The first three members of the 2022 Canadian Olympic team have been announced, as general manager Doug Armstrong revealed to Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com this Sidney crosby, Connor mcdavid, and Alex Pietrangelo made the team. Each participating country was required to declare three players, while the full “long list” of 55 potential names will be submitted by October 15.
Crosby is an easy pick and possibly the team’s captain, having enjoyed so much success at the helm of Team Canada in the past. The 34-year-old center has won the Junior World Championship, World Championship, World Cup and Olympic gold (x2) throughout his distinguished career, including scoring one of the most famous goals of the history of Canadian hockey at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. Three-time Stanley Cup champion, two-time Conn Smythe winner and two-time Hart Trophy winner, there was never any question of leaving Crosby out of the squad.
If Crosby is the legend, McDavid is however at the center of his concerns, entering his first Olympics as the best player in the world. The 24-year-old has won gold at the World Junior Championships and the World Championships but has not been able to present for Team Canada at Olympic level so far due to the absence of the 2018 NHL. Reigning Hart winner McDavid had 105 points in just 56 games last season and has already won the Art Ross Three-time trophy in six-year NHL career. There is no doubt that he will be the striker the rest of the roster is built around, and it makes sense that he is announced at this early stage.
Pietrangelo is perhaps the most surprising of the three, but that doesn’t mean he’s really a surprise. The 31-year-old has his own long history of success with Team Canada, winning gold medals at the World Junior, Olympic and World Cup championships. He has a long history with Armstrong since their days in St. Louis and there was no doubt he would be one of the defenders to dress up in February. Pietrangelo finished fourth in voting for the Norris Trophy in 2020 and received votes for the award in seven different seasons.
The list of potential names that will be submitted later this month will include several who won’t eventually make it to Beijing, making the first half of this NHL season something of a try. Only those three have their seats guaranteed, but that wasn’t something that was really in question even before this announcement.