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Yzerman hints at Canada leadership group

by Dan Rosen

CALGARY -- Steve Yzerman hasn't officially named a leadership group for the Canadian Olympic Team in the way his counterpart to the south, David Poile, did for the United States in Arlington, Va., earlier this week. However, during a sit-down interview with NHL Network on Tuesday, Canada's executive director hinted at five players who could be part of such a group should he officially name one.

Yzerman mentioned Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Drew Doughty, Shea Weber and Rick Nash, each of whom were part of Canada's gold medal-winning team at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

"When you look at Rick Nash, who has played on the Olympic team going back to being on the team who went to Italy [in 2006], he was an outstanding player for us in Vancouver and would be going into his third Olympics," Yzerman said. "Sidney is in his second Olympics. Jonathan Toews is in his second Olympics. Drew Doughty is in his second Olympics. These guys are veterans.

"You look at Sidney, he's been through a lot in his career. Jonathan has been through a lot in his career. Drew, again, for such a young guy has been through a lot. Those guys will help lead this team."

Yzerman didn't stop there. He then brought up one of his own players from the Tampa Bay Lightning, and it wasn't Steven Stamkos.

Even though Martin St. Louis is by no means a lock to be on the Canadian team in Sochi, Yzerman put his name into the mix of those who could replace the veteran leadership Canada got from Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger in Vancouver.

St. Louis played on Canada's Olympic team in 2006 but was left off the roster in 2010.

"It's important to have the veteran guys that have been around," Yzerman said. "They can keep the room calm and keep the bench calm, just go out on the ice and do their job. They've been throughout it their entire careers so there is a great importance on veteran leadership."


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