Apr 21, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) and right wing Martin St. Louis (26) talk during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning on the Road to Sochi

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It’s official! We have two Tampa Bay Lightning players that will begin their road to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games beginning on February 7th, in Sochi, Russia.

Hockey Canada, along with Canada’s National Men’s Team management group extended invitations to 47 players to attend a national team orientation camp. This camp will take place from August 25-28 in Calgary.

Among the invitations issues, two of them were issued to two of our finest boys in blue, right wing Martin St. Louis and center Steven Stamkos.

You can see the complete roster for Canada’s National Men’s Team Orientation Camp here.

Honestly, does this come as a surprise to anyone?

Last season, at 37 years of age (at the time), St. Louis became the oldest person to ever win the Art Ross Trophy. He led the National Hockey League in points with 17 goals and 43 assists for a total of 60 points during the lockout-shortened 48-game season.

Should he make the final roster, it will not be the first time that the Laval, Quebec native has skated on Olympic ice. St. Louis, along with then-teammates Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards, represented Team Canada in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino.

Steven Stamkos is no slouch either. Last season, Stamkos finished 2nd in the league in Goals with 29. Add in the 28 assists that he earned during the season, and that gives him 57 points last season. This put him in second place in the NHL for points, right behind St. Louis.

Canada’s National Men’s Team managed group includes many well-known names from the NHL as well as Hockey Canada. The Executive Director is our very own Vice President and General Manager, Steve Yzerman.

Joining him is Doug Armstrong, GM of the St. Louis Blues, Peter Chiarelli, GM of the Boston Bruins, Ken Holland, GM of the Detroit Red Wings, Kevin Lowe, President of Hockey Operations for the Edmonton Oilers, Bob Nicholson, President and CEO of Hockey Canada, and Brad Pascall from Hockey Canada.

Mike Babcock, Head Coach of the Detroit Red Wings, will be the team’s Head Coach. His Associate Coaches will be Ken Hitchcock, Head Coach of the St. Louis Blues, Claude Julien, Head Coach of the Boston Bruins, and Lindy Ruff, Head Coach of the Dallas Stars.

I would like to congratulate the players being invited today to our orientation camp,” Yzerman said in the official Hockey Canada release. “This marks an important step for this program, as it is our only opportunity to be together as a group before Sochi.”

Here are some interesting facts from the official press release:

The camp roster includes:

  • five goaltenders, 17 defensemen and 25 forwards;
  • 46 players with international experience, including 38 with international experience at the senior level (Olympic Winter Games, IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship);
  • 15 players who won gold with Canada at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games;
  • 18 players who played for Canada at the 2002, 2006 or 2010 Olympic Winter Games;
  • 38 players who have played for Canada at an IIHF World Championship;
  • 31 players who have played for Canada at an IIHF World Junior Championship;
  • 17 players who have played for Canada at an IIHF World Under-18 Championship;
  • four players who won the 2004 World Cup of Hockey with Canada;
  • three of the eight Canadian players in the IIHF Triple Gold Club, having won Olympic gold, IIHF World Championship gold and a Stanley Cup:
  • one player (Corey Crawford) who has yet to represent Canada in international competition;
  • eight players (Karl Alzner, Crawford, Travis Hamonic, Braden Holtby, Kris Letang, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Carey Price) who have yet to represent Canada internationally at the senior level.

Collectively, the 47 players invited to orientation camp have:

  • appeared in 1,295 games for Team Canada;
  • won 96 gold medals for Canada in international competition;
  • appeared in 21,728 NHL regular season games, 2,369 NHL playoff games and 57 NHL All-Star Games;
  • won 34 Stanley Cups.

Chicago leads all NHL teams with five players invited to camp, followed by Pittsburgh and San Jose with four:

  • 5 – Chicago
  • 4 – Pittsburgh, San Jose
  • 3 – Boston, Los Angeles, Washington
  • 2– Anaheim, Carolina, Edmonton, Montreal, N.Y. Islanders, N.Y. Rangers, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver
  • 1 – Colorado, Nashville, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Toronto, Winnipeg

Camp averages:

  • Average age (as of Aug. 26, 2013): 27 years, 6 months, 25 days
  • Average height (as of Aug. 26, 2013): 6’1.5”
  • Average weight (as of Aug. 26, 2013): 206 lbs

Stamkos and St. Louis are not the only players attending the camp that have worn Lightning blue at one time or another. They will be joined by former Lightning goaltender Mike Smith, who now tends the net for the Phoenix Coyotes, and former Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle who now plays for the San Jose Sharks.

According to Hockey Canada, details on Canada’s National Men’s Team orientation camp will be announced at a later date, including an event schedule and the media accreditation process.

Do you think that St. Louis and Stamkos will ultimately be named to the final roster for Team Canada? Who do you think will be joining them? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.

 

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Tags: 2014 Winter Olympic Games NHL Sochi Tampa Bay Lightning

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