Last night, 25 players got the call they’ve been dreaming of. Head coach Willie Desjardin and GM Sean Burke called each player letting them know that in 30 days, they will be wearing the maple leaf in South Korea.
“The unfortunate part is that people couldn’t see or hear the phone calls and just how much this means to the guys” says Burke. “We know it will become obvious by the way we play. We know it, our staff knows it and the players know it and I think that will be easy to translate once these guys get on the ice.”
Burke and his scouting team spent the last 14 months putting together a team that can compete against the best the Olympics can offer.
Even though many players named to today’s team don’t currently play in Canada…13 of 25 play in Russia… there are still a ton of ties to local hockey. Former flames Mason Raymond and Rene Bourque provide a veteran presence while former flame Lindon Vey and ex Calgary Hitmen Brandon Kozun provide some youth up front.
All told, Head Coach Willie Desjardin thinks that Canadians have 25 reasons to get behind this year’s team. “When I look at our walk of life, there’s so many people I see that amaze me that aren’t athletes but just battlers in their own right. I think people can relate and I think it’s going to be part of the Canadian fabric.”
Canada kicks off their Olympics with a first round match-up against Switzerland on February 15th, 5:10 AM MST.