and owners still get revenue.

  • Frank Rizza

    I would trade the gold medal for a 5 game Oilers winning streak to start the season. I am Canadian and this is the best country on earth but I’m an Oilers fan first and the Olympics really don’t mean that much to me. Other than watching best-on-best it really doesn’t matter.

  • camdog

    Kevin Klein retiring from the NHL to play in Europe stinks of cap circumvention. How long before he’s hired by the Rangers after he actually retires from hockey? Imagine the uproar if a non Canadian made this move to Europe in this exact scenario…