Canada will defend its Olympic gold medal in hockey with a team that includes 11 members of the 2010 team.
Sidney Crosby, who scored the game-winner in overtime against the United State four years ago, leads the Canadian team into Sochi, Russia. The Pittsburgh Penguins star leads the NHL in scoring this season.
Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who scored 60 goals in the last full NHL season, is on the team despite missing two months because of a broken leg.
Hockey Canada executive director Steve Yzerman, who is Stamkos’ general manager with Tampa Bay, said Stamkos is scheduled for X-rays later this week. Final rosters must be set by Feb. 11, the day before games begin in Sochi.
Canada’s goalies are Roberto Luongo, Carey Price and Mike Smith.
Ovechkin leads Russia
The host team in Sochi will have a formidable roster as well.
Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk and Evgeni Malkin head the Russian team, which is hoping to avoid a repeat of its poor performance in Vancouver. Russia lost in the quarterfinals in 2010.
NHLers Sergei Bobrovsky and Semyon Varlamov will compete with Kontinental Hockey Leaguer Alexander Yeryomenko for the top goaltending spot.
Selanne back for Finns
Teemu Selanne, 43, will be in his sixth Olympics as he is on the Finnish roster.
Selanne has led the Olympics in scoring twice and was named best player at the 2006 Games in Turin.
Another veteran, Saku Koivu, won’t be part of the team after telling Finland coach Erkka Westerlund that he doesn’t feel in good enough shape to play at the Olympics.
Saku’s brother, Mikko Koivu, is set to be Finland’s captain if he can recover from a fractured ankle that required surgery on Monday.
Kari Lehtonen, Tuukka Rask and Antti Niemi are Finland’s goalies. The Finns won bronze in 2010.
Swedish Red Wings?
Six players from the Detroit Red Wings — goalie Jonas Gustavsson, defensemen Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson, and forwards Johan Franzen, Daniel Alfredsson and Henrik Zetterberg — are on Sweden’s Olympic team, which is pinning its hopes on goalie Henrik Lundqvist for the third consecutive Olympics.
Sweden won gold in 2006.
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