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The Canadian Press picks its Team Canada for 2010 Vancouver Olympics

NHL.com @NHL

It almost seems a little hard to believe - the start of the 2010 Olympic men's hockey tournament is only about a year away.

Steve Yzerman and his management group are already closely monitoring the progress of candidates for Team Canada so The Canadian Press has decided to do the same thing.

We'll be selecting our choices for the team once a month leading into the Olympics, perhaps giving Stevie Y and his executive group a few ideas to ponder.

With that in mind, here's a look at our first version of Team Canada 2010 (and a couple guys knocking on the door):

Goaltenders

Martin Brodeur (New Jersey): The only Canadian goaltender of his generation who has played in a gold-medal game at the Olympics. The top job is his to lose - making his recovery from a torn biceps injury even more intriguing.

Roberto Luongo (Vancouver): The Canucks goalie will be a favourite at GM Place and could easily fill the starter's role.

Steve Mason (Columbus): Arguably the top goaltender in the NHL season, the 20-year-old is an ideal candidate to fill the No. 3 role in net.

Defencemen

Jay Bouwmeester (Florida): A smooth player with plenty of international experience on his resume.

Brent Burns (Minnesota): He might be overlooked in some circles, but Yzerman and his staff have a good idea of his potential after a strong performance at the IIHF World Hockey Championship last year. A tower at six foot five, he's surprisingly mobile.

Dan Boyle (San Jose): His impact has been a big part of San Jose's success this season. Has the ability to put up points, but doesn't do it at the expense of his defensive responsibilities.

Mike Green (Washington): Mobility and puck movement are major aspects of today's game, and few are better than Green at either of those things.

Dion Phaneuf (Calgary): Big, physical, rugged. His style of play is especially suited to the North American-sized ice that will be used for these Games.

Chris Pronger (Anaheim): The veteran on this squad will be appearing in his fourth straight Olympics. Needs to be much better than he was in Turin.

Shea Weber (Nashville): A booming shot is a major asset, as is his comfort with playing physically. He's being touted as a Norris Trophy candidate.

Forwards

Jeff Carter (Philadelphia): The top Canadian-born sniper in the NHL this season, Carter brings a big body and knack for the net.

Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh): Even though he'll be just 22 years old at the Olympics, Sid the Kid needs to fill a leadership role on the Canadian team.

Shane Doan (Phoenix): Takes as much pride in wearing the Maple Leaf as anyone. His leadership qualities and past Olympic experience give him an edge on others with similar offensive ability.

Simon Gagne (Philadelphia): Still has the scoring touch and appears healthy after last year's concussion issues. He and Iginla are the only two forwards we're choosing who won gold in Salt Lake City.

Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim): A great combination of skill and toughness, he should be back on a towering line with Heatley and Nash - a unit that had all kinds of success at last year's world championship.

Dany Heatley (Ottawa): It's time for him to star on international hockey's biggest stage.

Jerome Iginla (Calgary): A prime candidate for Team Canada's captaincy, he's as close to a lock as there is. Was a major contributor to the gold-medal effort in 2002.

Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay): A reliable contributor who can fill a spot on a scoring line or take a role on a supporting unit. Last represented Canada in Turin.

Rick Nash (Columbus): A big, powerful skater with nice hands around the net, Nash has also shown the ability to be a strong two-way player over the last year.

Corey Perry (Anaheim): Would fit nicely on a shutdown unit because of his willingness to be physical.

Mike Richards (Philadelphia): A heart-and-soul player that can do it all - hit, score, kill penalties and be a leader.

Joe Thornton (San Jose): Another big body down the middle with excellent playmaking abilities.

Jonathan Toews (Chicago): His international experience and success in shootouts makes him a natural fit as a 13th forward.

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Bubble Players

G J-S Giguere, D Scott Niedermayer, D Robyn Regehr, F Patrick Marleau, F Marc Savard, F Martin St. Louis.

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