Olympic Decisions Coming
By the end of this month we're going to know a great deal more about Steve Yzerman's vision for next year's Olympic hockey team.
In the days prior to the June 26th entry draft in Montreal, Yzerman and the rest of the Team Canada brass will name a head coach, widely expected to be Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings.
By July 1st, all the invitations are expected to be out for the Team Canada orientation camp in Calgary in late August, and you can already bet some of those decisions are more difficult than Yzerman expected they would be.
It's expected that somewhere between 40-45 players will be invited, perhaps 25 forwards, 15 defencemen and five goaltenders. While the camp itself isn't a tryout per se, the players invited will certainly take the opportunity to size up the competition at different positions.
Some youngsters are likely to be invited. Los Angeles defenceman Drew Doughty and San Jose blueliner Marc-Edouard Vlasic, for example, played well at the recent world championships in Switzerland and could merit invites.
Best guess on the goalies? Well, if its five, how about Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, Cam Ward, Chris Osgood and Steve Mason?
Yzerman, meanwhile, is hoping to hear about Scott Niedermayer's plans for next season by July 1st, although if Niedermayer hasn't made a decision by then, he'll get an invitation to the orientation camp anyway.