Several former Avalanche players named to Canadian Olympic hockey team

WBS Pens player Christian Thomas named to Canadian Olympic team

Vernon's Andrew Ebbett named to Canadian men's Olympic hockey team

Forsberg, who went on to win two Stanley Cups in a glittering NHL career, was speaking at an event hosted by Eurosport, where he will be a cornerstone of their Olympic hockey coverage next month.

"I do enjoy that, if you include Chris Kelly who skated with the team this year, 20% of the team was directly connected to the Oilers organization".

Added Team Canada GM Sean Burke: "When we go to these Olympics, this team will make Canada proud".

St. John's native Teddy Purcell who now plays in the Russian-based KHL did not make the cut.

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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.

Canada will ice a men's hockey team with more than 5,500 NHL games under its belt at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

"We all who have played this game come from somewhere", Canada CEO Tom Renney told reporters. Just a few days ago, USA Hockey announced a preliminary roster highlighted by former stars like Brian Gionta and journeymen like Mark Arcobello and Bobby Butler.

As for some other names who played for Canada at recent tournaments during the decision-making process, there's no Simon Despres, Max Talbot, Teddy Purcell or P.A. Parenteau, among others.

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The 2018 Olympics take place February 9-25.

The Team Canada men's team opens its Olympic schedule on Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, when it meets Switzerland in Group A. The gold medal game takes place on Feb. 25. Not the best of the best, but all major hockey nations dealing with the best of the rest, & the minnows with more of a fighting chance than usual...

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.

Without NHL players Canada struggled to find the top of the Olympic podium, enduring a 50-year gold medal drought before finally reclaiming the crown of Olympic champions at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. He competed for Canada at the Karjala and Spengler Cup tournaments, which were used as an evaluation for the Olympic roster. The U.S. will be captained by 38-year-old Brian Gionta, who elected to take a year off from the National Hockey League to represent his country.

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