LONGLEY: No best-on-best but Olympic hockey won't be a bust

LONGLEY: No best-on-best but Olympic hockey won't be a bust

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.

Leading them will be 38-year-old captain Brian Gionta, who won a Stanley Cup in 2003 with the NHL's New Jersey Devils and has represented the United States in worldwide competition on six previous occasions. "It's about guys who have received a no but found a way to make a yes", said head coach Willie Desjardins on Thursday.

Linden will join a number of other Canadians who play in the KHL and in pro teams across Europe as the National Hockey League did not allow its players to participate in the 2018 Games.

"These guys that are going to be named here today they earned it", general manager Sean Burke said. After helping the Canadians capture the gold medal at Davos, Switzerland, Kelly signed another PTO with the B-Sens and played for the club in a 3-2 O.T. win over Rochester Wednesday night in Belleville.

Training camp starts January 28 in Latvia.

According to Elliott's fiancée, Katie Cairns, the former NHLer was gunning for a spot on the Olympic team for months as it became clear the players from the league wouldn't be making the trip.

Defenceman Chris Lee is the lone player from Canada's 2017 world hockey championship team on the roster.

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The men's hockey competition begins February 14. "We saw them play, we had numerous events and everyone of them represented our jersey like we expect Canadians to do".

"All our players somewhere along the line were told 'no, ' and that they weren't going to get a chance to continue their National Hockey League career, or in some cases even start it", said Desjardins, who worked closely with Burke to evaluate 100 players over the course of seven global tournaments the last 14 months. Pretty unbelievable. I never thought I'd be in this situation.

Hockey Canada has obviously put value in NHL experience, selecting players like 37-year-old Derek Roy (738 NHL games), Rene Bourque (725), Maxim Lapierre (614) and Mason Raymond (546).

"A lot like other Canadians, they've managed to battle it and fight back".

With that in mind, Burke and company set about building a team they felt could compete against a variety of opponents. "We've seen all our players", said Burke.

None of this has been easy for anyone involved, given the "moving target" Hockey Canada prez Tom Renney reminded people of the soap opera that saw the International Olympic Committee and NHL part ways. "And I just wanted to do everything I could to be a part of that team".

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