With a chance to potentially join the historic Triple Gold Club, forward Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks has been named captain of Team Canada for the 2012 IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Defenseman Dion Phaneuf of the Toronto Maple Leafs and forward Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks will serve as his alternates.
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A member of Canada's 2010 gold-medal Olympic team, Getzlaf starred for Canada in his last appearance at the World Championship in 2008. That year, Getzlaf led the Canadians to a silver medal while finishing second in tournament scoring with 14 points in nine games.
He has also represented Canada twice at the World Junior Championship as well as once each at the U-18 and U-17 tournaments.
Having won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007, Getzlaf can also join the fabled Triple Gold Club, the 25-member group of players who have won Olympic gold, a World Championship, and the Stanley Cup. Patrice Bergeron became the most recent member of the club last summer when he won the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins. Getzlaf's Team Canada teammates Corey Perry and Duncan Keith could also potentially join the club with World Championship gold in 2012.
Participating in his second World Championship, Sharp was a teammate of Getzlaf's on the silver-medal team in 2008, as were Keith and Jay Bouwmeester, both of whom will be representing Canada at the 2012 Worlds in Stockholm and Helsinki.
That veteran core will be looked to for leadership on a team featuring seven players aged 21 or younger, including Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jamie Benn, Luke Schenn, and Evander Kane.
Preparing for his third appearance at the World Championship, Phaneuf starred for the 2007 edition of Team Canada that won gold, the last Canadian team to win the tournament. The Leafs captain also represented Canada at last year's Worlds, in which Canada was bounced by Russia in the quarterfinal.
Phaneuf is one of eight returnees from last year's squad, along with Devan Dubnyk, Schenn, Kane, Jordan Eberle, Andrew Ladd, John Tavares and Jeff Skinner. Canada starts the tournament in Helsinki on Friday against Slovakia.