SASKATOON — Steve Yzerman is officially turning the page on Turin.
The executive director of the Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team unveiled his 23-man roster Wednesday, selecting just seven players who were part of the disastrous seventh-place finish at the Games in 2006.
Veteran defenceman Scott Niedermayer will serve as captain while fellow blue-liner Chris Pronger and forwards Sidney Crosby and Jarome Iginla will be alternates.
Yzerman and his management team made some bold decisions. Forward Patrice Bergeron made the squad despite not being among the 46 players invited to the summer orientation camp in Calgary.
Yzerman said there were some tough decisions.
“We had a lot of debate, all afternoon yesterday,” Yzerman said during a news conference. “We took a break, went to the (Canadian junior) game last night and talked about it some more last evening and then we’re deciding on one spot. Mike and I talked this morning and debated it again and virtually made the decision this morning at 7.”
Yzerman said he and his team were impressed with Bergeron’s well-rounded play.
“He played very well in all parts of the game,” said Yzerman. “He does the little things very well and we place a lot of value in that.”
Yzerman also put 20-year-old defenceman Drew Doughty on the team.
“We felt that Drew Doughty in this case is little bit more complete a player and based on how he played at the world championships and saw him play in big games that he was a better fit for us,” said Yzerman.
Doughty was selected ahead of veterans Jay Bouwmeester and Mike Green.
“I’ll just simply say the seven defencemen we picked were the seven we liked the best,” said Yzerman.
Several players that were part of the 2006 Olympic team were left off the roster, including Vincent Lecavalier, Shane Doan, Simon Gagne, Ryan Smyth, Martin St. Louis, Robyn Regehr and Bouwmeester.
As a result, the Canadian team will be relatively young. Twelve of the 23 players are currently 25 or under.
Yzerman can still make changes to his roster to replace any injured players prior to Canada’s first game on Feb. 16.
The Canadian men’s hockey team as announced Wednesday for the 2010 Olympics (with position, name and team; x-denotes member of 2006 Turin roster):
x-Martin Brodeur, Montreal, New Jersey; Marc-Andre Fleury, Montreal, Pittsburgh; x-Roberto Luongo, Montreal, Vancouver.
Dan Boyle, Ottawa, San Jose; Drew Doughty, London, Ont., Los Angeles; Duncan Keith, Penticton, B.C., Chicago; Scott Niedermayer (captain), Cranbrook, B.C., Anaheim; x-Chris Pronger (assistant captain), Dryden, Ont, Philadelphia; Brent Seabrook, Richmond, B.C., Chicago; Shea Weber, Sicamous, B.C., Nashville.
Patrice Bergeron, Boston; Sidney Crosby (alternate captain), Cole Harbour, N.S., Pittsburgh; Ryan Getzlaf, Regina, Anaheim; x-Dany Heatley, Calgary, Ottawa; x-Jarome Iginla (alternate captain), St. Albert, Alta., Calgary; Patrick Marleau, San Jose; Brenden Morrow, Carlyle, Sask., Dallas; Rick Nash, Brampton, Ont., Columbus; Corey Perry, London, Ont., Anaheim; Michael Richards, Kenora, Ont., Philadelphia; Eric Staal, Thunder Bay, Ont., Carolina; x-Joe Thornton, St. Thomas, Ont., San Jose; Jonathan Toews, Winnipeg, Chicago.
Payroll for the Canadian men’s hockey team based on their 2008-10 National Hockey League contracts (all figures in millions of U.S. dollars):
Martin Brodeur, NJ $5.2
Marc-Andre Fleury, Pgh $3.5
Roberto Luongo, Vcr $7.5
Dan Boyle, SJ $6.67
Drew Doughty, LA $0.875
Duncan Keith, Chi $1.9
Scott Niedermayer, Ana $6.0
x-Chris Pronger, Pha $6.25
Brent Seabrook, Chi $3.5
Shea Weber, Nash $4.5
Patrice Bergeron, Bos $5.0
Sidney Crosby, Pgh $9.0
Ryan Getzlaf, Ana $5.125
Dany Heatley, SJ $8.0
Jarome Iginla, Cal $7.0
Patrick Marleau, SJ $6.3
Brenden Morrow, Dal $4.1
Rick Nash, Clb $7.0
Corey Perry, Ana $6.5
Michael Richards, Pha $5.6
Eric Staal, Car $6.0
Joe Thornton, SJ $7.2
Jonathan Toews, Chi $0.850
Grand Total $123.57