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The team was announced by Hockey Canada Thursday morning in Calgary, and there will be some Saskatchewan content on the squad. And if things get greasy, it's good to know Canada's 32-year-old Swiss-league fixture Maxim Lapierre has played nearly as many NHL games (614) as he has compiled NHL penalty minutes (586).

"I would say Sweden is up there and has a chance maybe to even to beat Russian Federation, but they have to have a really good tournament if they are going to grab gold or silver", he said.

However, some of the players to make up the roster are actually former NHLers who are unsigned or playing in different leagues around the world.

Chris Kelly, who won the 2011 Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins, leads the way with 833 regular-season games in the National Hockey League.

"A lot like other Canadians, they've managed to battle it and fight back", Desjardins said. So he's a great story, if not one of the world's great players.

The roster announcement, carried live on several networks, was made at the Hall of Champions at Hockey Canada's office in Calgary.


The Olympics will take place February 9-25.

That leaves the men's team digging for a few players from the NCAA ranks - four to be exact - while the women's team adds a pair of current college players to its roster. They'll then fly to Korea where they'll face Sweden in a warm-up game before playing their first Olympic test in PyeongChang against Switzerland Feb. 15 at 5 a.m. MT.

Hard-core Blackhawks fans will recognize some of the names listed Thursday, however, as Team Canada will feature at least three former - if not obscure - Hawks.

The 33 medals forecasted for the Canadian team (seven gold, 12 silver and 14 bronze) would wallop the country's previous top total of 26 claimed by the host team at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., although the breakdown there was 14 gold, seven silver and five bronze.

"Hockey Canada has once again left no stone unturned in putting this talented group of players together", said Chris Overholt, CEO and secretary general of the Canadian Olympic Committee. There are probably ex-[insert National Hockey League team here] of every stripe; the team is loaded with journeymen I think this year's tourney will be good as is. Thomas has also represented Canada twice on the global stage twice in the last two months, participating in the Karjala Cup in November and emerging victorious at the Spengler Cup in December.


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